Canadian messaging app Kik raised $50 million from Chinese internet company Tencent

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“Unicorns” Aren’t As Rare As They Used To Be

Hamburg, 28.08.2015 – Earlier this week, the Canadian messaging app Kik raised $50 million from Chinese internet company Tencent. The funding round was completed at a valuation of $1 billion, making Kik the latest entrant to the prestigious, if fictitious, “Unicorn Club” of startups reaching a valuation of $1 billion or higher before going public.

In the past, only very few startups managed to reach that milestone – hence the term unicorn – but in recent years it has become more and more common for young tech companies to reach lofty valuations. According to The Wall Street Journal there are currently 113 private companies with billion-dollar valuations, up from just 42 in early 2014.

It remains to be seen if the current trend continues or whether we are about to witness a market correction, but one thing seems clear: if the trend goes on and the number of billion-dollar startups keeps growing at the current rate, we may have to start calling them horses.

This chart shows the number of privately held companies with a valuation of $1 billion or higher.

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