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The Urban Legend of the Unicorn

The Unicorn, a mythical animal typically represented as a horse with a single straight horn projecting from its forehead. It is also a term in the U.S. investment and venture capital industry that denotes a start-up company—originally and often software-focused, but now more inclusive of other sectors—whose valuation has exceeded the somewhat arbitrary value of $1 billion.

Currently, as of January 2016 there are 156 Unicorns of which 11 are Decacorns (with a $10Bil+ valuation). The most prominent members of this exclusive club are the likes of Uber, Pininterest and Snapchat/ (See techcrunch http://techcrunch.com/unicorn-leaderboard/ )

Predictably, the majority are rooted in the US with 99/156, however China represents 28/156 and India7/156. Combined these 3 countries represent 86% of 2015’s slate! However, a close inspection of the upcoming unicorns holds a very different story. Of the 32 companies approaching a valuation of $1B the overwhelming majority are from the US. 29/32. Whilst only 1 harks from china. This is trend is also reflected in recently exited Unicorns(Sold through acquisition/ IPO) where only one harks from China(Alibaba).

This trend would suggest that China has applied proven Digital Models with great success which have been largely perfected in the innovative US market, however are less skilled in innovating new original start-ups themselves.

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