Aileen Lee, an investor at Cowboy Ventures and Kliener Perkins, wrote an interesting article on TechCrunch last week on unicorns – U.S. software companies that reach $1 billion in valuation. Here are a few highlights from her piece:
“We found 39 companies belong to what we call the “Unicorn Club” (by our definition, U.S.-based software companies started since 2003 and valued at over $1 billion by public or private market investors). That’s about .07 percent of venture-backed consumer and enterprise software startups.”
“Companies fall somewhat evenly into four major business models: consumer e-commerce, consumer audience, software-as-a-service, and enterprise software.”
“It has taken seven-plus years on average before a ‘liquidity event’ for companies, not including the third of our list that is still private. It’s a long journey beyond vesting periods.”
“Inexperienced, twentysomething founders were an outlier. Companies with well-educated, thirtysomething co-founders who have history together have built the most successes.”
The full article can be found here.