SaaS Startup Unicorn: Myth or Reality?

Startup Unicorns have increasingly become a subject of envy and inspiration for entrepreneurs throughout the last several years. It seems incredible for such young companies to blow up into corporations worth billions of dollars. Although it may seem unfeasible to attain this kind of success in only 10 years, the number of companies achieving unicorn status rises each year. These companies have been a subject of study among the technological and marketing communities when attempting to analyze software-as-a-service market trends.

Startup Background

Startup Unicorns are no myth — it’s possible to execute billion dollar ideas in a relatively short amount of time. Unicorns are often misrepresented as becoming successful within only a few months, rather than as companies that took several years to grow and develop. They see the breakthrough of the iceberg without the enormity of work that it’s taken to get there, just under the surface. The truth is, there’s tons of work that goes into these companies that a lot of people don’t notice when their popularity rises so quickly. It’s a formula consisting of a good idea, smart business decisions and a little bit of luck.

Startup unicorn infographic

According to an infographic by Ohio University, 1.28 percent of startups become unicorns. The year 2014 welcomed 34 new unicorns, an enormous increase from the previous three years that introduced only five unicorns each year. In 2015, the number of unicorns jumped to 47, the highest number of any year. Experts expect that more companies are arriving at unicorn status due to remaining private longer; an average of nine years before IPO instead of the average six years of the 2000s.

Business Organization

A lot of business planning and management, as well as tactful decision making goes into creating a successful business. Even in the software-as-a-service industry where advancements seem to come a mile a minute, strong business structure is not left behind. One of these unicorns, Intuit, parent company to quickbooks, fulfils the need for small business tools in the SaaS industry by providing the essential software for running and growing businesses.

First on their list emphasizes a product management tool for keeping track of projects, which they provide as part of their business management tools. This is followed by an accounting tool, an email marketing tool, and a content management tool, as these tools help reach the largest audience through one medium: the internet. Having these tools to help run your business will let your business idea shine through without the business errors that often prevent ideas from flourishing.

A lot of work goes into the success of becoming a unicorn, however it’s happening more often through precise and thoughtful management and decision making. By having the right tools to start a business and learning from success stories of businesses from the last several years, it’s possible to have a better chance at accessing your vision for a business. While SaaS startup unicorns are not overnight successes, they are indeed a reality.