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2021 - 199 Unicorns So Far

2021 - 199 Unicorns So Far
By Keith Teare • Issue #263 • View online
2021 has seen 199 private valuations over $1 billion. The year has 7 months still to run. In response to this wealth creation angels, seed funds, venture funds, and growth-stage investors are changing the rules of the game.

This was not a slow news week. First. 199 unicorns minted in five months. The highest previous year, 2018, saw 178. IPOs are popping left and right. Even SPACs seem back on track. And the stock markets reached record all-time highs in the past week.
The creation of wealth drives behavior. And in the field of venture capital that behavior is the subject of about 50% of this week’s newsletter.
As I have said before, to understand the venture capital value chain it is important to distinguish between three asset classes. Seed, Venture, and Growth.
Growth investing is undergoing the largest change. TPG, a private equity firm, was in the news this week concerning its potential to become a public company. This is a route already taken by its peers Blackstone and Carlyle Group.
In the seed asset class public offerings, albeit smaller, are also on the agenda, especially in Europe. Forward Partners, according to the Financial Times,
“…will include retail investors in an initial public offering that it plans to launch in the coming weeks, raising a total of £30m in new cash, according to people familiar with the company’s plans. The London-based company will join listed venture capitalists Draper Esprit and Augmentum, which have also opened recent fundraising rounds to retail investors, alongside other backers, using the PrimaryBid platform. ”
We also cover Y Combinator’s Geoff Ralston explaining what YC is, and Mark Suster’s piece about the seed through series A stage, “Taking Shots on Goal” in which he addresses “portfolio construction”.
Between those two, Benchmark Capital is covered by The Information in a piece explaining how early-stage funds are providing strong competition to the Venture stage investors.
When you stand back the real key is that the growth of infrastructure is producing more wealth, faster, than at any point in history. This infrastructure includes the Internet itself, the smartphone ecosystem, data and machine intelligence, and the blockchain. The rate of growth of early-stage success stories can be enormous. Money, as always, flows to success. And the players all seek to position themselves for success.
My own startup, SignalRank Corp is a venturetech player in this space, focusing on how to find future unicorns early leveraging data and machine-based algorithms while giving regular retail investors access to the wealth being created.
There has never been a better time to innovate in venture capital. All existing models will be challenged if they do not adapt.
More in this week’s video
2021 - 199 Unicorns ... so far
2021 - 199 Unicorns ... so far
Unicorn Frenzy
2021 is a unicorn frenzy
The Venture Landscape
WSJ News Exclusive | TPG Is Evaluating a Public Listing
buggeroaf (BO)
Short Thread: The VC industry is not geared towards "in-between" raises.

It flies in the face of "fund economics"
YC is CRISPR for Startups
Benchmark’s VC Model Strained by Newcomers, Supersize Rivals — The Information
On Funding — Shots on Goal
VC will own 53% at exit
Tech founder ownership at exit
Tim Berners-Lee and NFTs
What Tim Berners-Lee's $5M NFT Sale Means for Web History | WIRED
Worldcoin for Universal Income
Worldcoin, the eye-scanning cryptocurrency project backed by Sam Altman and Reid Hoffman - Vox
Sam Altman's Worldcoin Will Give Free Crypto for Eyeball Scans - Bloomberg
Comparing the Carbon Footprint of Gold and Bitcoin
Big Tech Fights Back
Facebook hits $1 trillion market cap after federal court dismisses FTC antitrust complaint - CNN
Judge’s Facebook Ruling Embarrasses FTC, States — The Information
Actually, the Antitrust Case Against Facebook Is Very Much Alive | WIRED
Facebook Still Isn’t a Monopoly. A Federal Judge just told us what I’ve… | by Lance Ulanoff | Jun, 2021 | OneZero
Tech’s New Growth Industry: Antitrust Inquiries
Amazon Seeks Recusal of FTC Chairwoman Lina Khan in Antitrust Investigations of Company - WSJ
Federal Trade Commission expands antitrust powers in Chair Lina Khan’s first open proceeding - The Verge
Startup of the Week
What you need to know about Africa's tech startups - World Economic Forum
Tweet of the Week
Edwin Dorsey
A two-year-old Substack on local Charlotte news is earning $175,000.

The typical local reporter earns ~$40k.

Independent email newsletters are the future of local reporting: $0 start-up costs, flexibility, and incredible upside.
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Keith Teare

That Was The Week is a editorialized and curated weekly look at developments in tech, startups and investing

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Keith Teare, Palo Alto, California