An Exploratory Study on the Characteristics of the 'Global Unicorn Club' and the Factors Influencing its Valuation: Focusing on the 'Unicorn Club' in 2019

'글로벌 유니콘 클럽' 기업의 특성 및 기업가치 영향 요인에 대한 탐색적 연구: 2019년 '유니콘 클럽' 기업을 중심으로

  • 이영달 (대구경북과학기술원) ;
  • 오소영 (뉴욕시립대학교 버룩칼리지 국제관계학) ;
  • 윤여은 (고려대학교 일반대학원 경영학(마케팅))
  • Received : 2020.11.10
  • Accepted : 2020.12.22
  • Published : 2020.12.31


The term 'Unicorns' in the corporate ecosystem was firstly introduced by Aileen Lee in 2013. It has been actively discussed in South Korea particularly to compare the level of the 'start-up ecosystem' from a global perspective. Accordingly, the Korean government has recently set a policy goal 'to nurture 20 Korean unicorn companies by 2022'. While the phenomenon of 'Unicorn Club Company' has been brought to the level of policy objectives and spread more widely to the public, existing academic research to understand its substantial and underlying implications has been insufficient. First, in this study, the characteristics of 479 'Unicorn Club' companies in 2019 were analyzed in-depth. Previous research has focused on the general status and trend by analyzing the number of unicorn companies by country and industry classifications. However, this study conducted a qualitative exploratory analysis by investigating descriptive statistics about unicorn companies, including their investors, while providing case studies. Also, cluster analysis, ANOVA, and multi-level regression were employed for quantitative exploration. The characteristics of individual companies were examined based on the "ERIS Model (Entrepreneur - Industry(Market) - Resource - Strategy Model)". Secondly, factors influencing its valuations were examined in connection with the previously analyzed characteristic variables and investor characteristics. Finally, based on these, the future direction of the "Unicorn Phenomenon" from the perspective of "Enterprise Ecosystem" and productively using it from the perspective of the public policy is suggested.

'기업 생태계'에서 '유니콘'이란 표현법은 2013년 'Aileen Lee'에 의해 명명된 이래, 특히 한국에서 '스타트업 생태계'의 국제적 수준 비교의 차원에서 활발하게 다루어졌다. 정부 차원에서는 이를 정책적 목표로 설정하여, '2022년까지 유니콘 기업 20개 목표'를 제시한 바 있다. 이와같이 '유니콘 클럽 기업'에 대한 현상은 정책적 목표 차원에서 다루어지며, 대중적으로 크게 확산된데 반해, 본 현상의 실체와 본질적 이해 목적의 학술적 연구는 충분치 못하였다. 본 연구는, 첫째, 2019년 기준 '글로벌 유니콘 클럽' 기업 479개를 대상으로 이들의 특성을 다면적/다차원적으로 분석하였다. 그동안 주로 국가별 '유니콘 기업' 수 및 산업 분류 기준 일반현황 중심의 대중적 소개가 주된 내용이었다면, 본 연구는 투자자를 포함한 기초현황을 상세 분석하였고, 사례분석을 포함한 질적 탐색을 수행하였다. 또한 기초 선행연구가 부족한 관계로, 군집분석, 판별분석, 다층 회귀분석 등 양적 탐색을 함께 수행하였다. 그리고 개별기업의 '기업가 요인-산업(시장)환경 요인-자원 요인-전략 요인', 즉 'ERIS 모델'에 기반하여 그 특성을 살펴보았다. 둘째, 기업가치에 영향을 미치는 요인들을 앞서 분석한 특성 요인 및 투자자 특성과 연계하여 살펴보았다. 그리고 마지막으로는 이들을 토대로 '기업 생태계' 관점에서 '유니콘 현상'을 바르게 이해하고, 또한 정책적 측면에서 이를 생산적으로 활용하는 방향을 제시하였다.



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