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The Fintechs Proving Unicorns Can Happen in Under a Year

Achieving unicorn status is a major milestone for any fintech capable of reaching this feat. With this in mind, a new study has revealed the industry players to reach the $1billion valuation mark the fastest.

Data from the price comparison website Utility Bidder has listed the fintech unicorns to have broken through the $1billion ceiling the fastest.

Figures also discuss the most valuable fintechs and their origins, revealing the top destination for the fintech unicorn crowd. So who’s at the top of the list?

Pacaso – 174 days

Pacaso took the crown for the quickest company to become a unicorn company, taking less than half a year to reach unicorn status.

Founded in October 2020, the San Francisco-based property broker’s valuation topped $1billion within five short months of operation. As top of this list, its crowning was partially expedited by its $75million equity financing of March 2021. This was in addition to securing $1billion in debt financing.

Its Maveron-led series A which set its foundation at launch raised an initial $17million in conjunction with $250million in debt financing.

The company has subsequently expanded its operations to Spain.

Magic Eden – 277 days

In second place, Magic Eden crossed the $1billion mark at just nine months old. The Solana non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace launched in September 2021, and reached unicorn status in June last year. This was after its $130million series B round co-led by Electric Capital and Greylock Partners, which followed a $27million series A the previous March.

Magic Eden currently mints around 50,000 NFTs a day and is responsible for 92 per cent of all Solana-based NFT volume.

Zebec – 301 days

Zebec completes the top three, taking 301 days to achieve unicorn status after it was founded in November 2021.

It’s a programmable cash flow protocol based on the Solana network and is headquartered in the US. The company announced unicorn status in August 2022 amid a notable drop in new unicorns at the time.

Its August funding round increased its valuation past $1billion, led by Circle Ventures, Shima and Resolute. This was in addition to a $15million funding round the February previous, with Zebec securing a cool $42.5million in funding to date.

The American dream

In addition to the top three, the data also pinpoints where on the map these fintechs are based. Not only are all three American companies, but each is headquartered in sunny San Francisco.

As anticipated by The Fintech Times, Silicon Valley has come to prove itself as a west coast wonder of fintech innovation.

The city’s defining start-up community are following in the footsteps of fintech’s biggest success stories (Credit Karma, Coinbase and the most valuable unicorn of all Stripe); as Utility Bidder’s data indicates. It’s no wonder then that nine of the 10 biggest fintech companies in the US are based in the region.


  • Tyler is a fintech journalist with specific interests in online banking and emerging AI technologies. He began his career writing with a plethora of national and international publications.

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