2015 has been quite the year across the M&A, private equity and venture capital landscapes, and over the next few weeks, PitchBook will be publishing our "2015 in Review" content, recapping what you need to know about the year's major happenings.
Be on the lookout for datagraphics summarizing big-picture trends; lists of the largest deals, exits and funds over the past 12 months; buzzwords that resonated in 2015; IPO winners and losers; and much more.
To start off, we feature 10 of PitchBook's most popular blog posts of the year (publish date in parentheses):
The number of unicorns shot through the roof in 2015, with seemingly a new startup joining the club each week. These companies get a lot of press when they reach the billion-dollar valuation milestone, but spotting them before they get to that point can be a challenge. We sifted through the data in the PitchBook Platform to find patterns shared by current unicorns and came up with several data points that could be used to separate future unicorns from their peers. Click here to read the post.
Corporate venture capital isn’t new; companies like Intel, Siemens, Cisco and Johnson & Johnson have long had VC arms. But, as seemingly everything else in the venture realm, the number of active corporate VCs is quickly growing. In 2014, 166 different corporate VC investors completed at least one deal, a 73% increase from the 96 such investors in 2005. For a full breakdown of CVC financings, follow-on investment trends, exits and more, check out the post here.
Pedal to the metal: which accelerators are most successful? (July 24)
As the number of people looking to found a startup has increased over the years, so has the number of accelerators looking to help them achieve their dreams (often for a chunk of equity). With so many different options to choose from, we thought it would be helpful to do a high-level comparison of some of the more popular accelerators to give an idea of how participants of each program perform on the funding trail. We pulled the data from the PitchBook Platform to see how each accelerator ranks. To read more, click here.
We took a look at how four publicly traded PE giants—KKR, Blackstone, The Carlyle Group and Apollo—performed in 2Q. As all of these firms' businesses have evolved beyond private equity, we created a datagraphic highlighting metrics including quarter-end revenue, percentage of revenue attributed to PE, and their respective market capitalizations, along with various other statistics. Check out the full post here.
Four term sheet provisions that protect VC interests (November 23)
Venture investing is risky. That’s why VCs are experts at building downside protections into their deals to limit their chances of losing money if an investment declines in value. It’s important to understand these protections, how they are structured and what they mean. We broke down four term sheet provisions that VCs utilize, providing examples, as well as specific deal data from the PitchBook Platform. For an explanation on matters like voting rights, dividends, liquidation preferences and more, click here.
The 10 fastest companies to achieve a $1B+ exit (May 5)
The terms "valuation" and "unicorn" are major buzzwords in the venture community. Everyone wants to know how much a company is worth, if it’s a unicorn and even how fast it got to that point. In a project for Business Insider, we dug into the PitchBook Platform to find the 20 companies to reach a $2 billion private valuation the fastest—it was a big hit. But how much does that really say about a company’s success? And how valuable are valuations if they don't lead to a similarly lucrative exit? With this idea in mind, we compiled a new list of top companies—those that have reached a $1 billion+ exit the fastest. Click here to see the list.
Are you going to be the next billionaire angel investor? Probably not (November 9)
In November, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission approved Title III of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, allowing non-accredited investors—individuals with an income of less than $200,000 per year or a net worth of under $1 million—to invest in startups. The ruling, which will go into effect 180 days after publication in the Federal Register, has generated a good deal of excitement, but it's important to understand how the parties involved will actually be affected. For analysis on why certain regulations, investment caps and share dilution will severely limit potential profits for non-accredited investors, click here.
What percentage of U.S. VC-backed startups are founded by women? (January 22)
When entrepreneur Steve Blank wrote a post discussing the number of startups founded by women in New York City compared to Silicon Valley, contending that NYC has a higher percentage of women on founding teams, we decided to add some context with our data. We pulled all the companies with at least one female founder that have raised a round of VC funding since 2005, then took those numbers and compared them to the total number of U.S. companies that have raised a round of VC funding in that timeframe. To see the findings, click here.
The current state of PE portfolio management (February 13)
To conclude our series on PE portfolio management strategies and how they have evolved over the past several years, we summarized key themes from our Q&As with industry experts, as well as some contextual data and analysis. We spoke with professionals from The Riverside Company, Bertram Capital, Trive Capital and Wafra Partners for the piece, discussing buy-and-build, operational approaches, ESG considerations and more: click here.
Everything you need to know about Square's IPO (November 16)
With this year’s dearth of tech IPOs and rise of huge late-stage VC rounds, Square’s public offering was thrust into the spotlight as an example of what these highly valued and well-funded companies may expect from public markets. We made a datagraphic that highlighted Square’s journey to its IPO, including important details of the offering: click here.
Honorable mentions (because who can pick just 10?)