Aileen Lee first coined the phrase “unicorn” in 2013. At that time, they really were a rare breed – fewer than 40 such firms existed. But a decade later there are more than a thousand unicorns – privately-held companies with billion-dollar-plus valuations worldwide.
With that in mind, let’s look at five of the most exciting unicorns in the forest of B2B tech in 2022. We’ll look at how their propositions stand apart – and how they’ve reached their prized status.
Miro – collaboration in and out of the office
HQ: San Francisco, USA
This visual collaboration platform allows creatives to work together when they’re not physically together. So when the pandemic kept workers apart for long stretches, Miro came into its own as a full-blown meeting facilitator.
Covid presented its developers with a host of problems as they hurried to cope with a phenomenal rise in demand. But Miro delivered – and investors certainly grasped the potential in April 2020 when Miro secured Series B funding, taking its valuation even closer to the $20 billion mark.
As the way we work continues to take on new and interesting shapes, platforms like Miro are breaking the mould, with a mix of video conferencing, presentation and workflow management tools – not to mention its integration with most other WFH tools.
Moglix – stitching the supply chain back together
Moglix is just seven years old but is well on the way to becoming a dominant force in industrial B2B. The Singapore unicorn provides everything from safety supplies to stationery on its vast ecommerce platform for a host of international customers including Unilever and Tata Steel.
But Moglix’ side hustle of procurement solutions has won friends too – revolutionising entire supply chains and creating huge efficiencies for their clients.
Not content with ramping up production of PPE during the pandemic, Moglix offered its services around the world, with the donation of 100,000 masks to health professionals in India and a £10 million donation towards multinational efforts to control the spread of the virus.
Ankorstore – local products, continental sellers
HQ: Paris, France
In 2019 Ankorstore spotted the opportunity to connect local retail with worldwide product availability – and created a continental community for wholesale e-commerce.
Now brands can extend the supply of their own locally-sourced, locally produced products across Europe by getting them into the hands of adventurous retailers looking to diversify their own retail offering, directly through Ankorstore.
As a meeting place for independent creators and retailers, Ankorstore is throwing smaller businesses a lifeline following the disruption of recent years, with simplified ordering processes and lower financial commitments. Having a $2 billion valuation is testament to the faith in the company’s vision for a global approach to retail diversification.
Clara – lending Latin America’s business a helping hand
HQ: Mexico City, Mexico
FinTech firm Clara is doing its bit to boost other Latin American businesses – and has itself reaped rich rewards. This corporate spend management specialist was the fastest ever company in the region to reach unicorn status, thanks to the investors who bought into its affordable tech solutions and ability to shred red tape.
With a $150 million debt facility secured from Goldman Sachs, Clara can take another step towards expansion in the region and help more businesses to balance their books by creating cost efficiencies.
Clara is leading the way for companies in a time and place where opportunity doesn’t necessarily grow on trees – and benefiting by championing their cause.
Shippo – solving shipping costs for small business
HQ: San Francisco
Shippo is levelling the playing field for small businesses and shippers. As small businesses grow, it complicates their ability to scale up operations to suit. Shippo connects these businesses through its API to shipping providers who can help them explore the costs and build unique, efficient relationships.
By reducing the cost of doing ongoing business with their shipping partners, SMBs can save significantly on budgets and potentially lower costs for customers, staying competitive and efficient.
Shippo started when founder Laura Behrens Wu was mulling over the shipping options for her own fledgling ecommerce company – now she’s disrupting the entire industry.
Your bonus ‘soonicorn’…
So much for some of the companies who’ve already made it big. Here’s just one of the exciting B2B technology challenger firms that we expect to achieve unicorn status very soon.
Employment Hero – championing efficiency in HR
Employment Hero has already made a one-of-a-kind impact in the working world.
This HR and payroll platform is designed to automate the processes around people management – paying their wages, tracking benefits and more. Users in Australia report reducing the time they spend on processing payroll by 60%, and people management by 80%.
These sorts of time savings can allow people teams to focus on other areas of their role, supporting colleagues and making more personal contributions to the success of the business.
Lessons for would-be unicorns
With our look at some of the highest-valued B2B tech startups complete, one thing has become clear: for many recent additions to the unicorn club, showing resilience and drive in the face of financial uncertainties caused by a pandemic helped them to thrive.
Where a business can show there’s value in its proposition and no limit to the potential of the tech it touts – especially while steadying the ship through tumultuous times like these – it’s taking the quickest route towards unicorn status.
Fox Agency creates opportunity for fast-scaling global B2B tech brands – if you’re looking to enter new markets, grow market share, raise investment or drive demand, get in touch.