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Not All Unicorn Startups Are Famous. Here Is The List Of 25 Unicorn Startups You Might Not Know

We always talk about unicorns like Uber, Airbnb, SpaceX, Spotify, Twitter, etc, but little do we discuss what unicorn actually means. Why are some startups given such a title? Is this title given only to the startups belonging to a specific niche? Let’s find your answer through this article.

What is a unicorn company?

The definition of a unicorn startup was coined in the year 2013 by the founder of Cowboy Ventures, Aileen Lee when she referred to the 39 startups that had a valuation of more than $1 billion as unicorns. The term was used to put an emphasis on the rarity of such startups. However, the number of unicorns has increased manifold. There are currently just 420 unicorns worldwide, 178 of them based in the US.

There is a fact that not every flashy unicorn startup is known to people outside their industries even though it becomes a household name. Therefore, to determine which unicorns had the highest and lowest brand awareness, McGuffin Creative Group – an agile marketing and advertising agency got 4,000 people to take a survey. After understanding how people think about billion-dollar companies, it concluded that firms with higher valuations had higher brand awareness, but there were some exceptions to that rule. Juul Labs, an American electronic cigarette company, for example, has a $50 billion valuation and 36 percent brand awareness while Airbnb’s valuation is at $31 billion and in the top 3 best-known startups.

Top least-known unicorns

But among the brands that scored less than 10 percent awareness, there were some interesting takeaways that McGuffin figured out. People who live in big cities, for example, have the tendency to know more about Sweetgreen (an American fast-casual restaurant chain that serves salads) and Bird Rides (a reliable last-mile electric scooter rental service) than the average American. Beauty junkies will likely be surprised how few people knew about Pat McGrath Labs, a lipstick brand. 

Let’s take a look at a breakdown of the lowest performers from the study. 

Top best-known unicorns

In terms of brands performed the best, Reddit, Airbnb, and Buzzfeed were the top three companies on the list. Each has a brand awareness of more than 70 percent. Let’s see the below graphic for more information on the brands that outshone their competitors.

According to Entrepreneur


Those are the list of top least-known and best-known unicorns with the valuations of at least $1 billion. Which of these brand names do you know? Share your opinions about them by leaving your comments in the section below.


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