The billion dollar question: How can more Irish companies achieve unicorn status?

Ireland is punching well above its weight in the global technology sector, with companies such as Workhuman and Intercom among those classed as ‘unicorns’ – firms valued at $1 billion or more. And while there are impediments to growth, that number seems set to increase

The term unicorn was coined in a 2013 blogpost by Aileen Lee, a venture capitalist, who used it to describe privately-owned companies valued at a billion dollars or more by investors. Picture: Getty

It was 2005 in New York state, and Jonathan Hyland had stepped into a glass box in a deserted car park with his colleagues and their wheelie bags. There were no signs, no indications of where they should go, but there was a lift and it had one button to press: down.

The group descended five storeys underground where, defying understanding, they entered a five-star enclave surrounded by a luscious garden with beautifully manicured lawns ...