IPOs were a bright spot in 2016, bumping up to 98 for the year, from 90 in 2015, even as total exits slid, alongside a decline in investment deals and dollars. There were 3260 M&A exits last year, down 5% from 3421 in 2015.
Out of the top 20 VC-backed exits, 7 were IPOs, including Nutanix, NantHealth, Twilio, and The Trade Desk. All of the top 20 venture-backed exits came in at $900M or more in exit value. The top 5 venture-backed companies all exited at or above a $1.7B valuation.
The top five VCs with the most exits for 2016 are: SV Angel, Intel Capital, 500 Startups, Norwest Venture Partners, and Andreessen Horowitz. While 500 Startups took the No. 3 spot, its portfolio included Twilio, which went public in 2016 at a $1.2B valuation.
Unicorn Exits: A Dying Breed?
The number of new unicorns minted in 2016 was down compared to a robust 2015. However, VC-backed unicorn exits were up compared to the previous year. In total, there were 18 tech exits of $1B or more in 2016, including Cruise Automation, Jet.com, Dollar Shave Club, and Skyscanner, among others. 2015 saw only 12 unicorn exits.
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