Cambridge, MA - Historically, Massachusetts has been among the few states in the nation to take the lead innovative advancements in finance, business, and technology. It's no surprise that Boston is home to a large population of "unicorns" -- tech startups that reach the billion dollar market value threshold.
You may have heard of many of these unicorn companies. Justine Hoffer in "Built In Boston" lists the top nine most familiar unicorns in Boston that we've all come across at some point: Wayfair, Athenahealth, Hubspot, TripAdvisior, Actifio, Akamai Technologies, Infinidat, SimpliVity and DraftKings.
Kelly J. O'Brien, the Technology reporter for the Boston Business Journal explains the rapid increase in the different start-ups that have successfully impacted the technology industry at large. Below is a snapshot of Kelly J. O'Brien's explanation of the recent progression of unicorns.
There are fewer unicorns in the biotech field compared to the general tech industry
In fact Intarcia and Therapeutics are the only two private companys that create drugs in Massachusetts; both of which are valued at more than $1 billion.
According to the 2018 "Unicorn Report" from PitchBook, the rise of tech unicorns is a trend across the United States, though dozens reside in Massachusetts. Such success rates stem from companies remaining in the private sector long enough to acquire debt and equity within the organization. Acitifio is an example of a corporation who resisted the pressures of going public and benefited from doing so increasing it's valuation to $1.3 billion.
Because of the rapid growth in the number of unicorn start-ups, the "unicorn" label has begun to lose it's value and has rather become common in nature. Chet Kanojia's Starry Inc., a start-up company in Massachusetts has kept their unicorn status a secret most likely because of the loss of relevance in the label.
The surge in the amount of tech unicorns brings many to wonder whether the economy will later be negatively impacted in the long run.