What if some s are just s …
Morning Markets: A reminder that recent unicorn liquidity is insufficient to exit the majority of unicorns before the business cycle ends.
If many unicorns find an exit that their investors find attractive, the unicorn era may be viewed in hindsight as a period of investor and operator brilliance. If, in contrast, most unicorns struggle to maintain their worth during liquidity events, history’s view could swing negative.
…according to the Crunchbase Unicorn Leaderboard, unicorn births are happening younger in the companies’ histories:
The more orange and red that you see, the less time it’s taking companies to reach the $1 billion valuation mark. So, the private market is getting more aggressive as time goes. And it’s doing so while the vast majority of investments into unicorns are illiquid.
On the same theme, there are more companies on the Crunchbase Emerging Unicorn Leaderboard (179) which tracks private companies worth $500 million to $1 billion, than there are on the Exited Unicorns Leaderboard (165). Both tallies pale in comparison to the current unicorn, unexited count (498).
From the same Crunchbase dataset, here’s how many un-exited unicorns are currently housed on the books of various investing entities:
It looks like Meritech Capital Partners, Morgan Stanley, Salesforce Ventures, and BlackRock are maybe 50 percent exited on their unicorn bets. Everyone else is less than half liquid.