We are already past the unicorn peak
In the final quarter of 2019, startup financing rounds worth $100 million or more reached a local minimum. With 103 such deals, just $22.7 billion was paid out in nine-digit parts in the fourth quarter of 2019. That dollar figure rose in early 2020, then retreated during the pandemic-hit second quarter. But from then on, huge rounds for startups rose steadily in 2021, data from CB Insights shows.
That boom led to one of the most impressive ranges of value creation in the private market ever. But since the go-go-go year 2021 has come to a close, something has changed for the most valuable startups. And the change is not positive.
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Data indicates that the pace of unicorn birth — the rate at which new startups reach the $1 billion valuation threshold — has slowed, so-called mega-rounds worth $100 million or more have slowed, and the larger venture capital market is realigning are investments in early stage companies.