As of June 2022, there are more than 1,100 private companies with a valuation in excess of $1 billion. Over 500 of these companies passed this threshold in 2021. Commonly referred to as unicorns, these companies tend to make their mark by disrupting their industries, which often involves developing a new technology or tackling an underserved market.
To give you more insight into the problems these companies are solving and the impact they are making on the world, we’ve compiled a list of 5 key challenges that unicorn companies from 2021 are currently working to address.
1. Managing a global workforce
This problem is obvious. If you’re a growth-oriented international company, there’s a good chance you’re already managing a global workforce. The challenges of administrating such a massive enterprise, which may consist of thousands of employees, are well documented. It is a Herculean task and requires a lot of human resources.
Ensuring regulatory compliance across different states and national jurisdictions, managing inconsistent data accuracy and protection standards, and maintaining a uniform approach to corporate governance and risk management across the globe are just a few of the challenges that come with managing an international workforce.
One of the companies tackling the complexities of global workforce management is Papaya. Offering a global payroll platform that has been built from the ground up to streamline, scale, and secure the management of payroll inputs, human resources information, onboarding pipelines, and compliance safeguards. With headquarters in Israel, Papaya is now valued at over $3.7 billion.
2. Cyber security
Cyber security is an ongoing battle for high-value companies. The proliferation of advanced malware and the sophistication of modern cyberattacks are forcing companies to invest more in their cybersecurity strategies and resources. The costs associated with a breach can be devastating, not only in the immediate sense but also in the long-term potential for reputational damage and loss of customer trust.
One of many cybersecurity firms attempting to tackle the challenge is Transmit Security, another unicorn based out of Israel. Boasting a valuation of more than $2.74 billion, Transmit Security’s programmable authentication platform allows business customers to displace their clunky password-based security protocols with a suite of more advanced data protection mechanisms, from voice biometrics to multi-factor digital credentials.
3. Business intelligence
Business intelligence is a critical component of any high-value company’s digital analytics infrastructure. The ability to analyze information in real-time, present the results in a user-friendly format, and make data-driven decisions is a critical capability that allows organizations to mitigate risk, optimize processes and operations, and ultimately, maximize revenue and profitability.
However, the amount of data that needs to be analyzed to make appropriately informed decisions is increasing at a staggering rate. The ability to sift through data quickly and accurately is what sets the most advanced business intelligence platforms apart from the rest.
While there’s no shortage of companies offering big data analytics services, one of the standouts from 2021 is Relativity, a US-based SaaS firm with a valuation around the $3.6 billion mark.
Relativity’s cloud-based software automates, structures, and contextualizes internal business data from a range of applications. Initially designed to optimize legal challenges and electronic discovery requests, Relativity can be adapted for many other uses, including fraud detection, compliance, risk management, and customer relations management.
4. Supply chain logistics
Ever since the pandemic hit, supply chain logistics has been front and center in the public’s eye. Pandemic-induced pressures continue to expose vulnerabilities in the global logistics system, revealing a lack of standardization, geographic and infrastructure fragmentation, and fragile information flows between key global supply chain partners.
Based out of the US, Project44 is a fast-growing enterprise cloud company worth $2.62 billion. The company’s proprietary network API tools facilitate the collection and storage of real-time synchronous data across multiple supply chain processes, boosting collaboration and connectivity between suppliers, e-commerce businesses, logistics fulfillment services, and transport companies.
5. Remote education
The education market is another industry in the midst of a disruptive shift due to the effects of the pandemic. Traditional brick-and-mortar institutions are being overtaken by online or hybrid models that offer more flexibility, convenience, and affordability. While many companies offer remote education services, only a handful of the most highly valued is positioned to capitalize on the business opportunity.
One such company is Masterclass, a freshly minted US unicorn valued at more than $2.75 billion. The company’s flagship product is an online learning platform that provides on-demand access to curated instructors and high-quality courses from business leaders, celebrities, and thought leaders. The platform has a strong following among millennials and is consistently rated one of the most popular remote education platforms on social media.
The Bottom Line
The pandemic’s impact on the business landscape will be felt for many years to come, and the current economic climate has only reinforced the need for companies to continually reinvent their value proposition.
Unicorns are well-positioned to capitalize on this disruption because they have a clear understanding of the needs of their customer base and a clear vision for how to meet those needs. But in order to achieve the next level of success, these companies must continue to innovate, embrace change, and evolve their business model.
Ultimately, the companies that succeed in this unprecedented environment will be the ones that are equipped to navigate the myriad challenges that still face their industry and those that adapt the quickest.