Years from founding to exit in tech

We looked at how long it took 224 publicly traded tech companies to exit. Specifically, we took the difference between the founding year and the last year financials were released as a private company. The data is below and organized between SaaS companies (153) and Other Tech (71).

SaaS takes a long time. On median SaaS companies took 10 years to IPO/exit since founding and 11 years on average. If we isolate only those companies that exited in 2019 or 2020, those companies took 11 years to exit on median.

Other Tech exits faster (generally B2C focused). This category includes Social Media, Marketplaces, Ad Based businesses, Hardware, Ride Sharing, and other B2C tech. On median the exit took 7 years and on average 8 years.

The 90’s were awesome. Netscape IPO’d in 1994, the same year it was founded. Netflix IPO’d 4 years after its 1997 founding. Google took 5 years after being founded in 1998, TakeTwo took 6 years (founded in 1993), Amazon took 2 years, and Overstock took 3 years. Companies with a pre-2000 founding vintage got to exit very fast even though they were far smaller than companies that IPO today. The 90’s were an incredible time.

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