SV Founders Report (5/5): A Look Into A Startup’s Timeline.

By Siddharth Choksi, Summer Analyst at Samaipata Ventures. We analysed roughly 200 founders across Europe who exited for, or raised rounds above $50M in the past decade, not for their financial success, but the technological disruption they caused. We analysed over 15 different variables, here are some of our key findings.

Samaipata Writer
Jul 3, 2017 · 5 min read

In this final post of our ‘Founders Report’ series we will be looking at the time variable of ventures in the startup world.


The image above perfectly illustrates that disruptive entrepreneurs in their twenty-somethings aren’t exactly considered ‘norm’ when taking a look at the startup community as a whole.

In a previous post we noticed that college drop-outs turn entrepreneurs aren’t exactly common occurrences in the startup world either; in fact, most European founders actually have numerous years of relevant professional experience on the job market prior to the launching their startup.

Interestingly, the figures in the image above tell us that people in their early/mid thirties are actually the most common demographic to undertake entrepreneurship in Europe.

In contrast to the overall European startup ecosystem, founders whose startups have joined the prestigious ‘unicorn club’ tend to open shop at a far earlier age.

For those unaware, in startup jargon the term ‘unicorn’ refers to a company that is valued at $1 billion or higher. According to TechCrunch, this highly elite category of startups counts just 262 members (as of June 2017).

It’s important to note that all unicorns are by definition outliers, hence unusual trend lines within the exclusive segment isn’t all that surprising.

CrunchBase, the highly comprehensive database of global startups, had more than 105,000 companies listed on its platform back in 2014; with those numbers the incredibly select category would represent a mere 0,25% of the global startup ecosystem!

Fortune Magazine did a study in 2016 which revealed the true rate at which entrepreneurship has picked up in recent years, especially within the ‘millennial’-generation. It was said that so-called ‘millennipreneurs’ are targeting higher profits, managing more staff, and starting more businesses.

Today’s digital natives are as adept at consuming new technologies as they are unencumbered by old ways of thinking. — Krisztina Holly, Forbes

With the digital era full in fledge, the barrier to entry into the global startup world is virtually non-existent; the only tool entrepreneurs need today, is a device with decent Wi-Fi connection and you’re good to go.


Despite the fact that the $50M to $100M bracket is the most reoccurring in the European ecosystem, nearly 40% of the founders in our analysis saw their startup exit for a figure between $101M to $500M; illustrating the power and potential of the rapidly growing European startup ecosystem! 💪

Interestingly, if we make an industry comparison of the European startups and the global unicorn startups, we notice that both cases invest most of their resources in the same industries, namely: (in no real order)

  1. FinTech 💰
  2. Delivery 🚲
  3. Social Media 📱
  4. Travel ✈️

Most of these sectors barely existed a mere decade ago!


Age of Startups at Exit (either IPO or Acquisition)

The image shows us that on average the duration of a European venture, from incorporation to exit, takes a little over 7 years. Interestingly, a substantial amount of startups only witness their exits after a decade of having opened shop.

Although, with the increasing trend in startups and funding opportunities that Europe has seen in the last few years, we’re feeling optimistic that they will join efforts to optimise the ecosystem and reap the fruits of their shared entrepreneurial efforts by developing consistently more effective launchpads.

7 years after launching Ticketbis, I exited to eBay. Today, the Spanish startup ecosystem is much more mature than it was half a decade ago. The more developed an ecosystem is, the greater growth potential newly founded startups have. — Ander Michelena, CEO Ticketbis

Also, governments are starting to acknowledge the importance of entrepreneurship and in effort to stimulate this, many have launched initiatives to make hubs like Paris and Barcelona more founder friendly! 👏

Macron Says He Wants France to Be a ‘Startup Nation’


With disruptive and revolutionary technologies being unveiled on a daily basis, it’s clear that time is a true luxury for entrepreneurs that needs to be valued. Likewise, its important to note that results of one’s efforts won’t necessarily present itself overnight; patience and commitment are crucial!

Don’t ever let the stress of time get the best of you. Seize every moment! 💪

This post is part of a series comprising of 5 articles, in which we will be discussing and presenting our most astonishing findings after thorough research on nearly 200 founders.

Feel free to leave us any comments/feedback, they are always welcome!


We are an early-stage founders’ fund investing in marketplaces and digital brands across Europe

Samaipata Writer

Written by

Samaipata Ventures invests in seed-stage marketplaces & DNVBs across Southern Europe.



We are an early-stage founders’ fund investing in marketplaces and digital brands across Europe

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