To mark First Round's 10th birthday, we did a deep dive into the last decade of our investment data to surface some interesting and surprising insights about how startups succeed (or not). Check it out and share!
Where You Went
First Round companies with at least
one founder who attended an Ivy
League school, Stanford, MIT or
Caltech performed 220% better
than other teams.
F I N D I N G # 3
Effect of Former
Employers is Real
Founding teams with experience at
Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google,
Microsoft or Twitter built companies
that performed 160% better than
others in the First Round community.
F I N D I N G # 4
More for Repeat
Our investments in repeat founders
didn't perform significantly better
than our investments in first-timers —
because their initial valuations
tended to be 50% higher.
F I N D I N G # 5
do Much Worse
Teams with more than one founder
outperformed solo founders by a
whopping 163% and solo founders'
seed valuations were 25% less than
our teams with more than one
F I N D I N G # 6
First Round enterprise companies with at
least one technical founder perform a full
230% better than their non-technical
colleagues. But consumer companies with
at least one technical co-founder
underperform completely non-technical
teams by 31%.
are Critical in
Not So Much In Consumer
F I N D I N G # 7
Big Tech Hubs
First Round companies founded
outside New York and the Bay Area
are performing just as well as their
peers based in those epicenters — in
fact, they do 1.3% better.
F I N D I N G # 8
Big Thing Can Come
Companies that we discovered through
Twitter, Demo Day, etc. outperformed
referred companies by 58.4%.
Founders that came directly to us with
their ideas did about 23% better.
F I N D I N G # 9
Josh, you have to see this
Hey, Look at my idea!
Brand new idea!
The Action is
Moving from Sand
Hill to San Francisco
Before 2009, we invested nearly
equally between San Francisco and
the rest of the Bay Area. During the
last five years, 75% of our Northern
California companies started their
companies in the city.
F I N D I N G # 1 0