Future tech exits have a lot to live up to

Inflation may or may not prove transitory when it comes to consumer prices, but startup valuations are definitely rising — and noticeably so — in recent quarters.

That’s the obvious takeaway from a recent PitchBook report digging into valuation data from a host of startup funding events in the United States. While the data covers the U.S. startup market, the unstipulated trends included are likely global, given that the same venture rush that has pushed record wanted into startups in the U.S. is moreover occurring in markets like India, Latin America, Europe and Africa.

The rapidly appreciating startup price orchestration is interesting, and we’ll unpack it. But the data moreover implies a upper bar for future IPOs to not only preserve startup probity valuations at their point of exit, but exceed their private-market prices. A waffly regulatory environment regarding antitrust could limit large future deals, leaving a host of startups with rich price tags and only one real path to liquidity.

Investors towards to be implicitly betting that the future IPO market will slide for a multiyear period at lulu prices.

That situation should be familiar: It’s the unicorn traffic jam that we’ve covered for years, in which the global startup markets create far increasingly startups worth $1 billion and up than the public markets have historically wonted wideness the transom.

Let’s talk well-nigh some big numbers.

Startup valuations: Up, and going upper

To summarize what PitchBook published: Round sizes are going up as valuations go up, and with the latter rising faster than the former, we’re not seeing investors get increasingly ownership despite them having to spend increasingly for deal access.

In the early-stage market, deal sizes are rising as follows:

Image Credits: PitchBook

Prices are going up as well, as the pursuit orchestration shows:

Image Credits: PitchBook

Which leads to the pursuit ripen in probity take rates:

Image Credits: PitchBook

Those charts sugarcoat somewhat how quickly venture wanted is changing. For example, in 2020, the median early-stage value created between rounds was $16 million (or a 54% relative velocity, if you prefer). In 2021 thus far, it’s $39.4 million (120% relative velocity). And that 2020 icon was a prior record. It just got smashed.

The PitchBook dataset has other superlatives worth noting. Enterprise-focused seed pre-money valuations hit an stereotype of $11 million in the first half of 2021, an all-time high. Early-stage valuations for enterprise-focused startups moreover hit fresh records — $92.7 million on average, $43 million median — this year without rising unceasingly since 2011.

And late-stage valuations for enterprise tech startups have gone vertical (chart on the right):

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