Chasing unicorns

Chasing unicorns

Flipkart unicorn startup

The world has around 80 unicorn start-ups – those able to boast valuations of $1 billion and above – with seven of the top 10 richest from the US, and three from China, according to a unicorn ranking compiled by Fortune magazine. Also, worthy of note is the fact that there are eight ‘decacorns’ running around the planet - unicorns which have gained serious traction and are valued at $10 billion or more.

Leaving aside the value of such valuations – and the mythical nature of unicorns - let’s take a look at those leading Asian beasts. Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi at $46 billion is one of them, of course, while Indian ecommerce outfit Flipkart is another. Interestingly, Xiaomi is working closely with Flipkart in India on the flash sales which have served it so well to date.

And one Chinese company you’ve probably never heard of is Meituan, which places tenth in the top 10 with a valuation of $7 billion. What we know about Meituan is that it’s often casually termed the ‘Groupon of China’ which is not great given Groupon’s fall from ‘fastest-growing company in the world’ to, well what, exactly? Anyhow, group buying is what the company is into and Meituan is forecasting revenues of $16 billion for this year.

And the decacorn growth strategy? “We will focus on developing business areas where many people use frequently,” says CEO Wang Xing. Hard to argue with that.

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