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

Updated 58 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 32,994,213 — Total deaths: 996,682 — Total recoveries: 22,850,358Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 7,114,235 — Total deaths: 204,752 — Total recoveries: 2,766,280 — Total tests: 101,298,794Map.
  3. States: 3 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week — New York daily cases top 1,000 for first time since June.
  4. Health: The long-term pain of the mental health pandemicFewer than 10% of Americans have coronavirus antibodies.
  5. Business: Millions start new businesses in time of coronavirus.
  6. Education: Summer college enrollment offers a glimpse of COVID-19's effect.

Democrats demand Trump release his tax returns after NYT report

Compilation images of House Nancy Pelosi and President Trump. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Democrats called on President Trump to disclose his tax returns following a New York Times report alleging he paid $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017 and nothing in 10 of the past 15 years.

Details: Trump said the report was "total fake news," that he's unable to release the returns as they're "under audit" by the IRS, "which does not treat me well." House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a statement the report "provides further evidence of the clear need" for a House lawsuit to access the tax returns and "ensure the presidential audit program is functioning effectively, without improper influence."

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Former Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale hospitalized

Brad Parscale, the former campaign manager for President Trump's re-election campaign, at Drake University in January in Des Moines, Iowa. Photo: Tom Brenner/Getty Images

Fort Lauderdale police arrived at former Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale's home on Sunday after his wife called and said he was threatening to harm himself, Florida officials confirmed to Axios.

Details: Fort Lauderdale Police Sgt. DeAnna Greenlaw told Axios officers responded to a report of "an armed male attempting suicide" just before 4 p.m. local time.