The entrepreneurship zoo (2)

After a brief break in our tent, dreaming of unicorns and their relatives, we will continue our safari in the jungle of entrepreneurship. Let’s begin with our second round of discoveries:

Eagle: companies with a powerful and innovative business model. They don’t need operating costs. If the company maintains its differentiating factors, it could evolve into a rhinoceros and, to a lesser extent, into a unicorn.

Horse: companies with a highly innovative business model but which require high start-up costs.  They are usually agile and adaptable to their environment.  Their survival is highly conditioned by finding the right investors.

Camel: companies capable of maintaining their activity regardless of access to financing or not. In other words, they can overcome “desert” phases where financing may be scarce using their revenues. On many occasions, camel companies are opposed to startups (companies that need successive rounds of their own and third-party funding to survive). 

Zebra: companies that focus on profitability rather than market dominance.

Green Zebra: Variant of zebras companies. Besides focusing on profitability, these companies aim to improve society and build sustainable businesses. Any startup company presenting a sustainability-based model can fit into this type of company. 

Pig: companies that develop their product and service as economically as possible. Their goal is to “fatten” their model to sell the company in the short/medium term to a competitor/corporate. Large companies such as Apple, Google or Facebook regularly buy such companies to integrate them into their business model.

Cockroach: profitable companies that have not impressive numbers and are not very conspicuous. They take care of their business model. This model relies on obtaining adequate profitability, considering flexibility and efficiency are more important than size. Many of the most significant and representative SMEs in the productive fabric and the most important generators of employment generation in Europe are like such.

Elephant: large companies in terms of size. Although they do not have significant growth, they tend to be very stable.

Beetle: companies founded by visionaries who convince their investors that their idea is much more valuable than the rest. This type of company has neither the necessary testing of its model nor a developed MVP. Their survival depends too much on the vision of their creator.

Phoenix: companies over 100 years old that experienced growth and decline during this period and managed to survive. Nowadays, there is a trend of opinion considering that companies should seek longevity (phoenix) rather than a high valuation (unicorn). Family companies that have managed to reinvent themselves after the passing of different generations are a clear example of this type of company.

Gazelle: small or medium-sized companies with more than ten employees that accumulate a turnover growth of more than 75% for three consecutive years thanks to innovation. The companies that later became unicorns, such as Amazon or Facebook, probably identified in their origins with this type of company.

Ant: companies managed by technicians with great training and intelligence. These companies believe that customers will feel attracted to their products because of their excellence and differential value. Therefore, they do not spend on marketing. Its survival rate is usually low.

Bear: companies that want to be independent and do not accept venture capital money. The North American company, Go-Pro, did not raise venture capital funds until its IPO and could be an example of this type of company.

Mouse: companies that tend to remain small.

Rhinoceros: companies that aim not only to grow but also to be profitable. Its valuation usually relies on profits rather than revenue or GMV (a characteristic aspect of unicorn valuation). Even though they may be similar in valuation to unicorns, they are a rarer type than unicorns.

The jungle is tremendously populated. However, we must stop our exploration. There are, for sure, many more species, but it would be pretentious to try to cover all the varieties. In any case, this has been an interesting approach to different species of companies, startups and perfect material to guide our investments in the companies we are interested in.

oscar valles
Oscar Valles
CRO de Fellow Funders

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