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Silicon Valley ‘Unicorns’ Valued At $1 Billion

According to new estimates, 100 start-up companies alone, operating out of Silicon Valley, are worth $1 billion. This is according to Andreessen Horowitz, one of Silicon Valley’s most venture-capital firms.

The new estimate as to the value of Silicon Valley’s top start-ups comes from a profile in Vanity Fair, designed to highlight the extent to which the area is booming.

Silicon Valley is the moniker for the southern portion of the San Francisco Bay Area ( “valley” refers to the Santa Clara Valley.) It hosts many of the world’s largest high-tech corporations, as well as thousands of tech startup companies.

The name given to the various start-ups is ‘unicorns.’ Start-ups are companies with an idea in search of capital investment. Sometimes the idea takes off and the companies make millions of dollars, and other times (and fairly often) they fall by the wayside.

Of these, Uber is the largest unicorn, with a valuation of more than $50 billion, according to the New York Times. This is a taxi app company that has recently been upsetting London’s black cabs by challenging their monopoly.

For those wishing to understand U.S. venture capital speak, bubbling below unicorns are ‘centaurs’, which are companies worth $100 million. Beneath them are ‘ponies’, valued at a ‘mere’ $10 million.

Much of the current estimate of the wealth of the companies is based on ideas and potential. It isn’t real money, rather a ‘bubble.’ Bubbles refer to trade in an asset at a price that strongly deviates from the corresponding asset’s intrinsic value; instead it is based on future or speculative worth. Invariably bubble burst; perhaps the biggest in recent times was the dot-com bubble that popped in the year 2000, sending global stock markets into free-fall.

About the author

Tim Sandle

Dr. Tim Sandle is a chartered biologist and holds a first class honours degree in Applied Biology; a Masters degree in education; and has a doctorate from Keele University.