10 startups that became worth billions in record time

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10 startups that became worth billions in record time

In the startup world, the odds of a company achieving a valuation of $1 billion or more is considered so slim, it's named after a mythical beast - the unicorn.

In the entire US, there are just 135 private companies that are valued at over a billion dollars or more. Of those, only ten became so-called unicorns in less than three years, setting the speed record for all the rest.

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This list, based on data from Pitchbook, rounds up all of the companies in the US that hit the $1 billion valuation mark in record time.

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Desktop Metal is a 3D metal printing company that is hoping to make metal printing more accessible for manufacturers and engineers.

Desktop Metal is a 3D metal printing company that is hoping to make metal printing more accessible for manufacturers and engineers.

Year founded: 2015

How long it took to become a unicorn: 1 year, 9 months

Total raised: $277 million

Currently valued at: $1 billion

Cancer detection startup Grail has received investments from Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates.

Cancer detection startup Grail has received investments from Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates.

Year founded: 2016

How long it took to become a unicorn: 1 year, 9 months

Total raised: $1.38 billion

Estimated current value: $2.5 billion

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Smartphone maker Essential was founded by Android creator Andy Rubin.

Smartphone maker Essential was founded by Android creator Andy Rubin.

Year founded: 2015

How long it took to become a unicorn: 1 year, 11 months

Total raised: $330 million

Estimated current value: $1 billion

Letgo is an online marketplace for used goods.

Letgo is an online marketplace for used goods.

Year founded: 2015

How long it took to become a unicorn: 2 years

Total raised: $475 million

Estimated current value: $1 billion

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Zoox is one of the top-funded autonomous driving car companies in the US.

Zoox is one of the top-funded autonomous driving car companies in the US.

Year founded: 2014

How long it took to become a unicorn: 2 years

Total raised: $302 million

Estimated current value: $3.5 billion

Source: Bloomberg

Michael Marks served as an interim CEO at Tesla before founding his own construction-supply company, Katerra.

Michael Marks served as an interim CEO at Tesla before founding his own construction-supply company, Katerra.

Year founded: 2015

How long it took to become a unicorn: 2 years, 1 month

Total raised: $1.1 billion

Estimated current value: $3 billion

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Illumio provides a cloud-based data security service to businesses.

Illumio provides a cloud-based data security service to businesses.

Year founded: 2013

How long it took to become a unicorn: 2 years, 3 months

Total raised: $267 million

Estimated current value: $1.2 billion

Grocery delivery service Instacart connects food retailers with hungry customers.

Grocery delivery service Instacart connects food retailers with hungry customers.

Year founded: 2012

How long it took to become a unicorn: 2 years, 4 months

Total raised: $1 billion

Currently valued at: $4.4 billion

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Opendoor lets homeowners list their houses for sale on its online real estate marketplace.

Opendoor lets homeowners list their houses for sale on its online real estate marketplace.

Year founded: 2014

How long it took to become a unicorn: 2 years, 8 months

Total raised: $320 million

Currently valued at: $1 billion

Airbnb lets homeowners rent out their properties to short-term vacationers.

Airbnb lets homeowners rent out their properties to short-term vacationers.

Year founded: 2008

How long it took to become a unicorn: 2 years, 11 months

Total raised: $3.4 billion

Currently valued at: $31 billion

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