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A note on data
Sharing the perspectives and analyses presented in this deck required a time series of overall funding. However, there is no source of
comprehensive (let alone granular) deal-level data that goes back before the late 1990s. Therefore, we were obliged to vet and combine
incomplete data from multiple sources.
Where some data sets were more comprehensive on broad parameters but limited in historical range, others were broader than our
definitions of software tech (e.g., they included medical devices). There were other screening differences as well; for example as larger
deals became more commonplace but were not referred to as “venture” funding, we looked to a different source that would allow us to
roll up that deal-level data as shown in this deck.
To ensure as much rigor as possible in sourcing our data, we compared data from several sources against each other and then collated
and de-duped it into a master data set for a few years which we then checked for accuracy across each of those sources to determine
the best ones. While there are many caveats (and counterarguments!) we could make about the data given various tradeoffs, here are
some of the key things to note when reviewing this deck:
1. Historical transaction-level data is much more robust after 1996 than before it. We also had to fuse together different data sets, using
Jay Ritter & NVCA before 1996 and Capital IQ after 1996 and merging them at the join.
2. The data set for age at funding is not complete and becomes less complete the further back we go, especially before 1996. From 1998
to 2001 we are also missing founding year data for 20% of deals, versus 3% for later deals. The missing companies will skew heavily to
small and/or young companies, so adding this data would show an even greater swing than the one we point to in this presentation.
Notes for slide 30: Microsoft, Oracle & Amazon Series A valuations assumed at $3m for illustrative purpose; Series A to IPO represents
return multiple from Series A valuation to market cap at first close post-IPO