We now use the VentureSource database. We merged data with VentureSource so much of our research on shutdowns and acquisitions has been incorporated into the data. Using the Dow Jones VentureSource database, the Dow Jones Index of Venture Capital is built from the ground up—at the level of the individual venture-backed company.
There are approximately 18,000 individual companies and 60,000 valuation events (rounds of funding, bridge rounds, public offerings, acquisitions, and shutdowns) in the data.
Among the 11,000 companies that have exited:
- 15% did IPOs
- 15% were acquired at values higher than total amount of money raised from venture investors
- another 20% were acquired at values lower than the total investment
- and the other half failed worthless
The average returns to venture capital are high despite the high fraction of poor outcomes. The annual return, gross of expenses and carry, is just under 17 percent per year. This is the return an investor would have earned, before expenses and carry, by investing in all venture deals in proportion to deal size, and re-investing all money distributed through IPOs and acquisitions into the remaining venture universe.