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To mark First Round's 10th birthday, we did a deep dive into the last decade of our investment data to surface some interesting and surprising insights about how startups succeed (or not). Check it out and share!
10years.firstround.com Where You Went
to School Matters First Round companies with at least one founder who attended an Ivy League school, Stanford, MIT or Caltech performed 220% better than other teams. F I N D I N G # 3 HARVARD COLUMBIA PENN CORNELL +220%
10years.firstround.com The Halo Effect of
Former Employers is Real Founding teams with experience at Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft or Twitter built companies that performed 160% better than others in the First Round community. F I N D I N G # 4 +160% Performance Valuations +50%
10years.firstround.com Investors Pay More for
Repeat Founders Our investments in repeat founders didn't perform significantly better than our investments in first-timers — because their initial valuations tended to be 50% higher. F I N D I N G # 5 Valuations +50%
10years.firstround.com Solo Founders do
Much Worse than Teams Teams with more than one founder outperformed solo founders by a whopping 163% and solo founders' seed valuations were 25% less than our teams with more than one founder. F I N D I N G # 6 +163% Valuations Performance +25%
10years.firstround.com First Round enterprise companies
with at least one technical founder perform a full 230% better than their non-technical colleagues. But consumer companies with at least one technical co-founder underperform completely non-technical teams by 31%. -31% +230% Performance Technical Co- Founders are Critical in Enterprise Not So Much In Consumer F I N D I N G # 7
10years.firstround.com You Can Succeed Outside
Big Tech Hubs First Round companies founded outside New York and the Bay Area are performing just as well as their peers based in those epicenters — in fact, they do 1.3% better. F I N D I N G # 8 +1.3% Better between
10years.firstround.com The Next Big Thing
Can Come from Anywhere Companies that we discovered through Twitter, Demo Day, etc. outperformed referred companies by 58.4%. Founders that came directly to us with their ideas did about 23% better. F I N D I N G # 9 Josh, you have to see this Hey, Look at my idea! Brand new idea! +23% +58%
10years.firstround.com The Action is Moving
from Sand Hill to San Francisco Before 2009, we invested nearly equally between San Francisco and the rest of the Bay Area. During the last five years, 75% of our Northern California companies started their companies in the city. F I N D I N G # 1 0 Sand Hill San Francisco