It’s become a word that draws envy, admiration and, more recently derision and skepticism, but if you’re not wrapped up in Silicon Valley tech culture, you may not be familiar with the term “Unicorn.”
At its most basic, a unicorn in the tech world is a private startup company that’s worth a billion dollars, whether it deserves to be or not. The use of the term dates back to 2013 and can be an indication of a hot startup poised to be purchased by Facebook, Google, Microsoft, or some other tech titan with deep pockets.
Like any once-hot tech-jargony word, “Unicorn” has evolved and can now suggest a young tech company that is either wildly overvalued, or that, ironically speaking, is not doing anything particularly unique despite its sizable valuation. If you follow the HBO TV series, “Silicon Valley,” this will sound very familiar; it’s pretty much the ebb and flow for the struggling company Pied Piper depicted on the show. The website CBInsights has a continually updated list of public companies that fall into the unicorn category.
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