Fifteen unicorns founded by McKinsey alums may be shaping your world

You might not realize it, but McKinsey alumni are behind some of the latest billion-dollar startups you may have read or heard about—or may be actually using in your daily life.

As a follow-up to our 2019 tech unicorns list, which featured twelve McKinsey alumni-founded startups worth a combined $55B, we’ve compiled a list of an additional fifteen.

Five of the companies are innovating the transportation industry, from ride-hailing to driverless cars; four businesses are reinventing the ways we access healthcare and practice wellness; and three are offering financial and insurance services.

They represent diverse geographic markets and illustrate inclusive growth in the world of startups. “Years ago, if you were a young talent in an emerging market, your dream was to go to Silicon Valley,” says senior partner Massimo Mazza, who along with senior partner Jay Jubas co-leads Fuel, our practice serving startups and startup investors. “But today, we are starting to see more and more Silicon Valleys globally. We are seeing unicorns emerge in places like São Paulo, Tel Aviv, Frankfurt, London, Shanghai. And this is a trend that is here to stay.” 

Since the 2019 list was published, the number of new unicorns has increased dramatically—by more than 300, with 78 of those in the first three months of 2021, according to CB Insights.

Here’s a look at the McKinsey alumni-entrepreneurs who’ve “grown their horns.”

Aurora Innovation
Co-founder: Sterling Anderson (2013-14)
Headquarters: Mountain View
Value: $10B

Vehicle autonomy expert Sterling Anderson co-founded this self-driving tech startup in 2017 to help accelerate the adoption of driverless vehicles. The startup acquired Uber's self-driving vehicle unit in December 2020, adding Uber’s CEO Dara Khosrowshahi to their Board. In March 2021, the company announced that in addition to their existing partnership with truck manufacturer Paccar, Aurora would be collaborating with Volvo to help bring a long-haul trucking product to market.

Co-founder: Andrew D’Souza (2008-10)
Headquarters: Toronto
Value: Estimated at $2B

Rebranded from Clearbanc in 2021, Clearco is the world’s largest e-commerce investor and the developer of a suite of financial products and services for founders looking to grow their startups. Clearco has developed a range of equity-free capital products tailor-fit to early-stage, e-commerce, and SaaS companies. Since 2015, the company has raised $700 million and invested over $2 billion in more than 4,500 companies.

Co-founder: Jeffrey Kolovson (2010-11)
Headquarters: San Francisco
Value: Estimated at $7B

Jeffrey co-founded this curated marketplace to help retailers purchase wholesale merchandise for their stores and reduce their burden of inventory risk. Faire’s AI and predictive analytics enable businesses to get product recommendations, forecast demand, source and manage inventory, and aggregate merchandise from wholesalers and distributors. The company recently announced its intention to expand throughout Europe in 2021.

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Co-founder: Naveen Tewari (2000-03, 2005)
Headquarters: Bengaluru
Value: Estimated at over $1B

Appearing on 2019’s unicorns list with his first venture, Indian adtech heavyweight InMobi Group, Naveen has recorded his second unicorn, Glance. Glance is a mobile lock-screen tech platform that delivers personalized ad-free content in multiple languages to the lock screen of Android smartphones. The company, which operates as a subsidiary of InMobi, has acquired short-form video company Roposo; has grown its number of users who spend at least 25 minutes per day on the platform to 115 million; and has secured funding from Mithril Capital and Google that has reportedly pushed its valuation to $1B.

Co-founder: Cesar Carvalho (2008-13)
Headquarters: New York City
Value: $2B

Cesar and Gympass are helping boost employee benefit packages for their corporate clients through an offering of health and wellness perks. Since its founding, Gympass has built a global marketplace of over 50,000 gyms and studios that clients can use while at home or on the go. To counter the global lockdowns and gym closures due to COVID-19, the company rolled out a virtual service offering which brings live classes and access to personal trainers to homes around the world.

Hippo Insurance
Co-founder: Assaf Wand (2004-06)
Headquarters: Palo Alto
Value: $5B

It’s been a productive six years since Assaf Wand co-founded Hippo, the insurtech company leveraging smart technology and AI to improve the home insurance experience. In the last year alone, Hippo has gobbled up over $500M in funding, acquired two companies, and is constructing a new location in Austin, Texas. The company announced in March 2021 that it plans to go public as a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) valued at $5B, alongside its goal to expand coverage of U.S. homeowners across its market by 20% by the end of 2022.

