With IPOs hard to come by, venture investors look to mergers and acquisitions for most of their exits. That’s been an argument for smaller fund sizes because corporate acquirers don’t normally pay $1 billion for start-ups. For a $200 million fund, a $250 million exit looks mighty fine.
But even those are rare, more so today than a decade ago. Our colleagues at Dow Jones VentureSource looked at the percentage of mergers and acquisitions since 2000 that were valued at $250 million or more and found they accounted for a mere 5.1% of venture-backed companies sold during the period.