The pace at which new billion-dollar startups are minted is in freefall.
Given what we’ve seen recently concerning the late-stage funding market, we shouldn’t be shocked. As late-stage dollars retreat and capital served up in mega-rounds — deals worth $100 million or more — evaporates, the fuel that once lifted many a startup rocket into the valuation stratosphere has sputtered. It makes sense that fewer companies would reach unicorn-altitude.
Initially, I wanted to make an argument crossing falling M&A activity and initial public offerings with the decline in new unicorn creation, pointing out that without the ability to exit, of course the pace at which new unicorns were created would fall. If paper marks failed to turn liquid, paper marks would become worth less, right?
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