The UK Is Still Bossing It When It Comes To Tech Exits!

Time for some data; out of the kindness of our hearts, HHH have trawled through yet another set of charts about VC investment so you don’t have to give away your business email – to yet another data provider!

We jest, of course, but frankly, although looking at patterns in data is hugely valuable, it pales in comparison to getting off your backside and meeting some people who genuinely want to invest in your business.

“I see you just pumped £100m into a company just like us…so, you wanna grab a coffee” is a terrible investor chat-up line.

Rant over. There were a colossal 3350+ tech exits in 2016, says CB Insights, 96 IPOs, and…interestingly…most did not raise any growth equity financing before they exited. Food for thought?

The UK is where you will find the second largest number of exits in 2016, being the US of course; this is significant, especially given its small size and recent shady Brexit shenanigans.

Many Brexiteers have long held the belief that the UK is significantly ahead of continental Europe when it comes to building world-beating tech companies – the trouble is, even if that were true, we tend to sell them as soon as a major multi-national (a Softbank, or a Google) begins to flutter their eyelids in the founder’s general direction – an its tough to blame them.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that Germany, France, Sweden, The Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Denmark, Ireland, Norway and Switzerland all made the top 20. Reads pretty much like an Olympics medals table – is that significant? Are Brits only good at tech that you can do sitting down?

Internet startup exits were down globally but mobile and IT hardware were up – accounting for 19% and 15% of all exits respectively.

Looking across the pond, it is probably no surprise to discover that California, New York, Massachusetts and Texas, in that order, led by number of tech exits. Shout out to Colorado, however, home to a thriving start-up scene in Denver.

Again, interestingly, in 2016 44% of venture-backed exits were early stage companies; 25% of them seed, and 19% series A.

And you know what industry saw more exits than any other? Adtech. AppLovin sold for $1.4bn, which helped the sector comfortably outpace Business Intelligence, Marketplaces and Customer Relationship Management, in second, third and fourth.

There were a “mere” 18 tech exits of $1bn or more, CB Insights say; one of them, SkyScanner, happened in the UK.

Will this information help you build a great company, or spot a potential unicorn? It certainly won’t hurt, and you have to admire the work that Crunch Base do tracking startups globally.

It’s turning into a proper Bloomberg style platform, with API’s and all; there are fewer surprises in today’s tech eco-system, and more metrics than ever.

You know what? The disruption industry is just about ripe for…we’re pretty sure you can fill in the blank here ; )

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