While some Silicon Valley CEOs may still covet the "unicorn" label, for others, it's become a dirty word.
"I even told our employees don't use that word at all — it doesn't matter," Eric Yuan, CEO of Zoom told CNBC.
Still, Zoom — whose video conferencing software competes with products from public enterprise giants like Microsoft and Cisco — officially joined that coveted club on this week. On Tuesday, the company announced it had raised $100 million in venture capital funding in a Series D round round led by Sequoia Capital at a post-money valuation of $1 billion.
Yuan told staff to stay focused on customers and not get distracted by the company's new label.
"Even if you're a unicorn for many years, if customers don't like your product, very soon you become nothing," he said.
Right now, customers do seem to like Zoom's product — the company grew revenue 300 percent between 2015 and 2016, is cash-flow positive and still has $30 million the the bank from its Series C funding round, he said. It counts IBM and Walls Fargo among its customers.
It's an enviable position to be in as 2016 was arguably not a great year in unicorn land.
In 2016, seven unicorns had their valuations lowered in so-called down-rounds or exits, according to CB Insights data. They included furniture retailer Home24, whose valuation fell below $1 billion and slipped entirely off CB Insights unicorn list, as well as on-demand food delivery service Hello Fresh, troubled human resources site Zenefits and fitness tracker maker Jawbone.