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:
This segment is a part in the series : Best of Bootstrapping