Here are Some Facts on Billion-Dollar Startup Unicorns

November 14, 2014

2:30 pm

Ah, the startup unicorn – the one that investors are interminably trying to find, and the one that most startups aspire to become. For those that get into this startup realm, being the next billion-dollar company is the ultimate goal and desire. I mean, if you’re going all in, using all of your personal money to try to ensure that your company keeps operating, why wouldn’t your ultimate goal to be “the one”? But billion-dollar exits are rare – clearly so rare to the point at which they’ve been designated the name of a mythical creature. The billion-dollar startup unicorn exists, of course, but the path to reaching that stage is arduous – at least according to CB Insights cofounder and CEO Anand Sanwal, who recently gave a presentation at the Cornell Entrepreneurship Summit titled “Birthing a Unicorn is Hard”.

While I wasn’t actually at his talk, Sanwal posted his presentation on CB Insights recently, and it highlights a lot of really helpful information for startups looking for a billion-dollar exit. For someone who runs a company focused on providing insights on the startup industry, the data he presented was fascinating and looked at things like trends in popular sentiment to venture capital flow. From the data he presented, he notes that enterprise startups trumps consumer startups in the number of overall exits, but consumer startups beat out enterprise startups when it comes to overall value (how much those exists are worth in real dollars). Most important to note: of all exits, 1.04 percent fall in the billion-dollar startup club, while 72 percent of exists were less than $200 million.

Check out the Sanwal’s entire presentation on “Birthing a Unicorn is Hard” below:

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Ronald Barba was the previous managing editor of Tech.Co. His primary story interests include industry trends, consumer-facing apps/products, the startup lifestyle, business ethics, diversity in tech, and what-is-this-bullsh*t things. Aside from writing about startups and entrepreneurship, Ronald is interested in 'Doctor Who', Murakami, 'The Mindy Project', and fried chicken. He is currently based in New York because he mistakenly studied philosophy in college and is now a "writer". Tweet @RonaldPBarba.

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