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「INFOGRAPHIC」 The Great 21st Century North American War: Unicorns vs Narwhals

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“Second star to the right and straight on till morning” was once the only route to a magical place where fairies, mermaids, and other mythical beings could be found. However, we no longer need pixie dust to help us fly high above the skies. There are fairy-tale creatures running among us. Are we in Neverland? No, we are in the Unicorn era.

How come? Well, every tech startup company spawned after the great tech wreck of 2000 and 2001 that managed to reach $1 billion was said to ‘grow a horn’. The very term Unicorn Club was coined in 2013 by Aileen Lee when he introduced us to the concept.

It takes approximately 6 years and at least $95 million in funding for a tech startup to become a unicorn. If we look back on the last 15 years, the period between 2007 and 2009 showed to be the most fertile for starting a unicorn. This is supported by the fact that some of the most successful companies of today, Uber, Pinterest, Slack, Nutanix and many others, were founded right after the great economic collapse of 2008.

The average age of the mighty unicorn rider is 29 and the majority of them already had a vast experience working in tech companies. Although young, more than 70% have already founded a company prior to the one that reached stellar, 1-billion-dollar success.

However, many Millennials choose to ride down this track with a reliable partner. Whether it is the fear of the unknown or higher venture capital, 85% of young businessmen with a mutual history decide to continue in the same manner.

If you think that we are talking about only a small herd, you are in for a surprise as we can count more than 200 unicorns worldwide. Around 65% are headquartered in the US, with California being the leading habitat, as 39% of all US unicorns run around the Silicon Valley.

When it comes to Canadian tech startups, although they account for no more than 2% of all world unicorns, they are certainly a force to be reckoned with. The success of the Canadian 1-billion-dollar companies was recognized worldwide and in time they became a separate species. They were named after an animal that actually swims in those frigid northern waters – Narwhals.

Renamed by Brent Holiday, the CEO of Garibaldi Capital Advisors, Narwhal club includes startups that were launched as far back as 1999. Although there are only three narwhals ready to parry the herds of US unicorns, a significant number of them are expected to break the ice, such as Desire2Learn, iQmetrix, Wattpad and many others.

Who is currently at the very top of the North American billion-dollar ladder? Which narwhals dare to swim faster than the galloping unicorns? Scroll down to our infographic and see for yourself.

Published in: Business
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