went to college
Whatever criteria we look at, whether it’s schools with the highest number of well-capitalized founders, highest funding totals or even where startup investors
, the same names top the list. The only surprise factor, it seems, is whether Harvard or Stanford will be in first place.
It’s possible we’ll do a data-driven university- and startup-related ranking that doesn’t feature the same two schools in the top two positions. But that’s not happening today, as we look at universities with founder alumni who have raised the most venture funding.1
OK, so who else is on the list?
Luckily, there are more than two names on the list. In this survey, we looked at the top 15 schools ranked by alumni who
Continue reading "The alumni of these universities raised the most VC in the past year"
23 unicorn IPOs
Unicorn exits are taking flight.
With the IPO window wide open, an apparent record number of venture-backed companies privately valued over $1 billion have launched public offerings this year. Crunchbase data shows
globally so far in 2018, well outpacing full-year totals for 2016 and 2017.
Collectively, this year’s newly public unicorns are doing pretty well too. Most priced shares around or above expectations. We’re also seeing a lot of impressive aftermarket gains. At least six are currently valued at more than $10 billion.
Meanwhile, unicorn M&A volumes are chugging along as well, with at least 11 deals so far this year
. Big transactions like Walmart’s $16 billion acquisition of Flipkart and Microsoft’s $7.5 billion purchase of GitHub have helped boost the
Continue reading "Global unicorn exits hit multi-year high in 2018"
Startup exit tallies commonly underestimate biotech returns. Unlike most tech deals, the biggest profits in bio often come long after an IPO or acquisition.
, a publicly traded cancer immunology company that sold to pharma giant Celgene this year for $9 billion. At first glance, it doesn’t seem like a deal that would impact Juno’s early investors.
After all, Juno went public back in 2014. Though the Seattle company raised more than $300 million as a private company, pre-IPO backers had years to cash out at healthy multiples.
Yet some held on. Bob Nelsen, managing director of ARCH Venture Partners, Juno’s largest VC backer, told Crunchbase News that his firm was still holding nearly its entire 15 percent pre-IPO stake when Celgene bought the
Continue reading "Home run exits happen stealthily for biotech"
For people who make investment decisions based on revenues and projected earnings, biotech IPOs are kind of a non-starter. Not only are new market entrants universally unprofitable, most have zero revenue. Going public is mostly a means to raise money for clinical trials, with red ink expected for years to come.
That pattern may be one reason the venture capital press, Crunchbase News included, tends to devote a disproportionately small portion of coverage to biotech IPOs. It’s more exciting to watch a big-name internet company pop
in first-day trading or poke fun
at an underperforming dud.
But with our fixation on all things tech, we’re missing out on the big picture. There are actually a lot more biotech and healthcare startup IPOs than tech offerings. In the second quarter of this year, for instance, at least 16 U.S. venture-backed biotech and healthcare companies went public, compared to just 11 tech startups.
Continue reading "While tech waffles on going public, biotech IPOs boom"
Here is what your daily menu might look like if recently funded startups have their way.
You’ll start the day with a nice, lightly caffeinated cup of
. Chase away your hangover
with a cold bottle of liver-boosting supplement. Then slice up a few strawberries, fresh-picked from the corner shipping container
Lunch is full of options. Perhaps a tuna sandwich made with a plant-based, tuna-free fish
. Or, if you’re feeling more carnivorous, grab a grilled chicken breast fresh from the lab that cultured its cells
, while crunching on a side of mushroom chips
. And for extra protein, how about a brownie
Dinner might be a pizza so good you send your compliments to the chef
— only to discover
Continue reading "VCs serve up a large helping of cash to startups disrupting food"
ith Microsoft’s $7.5 billion acquisition of GitHub this week, we can now decisively declare a trend: 2018 is shaping up as a darn good year for U.S. venture-backed M&A.
So far this year, acquirers have spent just over $20 billion in disclosed-price purchases of U.S. VC-funded companies, according to Crunchbase data. That’s about 80 percent of the 2017 full-year total, which is pretty impressive, considering we’re barely five months into 2018.
If one included unreported purchase prices, the totals would be quite a bit higher. Fewer than 20 percent of acquisitions in our data set came with reported prices.1
Undisclosed prices are mostly for smaller deals, but not always. We put together a list of a
Continue reading "US startups off to a strong M&A run in 2018"
America’s mayors have spent the past nine months tripping over each other to curry favor with Amazon.com in its high-profile search for a second headquarters.
More quietly, however, a similar story has been playing out in startup-land. Many of the most valuable venture-backed companies are venturing outside their high-cost headquarters and setting up secondary hubs in smaller cities.
Where are they going? Nashville is pretty popular. So is Phoenix. Portland and Raleigh also are seeing some jobs. A number of companies also have a high number of remote offerings, seeking candidates with coveted skills who don’t want to relocate.
Those are some of the findings from a Crunchbase News analysis of the geographic hiring practices of U.S. unicorns
. Since most of these companies are based in high-cost locations, like the San Francisco Bay Area, Boston and New York, we were looking to see if there is a pattern of setting
Continue reading "Scaling startups are setting up secondary hubs in these cities"
CEOs of funded startups tend to be a well-educated bunch, at least when it comes to university degrees.
