The Term Startup Zebra Arises: What does It Mean?

Startups based on digital technology platforms have proliferated in the last decade, both in Indonesia and the world. Data from the Indonesian Information and Communication Technology Creative Industry Society (MIKTI) shows that by the end of 2021, there will be 1,190 startups in the country.

The majority, or 39.59 percent, are in the Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, and Bekasi (Jabodetabek) areas, totaling 481 startups. Now, the term Zebra startup has even emerged. What’s that? Here’s the information!

What is a Startup?

A startup is a young company founded to develop a unique service or product. Rooted in innovation, a startup aims to create completely new categories of goods and services or correct the shortcomings of existing products. Some examples of large companies that used to be startups are Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google.

Startup Levels You Need to Know

The startup tier is determined based on its valuation. The valuation figure is used to measure the company’s business potential. Valuation itself is the economic value of a company. For example, if a startup has an Rp. 1 trillion valuation, those who want to acquire the startup must pay as much as Rp. 1 trillion.

The startup valuation figure will increase as more funding is obtained. The high value of the valuation has excellent prospects to be able to attract many investors. Based on the valuation figures, here are some startup levels that you need to know:

1. Cockroach

The cockroach is the lowest level of a startup. This startup needs to be more valued because it has just been established and is struggling to start a business. Even though they are still pioneering, startups at this level should be considered because, later, they can develop into big companies. A cockroach-level startup can expand its valuation if the investor invests the capital by offering convertible bonds or holding equity.

2. Pony

Pony-level startups have a value of US$10 million or around Rp140 billion. Focusing on developing a business, a startup pony can attract investors to provide funding if the company can maintain and increase its valuation.

3. Centaur

Startup companies with a valuation value of 100 million US dollars equivalent to Rp. 1.40 trillion are included in the startup centaur category. Investors will start looking at startup companies at this level because the company is considered to have good prospects for growth.

4. Unicorn

Unicorn is one of the highest startup levels with a valuation value of 1 billion US Dollars or equivalent to Rp. 14.1 trillion. In Indonesia, Traveloka and Bukalapak are examples of startup companies that have reached the unicorn valuation level. The Kopi Kenangan company, which recently received an injection of Rp1.3 trillion, is now joining the ranks of unicorn startups.

5. Decacorn

Level decacorn is a startup company that has a valuation of US$10 billion or equivalent to Rp140 trillion. Xiaomi, Dropbox, Uber, Airbnb, WeWork, and SpaceX are some examples of decacorn startups. In Indonesia, the startup company that has reached the decacorn level is Gojek. Gojek’s valuation was estimated at IDR 257 trillion when it merged with Tokopedia to become GoTo.

Read: What are Bubble Bursts in Startups?

So, What is a Zebra Startup?

Zebra is a term that Jennifer Brandel first published by Mara Zepeda, Astrid Scholz, and Aniyia Williams in the article entitled “Zebras Fix What Unicorns Break.” The report criticized the unicorn for causing social harm through its rapid growth strategy.

The Zebra startup concept was introduced to counteract the adverse effects of unicorns. The Zebra startup is an alternative created by Zebra Unite in 2017 to counteract the adverse effects of unicorns.

Companies that fall into the Zebra startup category want to reduce social, difference stay, or medical challenges while making a profit. In other words, the Zebra startup seeks profit while achieving a bigger goal.

Differences between Zebra Startup with Other Types

Instead of targeting market dominance, Zebra prioritizes profitability, focusing on rightful ownership and building a sustainable business. Startup Zebra seeks to create positive social impact, for example, by providing solutions for underserved markets or prioritizing employee happiness.

Fueled by the current CleanTech boom, the Zebra startup generation also operates based on ESG (environmental, social, and governance) principles. Being more ethical, caring, and sustainable, Zebra is showing investors that sustainability goes hand in hand with commercial opportunities.

Examples of Zebra startups are electric air taxi company Lilium and Berlin vertical farming veteran InFarm. Now, you know what a startup is and the emergence of the term Zebra startup.

For those of you who are currently building a startup business and want to reach your goals faster, you can contact Skha, who provides business management consulting services for various clients from different industries, including startups.

Through the Business Design service, the Skha team will help you carry out a comprehensive business plan to determine the direction of development of your startup company, starting from market analysis and macroeconomics to competitor conditions. Visit our service page for more information regarding Business Design services.






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