Updated Feb 15, 2018

Tech "unicorn" exits are actually up

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Despite all the groans about a "unicorn" IPO drought, such companies last year saw a record number of exits in North America and Europe, according to a new report from Pitchbook.

Why it matters: With an increasing number of startups valued at $1 billion or more, and continued availability of late-state private financing, there's been a growing concern over lack of liquidity for investors and early employees.

But in 2017, 24 companies valued at over $1 billion exited, including a number of IPOs. Additionally, IPOs of VC-backed companies increased 203% in value and 30% in count from 2016.

  • Caveat: Broader VC-backed exit counts are slowing, although values are still high. Moreover, acquisitions declined for a third year in a row, decreasing by 21% in value and 15.4% in deal count from 2016.

Alternative liquidity:

  • Private equity buyouts of VC-backed companies shot up to 18.5% of all VC-backed exits last year, and nearly doubled in value to $8.1 billion, according to Pitchbook.
  • The Nasdaq recently reported that, in 2017, it facilitated a record $32 billion of private secondary transactions, three times that of the previous year.

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 1,216,422 — Total deaths: 65,711 — Total recoveries: 252,478Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 312,245 — Total deaths: 8,503 — Total recoveries: 15,021Map.
  3. Public health latest: CDC launches national trackers and recommends face coverings in public. Federal government will cover costs of COVID-19 treatment for uninsured. The virus is hitting poor, minority communities harder and upending childbirth.
  4. 2020 latest: "We have no contingency plan," Trump said on the 2020 Republican National Convention. "We're having the convention at the end of August."
  5. Business updates: Restaurants step up for health care workers. Employees are pressuring companies to provide protections during coronavirus.
  6. Oil latest: Monday meeting among oil-producing countries to discuss supply curbs is reportedly being delayed amid tensions between Saudi Arabia and Russia.
  7. Education update: Many college-age students won't get coronavirus relief checks.
  8. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Trump sees "sooner rather than later" return of pro sports

Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

President Trump predicted yesterday that the Republican National Convention will open as scheduled in Charlotte on Aug. 24 — "We have no contingency plan" — setting a new bar for a phased return to business in America.

The big picture: With the virus peak for New York projected as Thursday, and for the nation as April 15 (a week from Wednesday), Trump continued trying to leaven dire warnings with a sunny streak.

Go deeperArrow31 mins ago - Sports

Pope Francis delivers Palm Sunday sermon to empty St. Peter’s Basilica

Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Pope Francis called on listeners in his Palm Sunday sermon — on the first day of Holy Week — to "reach out to those who are suffering and those most in need" during the coronavirus pandemic, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: Francis delivered his message inside an empty St. Peter’s Basilica, broadcasting it over the internet to churches around the world.

Go deeperArrow1 hour ago - World