Financial Efficiency of Unicorns: Regional and Sector Related Aspects
Keywords:unicorns, financial efficiency, IPO, business sector, region
The curiosity of how startups become unicorns is increasing. Only one-fifth of unicorns operating in the world trade their shares publicly. Financial data from the balance sheets and profit (loss) statements of 97 unicorns, which had IPOs between 2009-2018, was collected with the aim to analyse what specific characteristics of financial ratios over a particular IPO related period can be identified for unicorns operating in different regions and sectors. ANOVA was used to analyse the financial efficiency from different perspectives: (I) the financial profile of a unicorn, (II) the financial efficiency of a unicorn based on the business sector (Software; Products and Services; Technology; Internet and Healthcare sectors), and (III) the financial efficiency of a unicorn based on the region of origin (US+, Europe and Asia). Research showed that unicorns are mostly financed by investors, but remain unprofitable. Positive profitability was found in Europe, and the highest liquidity - in Healthcare sector.