TMT Exits — No End in Sight?

In May, Neeraj Agrawal and Logan Bartlett from Battery Ventures published a great presentation on the 2019 Software market. The Telecoms, Media, and Technology Sector (“TMT”) is a bit bigger. Over the past 10 years TMT exit volume has been steadily rising. Until 2019, there was no end in sight.

VC-backed TMT Exit Volume Globally [billion USD], 2008 to 2019 (Source: Pitchbook, as of 05/23/2019)
VC-backed TMT Exit Volume Globally [billion USD], 2008 to 2019 [Source: Pitchbook, as of 05/23/2019]

2012, 2014, and 2018 include some larger tickets: There were a few outliers with exit valuations greater than $10B. If we remove these outliers, the total TMT exit volume shows a CAGR of 22% from 2008 through 2018.

VC-backed TMT Exit Volume Globally [billion USD], excluding outliers >$10B exit valuations, 2008 to 2019 (Source: Pitchbook, as of 05/23/2019)
VC-backed TMT Exit Volume Globally [billion USD], excluding outliers >$10B exit valuations, 2008 to 2019 (Source: Pitchbook, as of 05/23/2019)

However, 2019 now seems interesting: Taking out Lyft, Uber, Pinterest, the remaining $55 billion exit valuations suddenly seem small. Up to 06/16/2019, there were 17 exits with valuation greater than $1B. There are a few deals slanted for an awesome exit in 2019, but so far volume lags behind. Is 2019 the end of this bull run? Is the market bifurcating: if you’re not mega, you’re small? I’m very curious how this is going to play out this year…

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