We are excited to announce that Mattermark has re-launched as an independent company! Learn More →
Back to All Articles  |  Editorial

Here’s What To Call A Stumbling Unicorn

tl;dr: The market forecast is cloudy with a chance of horses.

Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 11.27.57 AM

Recently on Mattermark we took a look at companies slouching towards the $1 billion valuation mark, but from the wrong direction. You want to hit $1 billion on your way up. Not on your way down.

Billon dollar companies are unicorns. Dead unicorns are unicorpses. This begs the question: What do you call a company that falls below a $1 billion valuation, but isn’t dead? We need a new term.

I posited the term ‘non-icorn,’ and immediately hated it. It is a terrible, if obvious phrase. I asked for help, and was not let down. After reviewing quite a few tweets from you, the Mattermark Cool Kids, I have selected a winner: A non-icorn is a horse.

Bear with me. According to my encyclopedic comprehension of fantastic beasts, a unicorn is a horse with a pointy bit up front. There was some other stuff about unicorns in the first Harry Potter novel, but let’s not mire ourselves today with literary fiction .

If a unicorn is a horse with a spike, when you take the spike off you just have a horse. 

Also, horses are alive, kicking, and still quite useful. So too can a non-icorn horse still command value. Hell, it could reverse its fortunes, and climb back over the $1 billion mark. We’ll need a term later on for companies that go unicorn, then horse, avoid becoming a unicorpse, and then unicorn again.

Re-nicorn? Someone stop me.

Join thousands of business professionals reading the Mattermark Daily newsletter. A daily digest of timely, must-read posts by investors and operators.

Featured Image via Flickr user John Liu under CC BY 2.0. Image has been cropped.
© Mattermark 2024. Sources: Mattermark Research, Crunchbase, AngelList.