These 17 billion-dollar startups didn't even exist 5 years ago

Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images.

It doesn’t take a lifetime to build a super valuable company. As this list shows, it’s possible to go from $0 to $16 billion in valuation in just under than five years.

Business Insider analysed Pitchbook data to find the startups based in the US who reached the $1 billion mark in that timeframe — in other words, the youngest crop of the so-called “unicorn” companies.

Here are the 17 privately-held startups that have created businesses worth more than a billion dollars in the last five years.

Gusto: $1.07 billion

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Founded in November 2011, Gusto is a cloud-based payroll system, formerly known as ZenPayroll.

Uptake Technologies: $1.10 billion

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Former Groupon founder Brad Keywell started the secretive Chicago-based data analytics startup in 2014.

Udacity: $1.10 billion


Udacity launched in February 2012 to provide free classes online. It's since partnered with Georgia Tech to offer a Master's program through the online education portal.

Infinidat: $1.2 billion

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Founded in 2011, the secretive young data-storage company, Infinidat, has raised more than $230 million in venture capital.

Jet: $1.4 billion


Jet is trying to take on Amazon's e-commerce dominance. Founded in 2014, the e-commerce site has officially been open for business since November 2015.

The Honest Company: $1.69 billion

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Jessica Alba co-founded The Honest Company in 2011 to create a line of eco-friendly and non-toxic baby products.

Human Longevity: $1.89 billion

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Founded in 2013, the San Diego-based Human Longevity is working on building the largest comprehensive database of human genomic data in order to prolong healthy human life.

Instacart: $2 billion


After making a deal with Whole Foods, the grocery delivery company Instacart (founded in 2012) is now worth $2 billion.

Blue Apron: $2 billion

Blue Apron

Founded in 2012, the New York-based meal kit delivery service is now worth $2 billion.

Avant: $2 billion

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Founded in 2012, the Chicago-based online lending platform is one of many startups trying to overturn the consumer-loan market by approving loans faster than banks.

DraftKings: $2 billion

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Daily fantasy sports site DraftKings was founded in 2011 before launching to the public a year later. The daily fantasy sports model has come under increasing regulatory scrutiny during the past year however, and DraftKings and rival site FanDuel have had to shut down in New York.

Oscar: $2.7 billion


Founded in 2012, New York-based Oscar has spent the last four years trying to revolutionise health insurance.

Pivotal Software: $2.75 billion


Launched in 2013, Pivotal's enterprise platform has attracted close to $760 million in venture capital.

Social Finance (SoFi): $3.58 billion


Social Finance (SoFi) was founded in September 2011 from students at Stanford who wanted to make getting low fix-rate loans easier for deserving students.

Slack: $3.8 billion


Slack barely makes it into the list. It was originally founded as Tiny Speck, a gaming company, in 2009. The game flopped, but its founder Stewart Butterfiled realised that the chat app they had built internally could be a big business. Slack launched into beta in 2013 and the company's valuation has skyrocketed since then.

Zenefits: $4.5 billion

Founded in 2012, Zenefits has raised close to $600 million in venture capital, bringing its valuation to $4.5 billion. Despite its rapid rise, the company has recently hit a rough patch with a CEO change, layoffs and investigations into its business practices.

Snapchat: $16 billion

Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images.

The ephemeral messaging app will turn five in September.

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