Startups are usually innovative businesses that are mostly technology-driven and at a point in time, they are expected to scale. At such stage, they attain a level of financial valuation, which puts them in the league of successful Startups.
A large percentage of Startups, however, do not attain such margin in financial valuation to enable them to be classified as successful. In simple terms, there are just a few successful Startups in the world.
Companies or Startups that are privately held with a value of over $1 billion are referred to as Unicorn Startups or companies.
More than 190 unicorns exist in the world today with, Uber, Didi Xu Ching, Xiomi, Meituan Diaping, and Airbnb, leading the mix, with an average of 4, given birth to, every year.
Coming down to Africa, CBInsights, a research group, listed three startups turned African unicorn that have crossed the $1billion financial valuation mark. The companies are Jumia Group, Cell C and Promasidor Holdings.
What has made these startups fall into the African unicorn league?
- They have effectively applied disruptive innovation
- They have leveraged the first mover advantage
- Their products and services are consumer-focused
- They have capitalized on a paradigm shift in technology
The company is an online retail store for household electronics, mobile gadgets, fashion wears and a host of other products. Jumia as an African unicorn is currently valued at $1.044 billion.
The company is spread across 14 countries on the continent of Africa. Reports have it that, Jumia is set in preparing to float IPO on the New York Stock Exchange, sometime this year.
Jumia’s investors include Goldman Sachs, MTN Group Ghana and Orange.
Across 30 African countries, Promasidor Holdings supplies nutritional and affordable food products. Dairy products, beverages, and food enhancement products are some of its many supplies.
The company is the organizer of the annual Cowbell Mathematics competition in Nigeria. Its valuation currently stands at $1.593 billion as an African unicorn and its major investor is the International Finance Corporation.
Cell C, a South African based company, provides mobile services and products in the country. In early 2000, the Startup has increased its customer base through lower termination rates.
Cell C is currently valued at $1 billion as an African unicorn, with Blue Label Telecoms as its major investor.
Since 2001, Cell C has increased its customer base, pushing various regulatory changes, such as lower and asymmetrical mobile termination rates.