K Health and Vroom
Co-founder: Allon Bloch (1997-00)
Headquarters: New York City
Value: K Health - Estimated at $1.5B; Vroom - IPO in June 2020

Allon Bloch adds two unicorns to the list with the 2013-founded Vroom and the 2016-founded K Health. Vroom is a marketplace platform that enables consumers to buy, sell, and trade used vehicles without the need to go to a dealership. The company went public in June 2020, exiting with a valuation of over $2.5B.  Today Allon leads K Health as they leverage AI to pair clinicians with patients seeking care. K Health recently rolled out a pediatric service for parents to find care for their children and has serviced over 4 million users since 2016.

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Co-founders: Carlos Julio Garcia (2012-14) and Loreanne Garcia (2006-08, 2010-13)
Headquarters: Mexico City
Value: Estimated at over $4B

Founded in 2016, Kavak is the online marketplace and financing company that is increasing the accessibility of pre-owned vehicles for people in emerging markets. In 2020, the company became Mexico’s first unicorn and in April 2021, it became one of Latin America’s five highest valued startups. Kavak is now setting their sights beyond Mexico; they’re launching in Brazil and have announced plans to expand to markets outside of Latin America over the next few years.

Komodo Health
Co-founder: Arif Nathoo (2005-13)
Headquarters: San Francisco
Value: Estimated at $3.3B

Komodo Health has developed a dynamic healthcare database that leverages data from enterprises, the public domain, and proprietary sources to help life science companies improve patient outcomes, reduce disease burdens, and increase transparency and market intelligence. Komodo Health analyzes the data of over 15 million healthcare encounters each day across over 3.5 million providers and 450 thousand healthcare organizations. The company announced two financing rounds this year, with the most recent raising $220M in new funding.

Market Kurly
Co-founder: Sophie Kim (2010-11
Headquarters: Seoul
Value: $2.2B

Sophie Kim’s online food-delivery startup gives customers across South Korea a more convenient way to shop for groceries. Market Kurly allows customers to shop online from a carefully curated selection of groceries and food options with next-day delivery services. The company’s valuation has exploded throughout the pandemic, rising from $780 million in April 2020 to a $2.2 billion valuation today. In July 2021, the company confirmed its intention to launch an initial public offering in the Korean stock market.

Co-founders: Deepak Garg (2006-14) and Gazal Kalra (2007-09)
Headquarters: Gurgaon
Value: Estimated at over $1B

Rivigo is optimizing India’s transport services and improving the quality of life of the people who operate them. The logistics company uses its platform to increase the practice of relay trucking throughout India by giving fleet owners the ability to track, manage, and quickly access drivers. The app gives drivers access to maps, an assignment selection system, and a feature that automatically rotates drivers. Since reaching unicorn status in 2019, the company has grown its fleet to over 5,000 trucks, 2,000 verified fleet owners, and has logged more than 1 billion total kilometers driven.

Sidecar Health
Co-founder: Patrick Quigley (ATL 97-99, 01-03)
Headquarters: El Segundo, California
Value: Estimated at $1B

Sidecar Health is a U.S. insurtech company that enables its members to pay upfront for medical care, get access to any licensed health care provider, and easily evaluate transparent benefit amounts when shopping. Since receiving its billion-dollar valuation in January 2021, the company has expanded its coverage to nearly 42% of the U.S. population.

Co-founder: Oren Shoval (TAV 06-07)
Headquarters: New York City
Value: Estimated at $2.25B

This ride-hailing company is breaking the wheel of public transportation by replacing fixed routes and rigid schedules with a more efficient, dynamic, and environmentally responsible alternative. Since 2012, Via has recorded over 70 million rides, partnered with over 90 transit partners worldwide, and helped save over 32 million pounds of CO2 emissions. In 2020, the company helped meet the needs of COVID-19 by rolling out an on-demand transit service for essential healthcare workers.

Co-founders: Michael Katchen (2009-11) and Brett Huneycutt (2006-10)
Headquarters: Toronto
Value: CAD $5B

Michael and Brett co-founded this Canadian financial services startup and banking disruptor in 2014. Since then, the duo has expanded Wealthsimple’s offerings to include a suite of investment, savings and tax filing services. The company’s platform has grown to include cryptocurrency trading, peer-to-peer money transfers, and two million users. In May 2021, the company tripled its valuation with a CAD $750M Series F.

A “soonicorn” to watch:

Co-founders: Frank Freund (2008-12), Tamaz Georgadze (2003-13), and Michael Stephan (2009-12)
Headquarters: Berlin
Value: Undisclosed, but estimated at €400—600M

Why should your savings opportunities be limited to your domestic banks? As “the first and only pan-European deposit marketplace,” Raisin is partnering with 105 banks across Europe to bring Europeans access to the best interest rates. Since its founding in 2013, Raisin has acquired four companies, expanded to 30 European countries, and boasts over 350,000 customers.

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