No Unicorn Exit? It’s okay.

I caught up with a successful late-stage founder. His tech company is doing tens of millions of dollars in annual revenue and growing at a healthy rate, but it’s still unprofitable. Exiting his business has always been this founder’s goal, which he’s transparent about to everyone. During our call, he shared that his exit-value expectation has changed.

He was targeting a unicorn exit, meaning he wanted to sell his company for more than $1 billion. But he said that the late-stage market for tech companies isn’t great, and he’s come to accept the idea of an exit of $100 million or more. He, his investors, and his employees would all realize a material outcome above that number, and an outcome above $1 billion is unlikely.

That’s a big change in what’s acceptable to this founder, but it reflects the current reality. I’m curious to see how the thoughts of founders at all stages about valuations evolve as the rest of this year unfolds.