Yes, it’s true college dropouts like Mark Zuckerberg
and Bill Gates
can still do well. But Crunchbase
data shows that most startup chief executives have an advanced degree, commonly from a well-known and prestigious university.
Earlier this month, Crunchbase News looked at U.S. universities with strong track records for graduating future CEOs
of funded companies. This unearthed some findings that, while interesting, were not especially surprising. Stanford and Harvard topped the list, and graduates of top-ranked business schools were particularly well-represented.
In this next installment of our CEO series, we narrowed the data set. Specifically, we looked at CEOs of U.S. companies funded in the past three years that have raised at least $100 million in total venture financing. Our intent was to see whether educational backgrounds of unicorn and
Continue reading "Here is where CEOs of heavily funded startups went to school"
hen young adults leave the parental nest, they often follow a predictable pattern. First, move in with roommates. Then graduate to a single or couple’s pad. After that comes the big purchase of a single-family home. A lawnmower might be next.
Looking at the new home construction industry, one would have good reason to presume those norms were holding steady. About two-thirds of new homes being built
in the U.S. this year are single-family dwellings, complete with tidy yards and plentiful parking.
In startup-land, however, the presumptions about where housing demand is going looks a bit different. Home sharing is on the rise, along with more temporary lease options, high-touch service and smaller spaces in sought-after urban locations.
Seeking roommates and venture capital
News analysis of residential-focused real estate startups uncovered a raft of companies with a shared and temporary housing focus that have raised funding in
Continue reading "Shared housing startups are taking off"
There is no degree required to be a CEO of a venture-backed company. But it likely helps to graduate from Harvard, Stanford or one of about a dozen other prominent universities that churn out a high number of top startup executives.
That is the central conclusion from our latest graduation season data crunch. For this exercise,
took a look at top U.S. university affiliations for CEOs of startups that raised $1 million or more in the past year.
In many ways, the findings weren’t too different from what we unearthed almost a year ago, looking at the university backgrounds of funded startup founders
. However, there were a few twists. Here are some key findings:
Harvard fares better in its rivalry with Stanford when it
Continue reading "These schools graduate the most funded startup CEOs"
he global early-stage investment pie is getting bigger… a lot bigger. Just four years ago, investors were putting less than $10 billion per quarter into early-stage deals (Series A and B). The past two quarters, however, have all come in over twice that level. Q1 2018, meanwhile, looks to be a record-setting one, with Crunchbase projecting $25 billion in global early-stage investment.
But while overall investment is on the rise, the U.S.’ share is dwindling. A few years ago, North American startups reliably received at least two-thirds of global early-stage investment. No more. For the past three quarters, North America’s share has dwindled to less than half, as the chart below illustrates:
The rise of China’s startup scene, combined with local investors’ penchant for jumbo-sized Series A rounds, goes a long way to explaining the shift. Venture ecosystems in Southeast Asia
, Brazil and elsewhere have also
Continue reading "US early-stage investment share shrinks as China surges"
Hip hop stars are taking their reputations to Wall Street and Sand Hill road.
Unlike their rock star brethren, who’ve historically been disinterested in dabbling with startups
, quite a few hip hop artists have amassed good-sized portfolios. They’ve seen a few big hits too, most recently including a massive up round for zero-commission stock trading platform Robinhood
, which counted Jay-Z, Nas and Snoop Dogg among its earlier backers.
But just how deep does the hip hop-startup relationship go and where is it headed? To shed some light on that question, we put together a review of Crunchbase
data on the startup investment activity of famous musicians. We looked at both hip hop and pop stars, culling a list of 21
artists who are either active investors or have joined one or more rounds in recent years.
The general conclusion: Artists are doing more deals, raising more funds and
Continue reading "Hip hop finds its beat in the startup scene"
It seems like startup news is full of overnight success stories and sudden failures, like the scooter rental company
that went from zero to a $300 million valuation in months or the blood-testing unicorn
that went from billions to nearly naught.
But what about those other companies that mature more gradually? Is there such a thing as slow and successful in startup-land?
To contemplate that question, Crunchbase News set out to assemble a data set of top late-blooming startups
. We looked at companies that were founded in or before 2010 that raised large amounts of capital after 2015, and we also looked at companies founded a least five years ago that raised large early-stage funds in the last year. (For more details on the rules we used to select the companies, check “Data Methods” at the end of the post.)
The exercise was a counterpoint to a data
Continue reading "Late-blooming startups can still thrive"
Biotech is a lot like venture capital. Vast amounts of research, testing and marketing go into a wide range of therapies. But in the end, it’s just a tiny fraction that deliver most returns.
That similarity may be why most of the biggest biotech and pharmaceutical companies have a long history of engaging in the venture business as startup investors, spin-out creators and strategic partners. Read More
Back in 2011, when South Korea won its longshot bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics, the country wasn’t widely recognized as a destination for ski and snow lovers. It wasn’t considered much of a tech startup hub either. Fast forward seven years and a lot has changed. Read More
First names, foods and animals have been quite popular lately with founders choosing startup names. Meanwhile, other naming styles are getting more fashionable. We take a look at what’s hot now and what might be in vogue next. Read More
Big IPOs by the best-known brands tend to dominate attention in startup circles. But when it comes to delivering significant returns on invested capital, it’s often lower-profile companies that come out on top. We look at some of the top-returning large exits, first for tech and Internet companies, and then for life sciences. Read More