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The 9 Top Tech Industries to Go Into If Your Goal is to Exit

2014 was a great year for the tech industry – that is, especially, if you look at just the number of exits made last year. Whether they were in the form of mergers and acquisitions or IPOs, tech companies around the world have experienced quite a bit of success. Looking at the breakdown of these tech successes, though, it’s important to point out that not all industries stand on equal ground, and certain industries have definitely seen higher rates of success in the exit game than others. If you’re looking for your next venture or maybe you’re hoping to join the tech world, consider going into one of these 9 top tech industries for a (hopefully) better chance at making an exit.


According to CB Insights, health and wellness tech companies have seen the most success in exits. Between the period of 2011-2012 and 2013-2014, companies in this sector of the larger tech field saw 181 percent growth in the number of successful exits. Not only that, but the median amount of time it took those companies to make an exit was three years – three years between the period when these companies raised their first funds and when they made their exit. Some notable examples of companies making exits in this industry include Everyday Health, which went public last March, and MapMyFitness, which was acquired by Under Armour at the end of 2013.

Going down the list of the top tech industries by exit growth, data storage and security comes in at second place, seeing a 167 percent growth in exits between the two time periods. Unlike health and wellness tech, though, going into this sector may mean having to wait a little bit longer for the ideal exit; according to the data, the medium amount of time it took for data storage and security companies to make successful exits was six years. Customer relationship management tech companies – which comes in right after data storage and security – saw a nearly 20 percent lower exit growth rate, but also a shorter period of time between first funding and exit.

2014 Tech Exits - Quarterly

(CB Insights)

2014 alone saw a lot of successful exits, with 2807 M&As and 79 IPOs across the world. Overall, tech exits grew by 58 percent between last year and 2013, and the number of “unicorn” or billion-dollar exits doubled from 17 to 32. More valuable information, though, is that tech companies from the United States made the most overall exits in 2014 – a good signal for those of you wanting to get in on any of these top tech industries.

CB Insights actually looked at the 30 top tech industries that saw exit growth between 2011-2012 and 2013-2014, but I only looked at those industries that saw at least 90 percent growth. To check out all 30 top tech industries by exit growth, check out the graph below:


(CB Insights)

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Written by:
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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