Bootstrapped Unicorns Do Exist

While it doesn’t happen that often, Bootstrapped Unicorns do exist.

My 2014 Entrepreneur Journeys book, Billion Dollar Unicorns, has a whole section on this topic. You can read an excerpt on my blog titled Bootstrapped Unicorns. In this piece, I discuss three companies, Zoho, eClinicalWorks, and Veeam, that have bootstrapped to about a billion dollars in revenues.

Revenues NOT valuation.

That puts their valuations in the five to ten billion range or beyond. So they are Unicorns (billion dollar valuation) many times over.

You can also read an interview with Sridhar Vembu of Zoho here that describes the early journey of the company: Happily Bootstrapping: Zoho CEO Sridhar Vembu.

I interviewed him again some years later on Thought Leaders in Cloud Computing: Sridhar Vembu, CEO of Zoho.

You can read an interview with Girish Navani of eClinicalWorks on his early journey here: Built To Enjoy: eClinicalWorks CEO Girish Navani

I also interviewed him again some years later on Thought Leaders in Healthcare IT: Girish Navani, CEO of eClinicalWorks

Girish was also at one of our roundtables where he described his journey. You can listen to the recording here:

You can read about Ratmir Timashev’s journey here: Unicorn in the Making: Veeam CEO Ratmir Timashev. Veeam DID become a Unicorn and has raised Private Equity funding.

Ratmir was also at one of our roundtables where he describing his journey. You can listen to the recording here:

Bootstrap First, Raise Money Later, Build an EdTech Unicorn from Canada: John Baker, CEO of D2L

Bootstrapping a Billion Dollar Unicorn in Online Real Estate: Auction.com CEO Jeff Frieden

Bootstrapping a Billion Dollar Unicorn with Services from Utah: Dave Elkington, CEO of InsideSales.com

Best of Bootstrapping: Alteryx Bootstrapped with Services to a Public Unicorn

AI Unicorn ZipRecruiter First Bootstrapped, then Raised Money

Billion Dollar Unicorns: Celonis Bootstrapped First, Raised Money Later

Bootstrapped Unicorn: Qualtrics Founders Walk Away with $7 Billion

Billion Dollar Unicorns: CarGurus Bootstraps its Way to an IPO

Billion Dollar Unicorns: Adyen Bootstraps to Multi-Billion Valuations

Billion Dollar Unicorns: eClinicalWorks Bootstraps With A Paycheck

Looking For Some Hands-On Advice?

For entrepreneurs who want to discuss their specific businesses with me, I’m very happy to assess your situation during my free online 1Mby1M Roundtables, held almost every week. You can also check out our free Bootstrapping Course, our Udemy courses, YouTube channel, podcast interviews with VCs and Founders, and learn what to expect from 1Mby1M here.

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