Unicorn exits exceeded unicorn births in Q2 2016, according to a report. The H1 Global Tech Exits Report, conducted by CBInsights, found that for the first time in six quarters there were more VC-backed billion dollar exits than new private VC-backed companies valued at $1bn. Nantheath and SiteCore were among the half’s biggest exits.
H1 2016 exit activity was down 17% on H1 2015, the report added, dropping to 1,591 exits from 1,910 before—despite a small recovery up 6% in this year’s second quarter. 53% of exits were made at less than $50 million, while 26% of firms exited between $50m and $200m. Just 4% of companies exited at a billion dollars or more, including Jasper Technology and Twilio. The report only includes first-time exits.
IPO activity, too, is down on last year, falling 41% to just 16 in H1 2016.
IBM and Microsoft were the two most active acquirers this half. IBM’s buys included Resilient Systems for $100m and Blue Wolf Group for $200m, among others. It also plans to acquire Truven Health Analytics later this year for $2.6bn.
Microsoft bought Xamarin for $500m, and its $26.2bn planned acquisition of LinkedIn later this year will ensure its wallet remains active. The top VC investors were NEA, Sequoia, IVP and Accel, respectively.
The United States leads exit activity, followed by the UK, India, Canada, Germany and France. China fell out of the top ten, placing 11th after a seventh spot last year. The US’ 429 exits this quarter topped last quarter’s figure by just a single deal. California headed up domestic tech exits, followed by New York, Texas and Massachusetts.
Internationally, Europe performed well during this half’s M&A activity. It climbed to 208 exits in Q2 2016, compared to 181 in Q1 2016 and 180 in Q4 2015. Asian exits rallied from 83 exits last quarter, to 90 this.