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The 30 Oldest Private Companies on PrivCo

The 30 Oldest Private Companies on PrivCo
September 2, 2021

The Daily Stack is a daily private market insights newsletter by PrivCo, a private company intelligence platform. Read our previous insights.
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Today, we look at the businesses that have survived World Wars, pandemics, recessions, and ecological disasters to learn what gives them staying power. 

The OG
The oldest company in our system is cymbal maker extraordinaire Avedis Zildjian Co., the cymbal maker born in 1623. That year was notable for unsuccessful peace talks between colonists and Native Americans, for the Dutch West India company beginning its trading along the Hudson River, and for an alchemist dubbed Zildjian, who was trying to make gold and along the way, discovered the secret alloy that would go on to produce his namesake cymbals. The company arrived in the U.S. by way of Armenia in 1927 and has survived by keeping innovation alive in its factories while staying true to the core product. The company added drumsticks in 1988, becoming a favorite of drummer legends Vinnie Colaiuta (Sting), Dennis Chambers (Santana), and Joey Kramer (Aerosmith).

Here's the full list of our oldest private companies:

Other notable stalwarts include Sotheby’s Home, which has been providing snobby auctioneers with jobs since 1744, and King Arthur Baking Company (1790) which recently received a branding refresh and saw a 58% increase in flour sales during the pandemic’s bread baking renaissance. The Encyclopaedia Britannica has had to weather a number of critical changes to remain as one of the oldest publishing outfits. The company has gone from employing a fleet of door-to-door salespeople, reaching a peak of 120,000 units sold in 1990, to offering the last print edition in 2010 to a digital learning center.

Several hotels have made the list including the Nassau Inn in Princeton, New Jersey, which opened during the American Revolution and counts some of the Founding Fathers amongst its famed guests. The Greenbrier Resort in Appalachian West Virginia is nearly as old as the United States itself, where duck hunting, bowling, and exploring the old Cold War bunker shelter are all on the agenda.

What does these companies’ longevity tell us? Excellence in consumer staples (like booze & flour) and expertise in your craft (like cymbals or aerospace parts) are evergreen elements to a successful business. In a booming tech landscape circling a bubble, dare we even ask what tech companies will still be in existence in 2321?

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Since last week, PrivCo has added:

639 Companies | 153 Funding Activities | 101 M&A Deals

Funding & Deal Highlights:


FTX Exchange will acquire LedgerX

Crypto Fintech • Acquisition • New York, NY

Gatik raises $85MM from Koch Industries Private Equity

Autonomous Delivery • Round B • Palo Alto, CA

Doctor Anywhere raises $65.7MM from Asia Partners

Health Care • Round C • Singapore

Genome Medical raises $60MM from Casdin Capital

Healthtech • Round C • San Francisco, CA

Kevala raises $21MM from Thin Line Capital 

Renewable Energy • Round A • San Rafael, CA

Apax Partners acquires SavATree

Landscape Designer • Acquisition • Bedford Hills, NY

Inhabit IQ acquires ResMan

Real Estate Tech • Acquisition • Plano, TX

ByteDance acquires Pico Interactive

VR • Acquisition • San Francisco, CA

Check Point Software acquires Avanan 

Compliance • Acquisition • New York, NY

ANSYS acquires Zemax

Optical Software • Acquisition • Kirkland, WA

Southwest Gas Corporation acquires Riggs Distler

Solar Energy • Acquisition • Cherry Hill, NJ

Patreon acquires Clear Talent

Tech Recruiting • Acquisition • San Francisco, CA


A24 exploring sale for rumored $2.8BN

Production Company • Acquisition • New York, NY

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