On $600B of Y Combinator Startup Success


As with last years’ post, I’d like to start by emphasizing just how incredibly skewed value creation is in the world of tech startups. Startup valuations tend to fall along a steep power law curve in an eerily predictable way.


Venture investing rewards the patient, as it typically takes 5–10 years for a technology startup to mature. When we analyze YC’s top companies by batch year, we can see the unicorns tend to be 5+ years old:


So where do all these unicorns and minicorns come from?


A couple years ago I wrote about the slow erosion of Silicon Valley’s dominance when it comes to tech startups, and since then both the Valley’s dominance and its slow erosion have continued, which we can see in these breakdowns of the unicorns and minicorns by city:


A couple years ago I also wrote about the shifting landscape of YC batches by industry, and many of the trends I spoke about have continued, with some new trends starting to emerge as well. Let’s look first at the unicorns broken down by industry:



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Jared Heyman

Jared Heyman


Tech guy and investor. Founder at Rebel Fund and previously Pioneer Fund. Chairman of Infosurv and CrowdMed (YC W13). Former Bain consultant. Data nerd.