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The Un-Silicon Valley Path to Unicorn Status

The Un-Silicon Valley Path to Unicorn Status
July 21, 2022

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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Here at the Daily Stack, we cover a wide range of news in the private sector--from companies with fledgling ideas that could be the next Airbnb for X to industry leaders creating solutions for supply chain woes to IPO alternatives. The vast majority of businesses we cover in our database, however, are the middle market companies who haven’t touched VC or PE funding.


The Private to Public Pipeline is Narrow
While roughly 500,000 new businesses are started each month in the U.S., only 92 companies have gone public thus far in 2022. This figure is down from the 1,073 companies who IPO’d in 2021. The private equity firm KKR, which invests in private companies and hopes to make a significant return on its investments once they hit the stock exchange, has been switching up its strategy amidst unfavorable public market conditions. The firm says it expects to hold out until 2023 for many of its late-stage private companies, preferring to extend debt and equity financing in the meantime.


Non-VC Backed Unicorns
Private companies who have reached unicorn status on their own include household names like Mailchimp (which serves as the backbone for this newsletter). The company took the remarkable approach of slow and steady growth without venture funding and built a product that earns it $800MM in annual revenue. Mailchimp received some flack from employees when the company backtracked on previous statements and sold the company for $12BN to Intuit in 2021.

The founding story of Spanx has become something of a mythological tale in the world of non-VC-backed companies. Its founder was a door-to-door vacuum salesperson who used $5,000 of her own money and built a billion-dollar company.

Quest Nutrition started as a protein bar made in a home kitchen. The founder wrote 1,000 handwritten letters and included a bar for fitness influencers. The company sold to Simply Good Foods Co for $1BN in 2019, nine years after its first batch.

For more bootstrappers, use the "exclude" option for VC and PE-backed companies under “Ownership” in our Advanced Search feature.

No shows at work
Vacations and sicknesses are making it tough for small businesses to stay open.
The slow turnover snag
An existential threat to the electric-vehicle industry may be the long life of its cars.

Since last week, PrivCo has added:
1,386 Companies | 203 Funding Activities | 179 M&A Deals

Funding & Deal Highlights:

Nanosys raises $50MM from Fortress

Nanotechnology • Round B • Milpitas, CA

Innago raises $4MM from Allison

SaaS • Equity • Hudson, OH

Kerecis raises $60MM from Kirkbi

Biotechnology • Equity • Reykjavik, Iceland

Cleerly raises $192MM from T. Rowe

Digital Health • Round C • New York, NY

Allwhere raises $9.5MM from DESCOvery

Virtual Workforce • Seed • New York, NY

Roster raises $6MM from Grix VC

Branding • Seed • Lehi, UT

Everside Health raises $164MM from NEA

Healthcare • Equity • Denver, CO

DSCVR raises $9MM from Polychain

Web3 • Seed • Los Angeles, CA

Replay raises $55MM from KKR

Biotechnology • Seed • San Diego, CA

Arable Labs raises $40MM from Galvanize

SaaS • Round C • San Francisco, CA 

FemTech acquires Nutrimedy

Nutrition • Acquisition • Worcester, MA

Boise Cascade acquires Coastal Forest

Building Products • Acquisition • Havana, FL

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