Catching U.S. Enterprise & B2B Unicorns

Disclaimer: This list is not likely complete nor precise. Please read on: A few weeks ago, I looked at U.S. consumer unicorns and scraped public databases (imperfect sources) to find which institutional investors got into companies that would eventually turn out to be worth over $1 billion. Specifically, I looked back to 2008 and tried to find funds which invested when the company was valued at or under $100m. These are just arbitrary parameters.

Now, I’ve done it for enterprise/B2B companies in tech which have started in 2005 or after in the U.S. Note, there are more of them, but the total enterprise value of these companies added up would still be dwarfed by what has happened in consumer services. Again, please note the data isn’t 100% precise, so if you see an error or omission, please just tell me and I’ll fix it. Also, some of these companies have ballooned above $1b (like WeWork), so while the pre-$100m rule doesn’t apply exactly to that company, I kept it the same here — I don’t know IRR but safe to say some of these firms have outsized returns on just one investment, so congrats to all who made the list.

Palantir / Founders Fund
Square / Khosla, SV Angel, First Round Capital
WeWork / Unknown
Cloudera / Accel, SV Angel
Pure Storage / Greylock
WorkDay / Greylock
Nimble Storage / Lightspeed, Accel, Sequoia
inMobi / Sherpalo, Kleiner Perkins
Nutanix / Lightspeed, Khosla, Blumberg
Magic Leap / Unknown
MongoDB / USV, Flybridge, Sequoia, Intel, In-Q-Tel
DocuSign / Century, Westriver, Frazier, Ignition, Sigma
SunRun / Accel
AppNexus / SV Angel, First Round, Khosla Ventures, Coriolis
Automattic / Polaris, Radar, Blacksmith, CNET Networks
Slack / Accel, SV Angel, Andreessen Horowitz
Actifio / North Bridge, Greylock, Advanced Tech Partners, Accel
AppDynamics / Greylock, Lightspeed, Kleiner Perkins
CloudFlare / Pelion, Venrock, NEA
Eventbrite / SV Angel, SoftTech, Sequoia, DAG, Tenaya
Credit Karma / Felicis, SV Angel, FF Angel, QED, Founders Fund
Qualtrics / (none)
Shopify / Bessemer, FirstMark, Felicis, Georgian
Box / USVP, DFJ, Scale
HortonWorks / Benchmark
New Relic / Benchmark, Trinity, Allen & Co, Tenaya
Stripe / YC, Sequoia, Andreessen Horowitz, SV Angel
Lookout / Trilogy, Kholsa Ventures, Lowercase, Accel
HootSuite / Leo Group, Blumberg, Hearst, Millennium Value Tech Partners, OMERS
Palo Alto Networks / Greylock, Sequoia
Apptio / Greylock, Madrona, Shasta
Meraki / Felicis, Sequoia, DAG, Northgate

Mention frequency > 1 are: SV Angel (7); Sequoia (5); Lightspeed (3); Greylock (5); Accel (3); Khosla Ventures (3); Kleiner Perkins (2), Blumberg (2); Benchmark (2); First Round (2); a16z (2); Felicis (2). Note, also, that many YC companies focused on B2B like Zenefits and Optimizely on their way to the billion dollar mark, so if you have suggestions there for a “too watch out for list,” I’ll update this. And, as they say, once is lucky (but still awesome), two is good, and three a pattern.

Haystack is written by Semil Shah, and is published under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license. Copyright © 2018 Semil Shah.

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