Baby Unicorns

On November 2, 2013, Aileen Lee wrote a post (see here) that cemented one word — Unicorn — into every nook and cranny of entrepreneurship. I’m still amazed at how often the word “unicorn” pops up on Twitter, in slide decks, in some individual’s Twitter bios, in LP decks, in conversations with LPs, and so on. It’s so big, in fact, that there are variants — there are ones based on geography (Asian Unicorns), those based on sector (SaaS Unicorns), and much more.

Well, how about one more variant? Baby Unicorns.

That’s right. Baby Unicorns. You know, those little precious young Unicorns you can just hold in your hand, and then the next day — boom — they’re all grown up. Now, before people berate this list, (1) you can add your list in the comments or try to convince me; (2) there will be potential Baby Unicorns worldwide and in places I haven’t thought about, so please tell me what you think; and (3) I realize that every startup begins with the goal of becoming a unicorn, but most won’t achieve even Baby Unicorn status. There’s no shame in that.

So, here’s my list of Baby Unicorns in alphabetical order. This list means that I think each one of these companies has a tremendous shot to be sustainably valued (in the private market) by at least or over one billion dollars by the time we have a new President of the United States:

Actifio
Airware
AngelList
Blue Apron
CipherCloud
Coinbase
Cloudfare
Docker
Domo
DoorDash
Fastly
Flipboard
Hampton Creek
HotelTonight
Hubspot
Instacart
Julep
Jumio
Live Intent
Lyft
Medium
Mixpanel
Okta
OpenDNS
Optimizely
Oscar Health
Postmates
Practice Fusion
Quantopian
Quirky
Skyhigh Networks
Sprig
Soundcloud
Sumo Logic
Teespring
Thumbtack
Tube Mogul
Twilio
URX
Warby Parker
Wattpad
Wealthfront
Wish
Zenefits
Zen Payroll

Haywire is written by Semil Shah, and is published under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license. Copyright © 2014 Semil Shah.

“I write this not for the many, but for you; each of us is enough of an audience for the other.”— Epicurus