Five Key Trends of Global Unicorn Startups

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It takes an average of 9 years to reach unicorn status, but slower growth may attract investors

Only one in six unicorns have the recurring revenue needed to be a strong IPO candidate, and the time to reach unicorn status is growing. In addition, new unicorn growth is down 79% year over year. The current average time to reach unicorn status is nine years, versus under six years in 2016. But in a tough economic climate, startups are looking for stable, slower growth.

In addition, slower growth and stability are attracting investor dollars. Some investors advocate for creating “camel-like businesses” that result in more sustainable growth, or “zebra-like businesses” that prioritize sustainability and community impact — both of which, in today’s VC environment, are approaches worth considering.

And according to the latest data, while unicorn status is incredibly helpful for generating funding and awareness, it doesn’t always lead to successful or rapid post-IPO growth.

Chart showing the average time to reach unicorn status is growing

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