Did you hear about the unicorn companies? They are two words that, together, sound strange, but there is an explanation. The unicorn is a mythological animal represented by a white horse with a horn on its forehead, to which superpowers are attributed. Something so perfect that it comes out of the natural.
The term is used to name companies that, as successful, look like a myth or a fantasy. The unicorns, in the field of business, are emerging, technology-based companies, which in a very short time reach a quotation of more than one billion dollars. The founders are usually young entrepreneurs, who are transiting their “treintis”. Most have one or two partners who accompany them on the adventure. All were born or exploited in the 3.0 era and took advantage of the networks to develop. It also unites them that are “B2C” (business to consumer), that is, their commercial strategy points directly to a user or final consumer.
But what are the best-known unicorn companies?
Maybe international companies like Facebook and Twitter come to mind: you’re right. They are also unicorns Airbnb, Snapchat, Uber, We Work and Dropbox, among other fantastic monsters. But Latin America does not stay out of this corporate phenomenon because it has at least ten unicorn companies, and four are Argentine: Globant, MercadoLibre, Despegar and OLX.
Some fantastic stories
Globant is a company dedicated to software development. It was born in 2003, in a bar in Buenos Aires, when four friends came together with the vision of creating an Argentine company that would commercialize their digital experiences in the United States and the United Kingdom. Having faced the impossibility of an international career from their home cities – three of them are from La Plata and one from Mar del Plata – Martin Migoya, Guibert Englebieen, Martin Umaran and Néstor Nocetti decided that Globant would be where the talent. With that decision, Globant became a company of more than 7,200 employees with 37 offices in 12 countries, and with world-class clients such as Google, NatGeo and LinkedIn.
The story of Despegar tells that Roberto Souvirón had gone to do an MBA in the United States, when he came to visit Buenos Aires and found a bright idea. While waiting to get a ticket, he realized that tourism in Latin America had not yet been impacted by the Internet revolution. With a group of five friends, he made his startup start to operate in Argentina in 1999, and quickly reached other countries. Taking off gave the possibility to access travel easily and simply, and this allowed many more Latin Americans to start traveling. In 2009, the hotel offer was added, and in 2012 the mobile app was presented. Today, Despegar has offices in 20 countries and employs more than 3000 people. Every day, millions of users search, compare prices, plan and buy trips through its innovative system.
The startup MercadoLibre was founded in 1999 by Marcos Galperín and took its first steps together with a team of entrepreneurs who joined the dream of revolutionizing e-commerce in Latin America. It succeeded because it quickly became the main e-commerce ecosystem in the region. Today, it has more than 6000 employees and intends to double the team in three years. However, they maintain the spirit of startup and reinforce the values that in 2017 placed them among the three best multinational companies to work in Latin America.
Work on a unicorn
Unicorn companies stand out for generating an excellent working environment and for offering many benefits for employees. Being companies that are in permanent exponential growth, their opportunities are greater than those of other companies. Generally, they remain open to new proposals for professional development for employees and innovate in the work mechanisms, privileging flexibility. We tell you the main benefits:
They give you professional prestige because they are companies known for their agility, for anticipating the market, setting trends and generating the knowledge that others will later acquire.
They are dynamic places with great possibilities for learning and growth
They offer flexibility in schedules, vacations and in relation to the space where you work. More possibilities to manage your time.
They are advanced in the value proposition for the employee: because they are technologically advanced, they are always innovating, and that offers the possibility of a range of options linked to work development, connection with other people, learning, growth opportunities , internationalization and working in an entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Belonging to a project that is absolutely growing and innovating all the time has value for itself and gives you a lot of school.
They give you more days of leave for maternity and paternity, gradual return, and some even offer coaching and mentoring to women who are in that process and different schemes of assistance to recent parents.
3 unicorn girls
Jean Liu is Uber’s nightmare. And is that this 40-year-old Chinese creator managed to position the transport platform Didi Chuxing as the most important mobility app in the market of its country, that is, the largest in the world. Just to give you an idea: Didi Chuxing is in 400 cities in China, while Uber only managed to enter 50. Liu is the daughter of a leading Chinese banker, but his career developed on the other hand. He wanted to study computer science when in 1996 he read an interview with Bill Gates for the first time. Afterwards, he complemented his knowledge studying business. Currently, the valuation of his company reaches 56,000 million dollars.
Hooi Ling Tan is from Malaysia, he is 33 years old and in 2012 he created GrabTaxi, an app to take taxis that eventually was transformed into an “app to transport whatever”, now known as Grab, to dry. The creator of this app, the most used in her country, in Singapore, the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand, is the daughter of an engineer and an insurance saleswoman. Hooi prioritizes employing women in her company, but admits that 90% of engineers are men. “We need to express to women that this is possible and that we are looking for them,” he observes. Today, your company is worth $ 1.5 trillion. A visionary from Southeast Asia to the world.
Michelle Zatlyn, 37, grew up in Saskatchewan, a rural area of Canada. To be able to set up his company in the mecca of global startups, the United States, he had to overcome, mainly, migratory obstacles. He had no way to finance his visa or demonstrate how important was the project he had devised along with his American colleagues during his student days. The project was to develop an open source initiative to track online abuses and fraud. After exhausting laps, he succeeded. Her company, Cloudfare, today is valued at 1 trillion euros and, at the same time, she helps immigrant talents to unlock legal issues for entrepreneurs.