Portuguese unicorns
: where else to go but the U.S. : a tale of two unicorns

  • Juliana Nicole Aguiar (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


In the global world of today, companies are expanding internationally left and right. Portuguese start-ups, specifically unicorns who are valued at over one billion dollars, are no exception. This case study focuses on two unicorns with Portuguese DNA, OutSystems and Remote, and aims to assess their internationalization process and the challenges they faced when expanding to the U.S.As a case study, this dissertation follows a pedagogical format to present students with a real life example of the processes and challenges these companies faced when internationalizing to the U.S. It addresses pertinent frameworks and concepts on internationalization strategies, entry modes, and competitive advantages. Students are able to apply these frameworks and concepts learned in class to analyze and discuss the two companies’ expansion processes and understand why the U.S. is an attractive market for start-up technology companies. To examine the internationalization of both companies, primary and secondary data were utilized. Interviews with knowledgeable contacts at the companies and an industry expert were documented as well as secondary data from a report, books, and online sources. The findings identified for unicorns to expand to the U.S. included direct access to the U.S. consumer base, investors, tax reasons, the competitive landscape, and the perceived prestige of being a U.S. company.
Date of Award1 Jul 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorNuno Cardeal (Supervisor)


  • Internationalization strategies
  • Start-ups
  • Unicorns
  • Market expansion
  • Competitive advantage


  • Mestrado em Gestão e Administração de Empresas

Cite this