Observation, thoughts, and information.

The Unicorn Investor


Over the past year, startups who exit for $1 billion have been termed “unicorns”.  And, according to data compiled by CB Insights, the data on VC exits whos that there are, in fact, very few unicorn VCs.  We’ve written about the unicorn dynamic here.  Reading through the data, it shows that those VCs intuitive enough to get into these big exits, getting in early is even rarer.

According to CB Insights venture capital data:

  • There were 45 venture-backed U.S.-based tech companies that exited between 2004 and 2013 with a $1B+ valuation.
  • 104 VCs invested in these 45 companies prior to their exits.  68 of them (~65%) invested in only a single billion dollar exit

The graphic below details this data:

The next graphic shows the investors based on the stage they invested in the unicorn companies:

  • Only 18% of the investors who had only one $1B+ exit got in at the Series A round or earlier.