The Differences Between Unicorn, Decacorn, and Hectocorn

May 24, 2022

What is the differences between decacorn, unicorn, and hectocorn startup company?

With the development of technology and the ever-changing consumer behaviors, the number of new startup companies keeps increasing. According to the latest data from Startup Ranking (, with its 2,188 startup companies, Indonesia is ranked 5th as the country with the highest number of startups.

There are several terms for startup companies, but some of the most important being “unicorn”, “decacorn” and “hectocorn”. These terms have been universally used for quite some time, but do people know what they actually stand for? Do people know what is a decacorn, unicorn, and hectocorn?

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The Differences Between Unicorn, Decacorn, and Hectocorn Startup

Gojek startup

Source: Pexels

What is unicorn? The term “unicorn” was first coined in 2013 by Aileen Lee, the founder of Cowboy Ventures, a US-based seed-stage venture capital firm. In a TechCrunch article Welcome to The Unicorn Club: Learning from Billion-Dollar Startups (2013), she named a startup company valued at US $1 Billion or more as a unicorn.

Then, what is decacorn startup company? It is a term for a company valued at more than US $10 Billion, while hectocorn status is used for a company valued over US $100 Billion.

Rather than being derived from its past years’ performances, the valuations that lead to startup companies becoming unicorns, decacorns and hectocorns stem from their growth opportunities and expected development for their potential market. Valuations for startups could also come from funding rounds of venture capital firms. Valuations of startup companies could also be considered from the numbers that are given when a much larger company buys them out.

Read also: 5 Outstanding Female Investors and Entrepreneurs from Indonesia

Unicorns and Decacorn Startup Company in Indonesia

The Differences Between Unicorn, Decacorn, and Hectocorn

Source: Kompas

According to the data provided by CB Insights, there are more than 450 unicorn and 24 decacorn companies across the globe. The United States is the largest contributor to those numbers with 214 unicorns and 11 decacorns, followed by China with 115 unicorns and 6 decacorns.

The numbers of next level unicorn and decacorn companies that the US and China have are vastly different compared to other countries, as the third rank goes to the United Kingdom with 23 unicorns and 1 decacorn.

Despite not having as many unicorn and decacorn companies as the three countries above, Indonesia’s startup ecosystem is not one to be trifled with. Indonesia is one of the fastest growing countries in Southeast Asia in terms of digital economy and amongst the most active users of smartphones in the world. Followed by the growing number of startups that keep offering new ideas and innovations, Indonesia continues to show great potential in being highly competitive among other countries.

Read also: Top 24 Venture Capitals & Angel Investors in Singapore

traveloka startup

Source: Traveloka

This is also proven by the emergence of several companies from Indonesia who bear the unicorn and decacorn status, all application-based and are always innovative in providing the best service for its users.

Read also: Early Startup Funding Stages: Explained From Seed to IPO

Based on DailySocial’s data that released in early 2022, the number of Indonesian unicorn companies currently reaches 12. Here is the list:

1. Ajaib

An investment application that makes it easy for users to invest in stocks and mutual funds online.

2. Kopi Kenangan

A modern coffee company that is growing fast and already has many branches in Indonesia.

3. GoTo

The company resulting from the merger between Gojek and Tokopedia. Combines on-demand services, e-commerce, and financial services.

4. Traveloka

Southeast Asia’s leading online platform providing a wide range of access to travel bookings;

5. Bukalapak

An online marketplace where local users can buy and sell goods between each other.

6. OVO

A digital platform for simple payments and financial services;

7. Kredivo

This fintech startup under the auspices of PT FinAccel Teknologi Indonesia provides online loan or credit services.

8. Blibli

An e-commerce platform from Indonesia with a business model that focuses on B2B, B2C, and B2B2C.

9. Xendit

Payment service provider company in Indonesia that facilitates various transactions.

10. Tiket

An online travel agency (OTA) startup company that sells ticket booking services.

11. J&T Express

An expedition or delivery service that is able to serve delivery within the city, between cities and between provinces.


This e-commerce company is part of which is headquartered in Beijing. China.

That’s an explanation of the differences between unicorn, decacorn, and hectocorn startups, and their respective meanings.