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The number of unicorn sightings shows no signs of slowing. 2015 was an especially interesting year in this aspect, because although the possible significance of these types of companies –which originated in the US– was widely debated, their ranks continued to swell, and this funding model has now been exported to Europe and Asia.
A study by SpokeIntelprovides more information about unicorns. On average, the companies to achieve this type of funding and valuation take six years to do so. There is also new data on the location of unicorns in the world. 101 of them –almost half the number on the planet– live in California and 23 in New York. There are five in both Utah and Massachusetts, and the list is completed by Illinois, Texas, Florida and the District of Columbia with quite a few representatives.
The country with the second highest number of unicorns is the People's Republic of China with 33 representatives, followed by Germany, India and the United Kingdom.
What happens when a unicorn is not listed on the stock exchange?
The worst affected are the employees,according to this article by the New case of the startup Good Technology..This Californian company was sold to Blackberry for 425 million dollars, as opposed to the 1.1 billion at which it had been valued. This had repercussions on the employees' shares in their company. While one year previously each share had been worth $4.32, their value had plummeted to 44 cents. The value of the preferred stock had not fallen so drastically, however, so the company management continued to hold shares with a high worth, while the employees had been required to pay taxes based on the inflated value attributed to them, without ever getting to enjoy them.
A story with a very clear moral which does little to solve the conundrum facing those who are asking whether there is room for all the unicorns in the world economy.
By BBVA Innovation Center