Hello and welcome back to our regular morning look at private companies, public markets and the gray space in between.
It’s been a busy decade in the venture capital world. Ten years ago there were fewer than 20 known unicorns in the United States. That figure has risen to more than 200 in the intervening period. Back in 2010, global venture capital was estimated by some at around $50 billion. Venture reporter and genial chap Jason D. Rowley put that figure at $295 billion, give or take, at the end of 2019.
Hidden in those metrics is not just investment from the venture capital firms most famous in our common mind — Sequoia from the old guard, Andreessen Horowitz from the new. Also included are the efforts of corporate venture capital players. Not as stodgy as they were once considered, corporate venture capital shops (CVCs) have grown in popularity as investment vehicles for cash-rich corporations hoping to avoid being killed off by more vibrant upstarts. The results of that popularity have helped boost rising venture totals.
I’ve spent the last day or so picking through a report1 from industry group Global Corporate Venturing that charts how quickly the CVC world grew in the past decade through the end of 2019. Ahead: how fast CVC has grown, how much capital they are putting to work and what their targets are for investing returns. Understanding how the corporate VC landscape has changed will help us understand how venture itself has changed and how startups should plan their next raise.