Unicorns & Digital Disruptive Leaders

Unicorns & Digital Disruptive Leaders

By Geoff De Weaver, CEO + Founder of Touchpoint Entertainment Inc.  https://geoffdeweaver.com/

I think you know from reading my posts, I am passionate about: innovation, disruption, all things digital and especially Unicorns! (“Unicorns” = companies that have a $1 billion valuation or higher, based on fundraising.) Today’s digital leaders and innovators are amazing – a rare combination of talent, creativity and a hunger to succeed, it’s a fierce and intimidating concoction.

The curated leader board below, is of private companies with post-money valuations of $1 billion or more (e.g. Unicorns) and is based on both CB Insights NY and CrunchBase data.

The Unicorn club is exploding in size, with over 153 companies joining the list, with some US $78.7 Billion total amount raised to date. Collectively, Unicorns are creeping close to half-trillion dollars in valuation. With California, New York and Chinese companies leading the assault. (And in spite of Silicon Valley insiders’ fears of a tech bubble,  that number doesn’t seem to be declining.)

The number of mega-rounds of funding, which are defined as worth more than $US100 million, has risen 125% from a year ago. Companies like: Uber, Xiaomi, Airbnb, Palantir Technologies and DraftKings were among those who raised 37 $US100 million mega-rounds in the past four months.

Tech’s Unicorns have been breeding — but they’re not making exits in the form of IPOs, possibly because it’s been so easy to raise private capital in 2015.

Seed investments have dipped, and are at a five-quarter low, CB Insights says. This may be due to an influx of late-stage deals and fewer IPO exits than in previous years.

While the US has seen the highest number of new billion-dollar valuations in recent quarters, Asia has seen several quarters with an influx of new entrants including nine in Q2’15. Europe has been slower to produce Unicorn companies, seeing just three companies reach a billion-dollar valuation in Q2’15.

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The Increasingly Crowded Unicorn Club – Today’s leaders with over Total Cumulative Valuation: $529 B Top

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The last couple of months, there have even been an increasing noise and rumors among insiders about a growing tech bubble. Investors are worried that fast-growing start-ups have been too reliant on easy venture capital for too long. And importantly, their customer acquisition costs are way too high, their customer and user growth numbers are increasing because they’re depending on VC funding to help them expand into new markets, and all the while they’re bleeding cash.

Some of the Leading Unicorn Companies as of November 2015

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In fact, there’s been a lot of talk coming out of Silicon Valley lately about fast growing companies with high valuations that are going to face problems in the coming year(s).

Bill Gurley (General Partner at Benchmark, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm in Menlo Park, California.) said this recently: “I do think you’ll see some dead Unicorns this year” and, Mike Moritz (Partner at Silicon Valley venture capital firm Sequoia Capital.) said this recently: “There are a considerable number of Unicorns that will become extinct.”

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Observations of Unicorns & digital disruptors:

  • The majority understand the powerful role of Apps and their software.
  • All understand intuitively, that they must master both digital customer experience and digital operational  
  • Research highlights that digital disruptors are almost four times to strongly agree ‘We need to become more of an app-centric, software driven business’. Most of the Unicorns also primarily view themselves and core business as a software company.
  • All Unicorns have learned to thrive as part of a wider digital ecosystem.
  • They all have a deep insight into customer-centric data and metrics.
  • Unicorns focus intensely on modern software development and delivery methods. E.g. being more agile – techniques and methods.
  • All exploit API’s for Internet speed and efficiency e.g. back-office, apps, full-function web apps, etc.
  • Lead with digital channels to customers e.g. social networks, Internet of Things, mobile technology, wearable technology, etc.
  • Digital Disruptors embrace themobile mind shift to serve customers in their moments of need e.g. Mobile First mindset.
  • All management teams ‘get’ digital is no longer tactical – it’s a core part of business strategy.
  • Unicorns are more willing to experiment and fail quickly.
  • Unicorns use digital to drive core business effectiveness and efficiency at a much higher rate than ‘mainstream’ companies.
  • Unicorns invest in 3X more in streamlining their business operations.
  • Unicorns own the relationship, not the costs.
  • Business model innovation expedites their disruption.
  • And, all members of the executive team instill to all staff, the vital importance of ‘cross-touchpoint’ insights necessary to drive success in the age of the customer.

Today’s Unicorns and digital disruptors are more agile and capable than any earlier time in business. Their new business models and digital technologies empower customers like never before, transforming their relationship with brands and products.

The speed with which consumers embrace these new ‘touchpoints’ is only getting faster, more digitally disruptive and ‘bushwhacking’ traditional firms that struggle to adapt.

As I have said many times before, Amazon, Facebook, WhatsApp, Netflix, and PayPal, firms that seemingly come from nowhere and rise to become significant global forces in a matter of years are changing todays business landscape.

Take notice, anticipate the future, because if you don’t, you will be disrupted and potentially be forgotten. Anticipate and transform today or be prepared to become road-kill.


Stay passionate




More About Geoff De Weaver:


Hailing originally from New York; Geoff De Weaver is the globally experienced entrepreneur, technology disruptor, trend hunter and keynote speaker behind Touchpoint Entertainment Inc. Geoff is an international business executive with 25+ years experience on five continents in the rapidly-changing media, digital, telecommunications, communications and entertainment industries.

Geoff has a global 25-year background of representing some of the world’s most iconic worldwide brands including: Coca Cola, IBM, IMG, P&G, Microsoft, Nike, British Airways, Wells Fargo, EA Sports, MasterCard, Shutterfly.com, EA.com, E*Trade, Nestle, Air France, AT&T, VISA, Unilever, EA.com, Ferrari, American Express, P&G, Trend Micro, Acer Computers, BMW, Shutterfly.com, Mars, Pfizer, TiVo, EarthLink Internet, American Express, Telstra, Weight Watchers and others.

As CEO + Founder of Touchpoint Entertainment Inc., the ‘next-generation’  Social Media Marketing, Big Data and Live Event Company – streams live to over 1.55 Billion  fans globally and delivers authentic brand experiences worldwide.  I help brands bridge the gap between CONTENT, COMMUNITY + COMMERCE. and delivers authentic brand experiences worldwide. Geoff also has comfort in operating in a truly  globalized markets.

C-Level, Marketing Strategy, Digital and Communications Leader with Global Experience – including: US (New York City + San Francisco), Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Italy, Germany, Brazil, South Korea, Columbia, Finland, Hong Kong, Mexico, Netherlands, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, China, Indonesia and Canada. Geoff has served as a non-executive director, director and advisory boards.

  • Geoff has served as a non-executive director, director and advisory boards
  • Top 0.5% Worldwide on Twitter Globally
  • Top 1% Influencer on LinkedIn and 32+ million network on LinkedIn worldwide
  • Top 1% Most Viewed Profiles on LinkedIn (400+ million members)
  • Geoff is a Digital Pioneer, Data-Driven, Entrepreneur, Business Coach + Innovator.
  • Transformative, Innovation & Digital Disruption – CONTENT, COMMUNITY + COMMERCE

Feel free to get in touch with Geoff for further information:

You might enjoy this recent posts too:

Does Disruption Resonate with your Board? https://geoffdeweaver.com/does-disruption-resonate-with-your-board/ 


The Ten Commandments of the Digital Age https://geoffdeweaver.com/the-10-commandments-in-the-digital-age/



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