2011, The 1 Billion Dollar Year??

Edit 1 – Techvibe just put together a more comprehensive list than mine – http://www.techvibes.com/blog/techvibes-comprehensive-list-of-canadian-tech-acquisitions-50-and-counting-2011-06-08. It is an even a bigger year than I thought!

Edit 2 – I have been corrected that the Coradiant acquisition was more likely $100m-$150m. Updated below. Bigger than I thought! Glad to see I was “under-reporting”

Interesting first 6 months to 2011. Check out this list of exits:

Radian6 – $326mm
Coradiant – $100mm (guess – this one has been tougher to size, some searching shows them to be around 100 employees with 10mm revenue?? That Akamai partnership feels pretty strategic though…)
Pushlife – $25mm
Tungle – $20mm (guess off of last raise/valuation)
PostRank – $15mm (consensus guess from asking around)
CoverItLive – $10mm (big guess)
tinyHippos – < $1mm (4 employees)
About $495mm. Give or take $25mm depending on my math.

Firstly, this is a perfect example of how VC exit math works and the power of a fundmaker like Radian6.

But get this, we are exactly 6 months in and almost half way to…. well… July/August/December all kind of suck for doing deals… buuuutttt… maybe… maybe if I utter the amount… people will dream and we could maybe dreamily hit 1 BILLION DOLLARS in returns this year. Wow, 1 BILLION. Thats nine 0’s.

The Net Value of All Exits for 2011?? (by Adam Crowe, some rights reserved)

We’d need another big mama ala Radian6, and another 4 $20-$30mm exits. I could hazard a guess at a few companies that could exit for $20mm+ today and now, but the big, big question is, where will the big exit come from?

Kobo Books (@kobo)

They just raised $50mm. Not sure about the valuation, but we could size it at say $150mm – $300mm (I’d go higher because they are very young and having a $50mm raise means they have a vertigo inducing growth/revenue curve). And lets not forget the mainstream press chatting about an Apple acquisition. This could be a high 9 figure to billion dollar plus exit if something happens.

Freshbooks (@freshbooks)

They state over 2mm users on their home page. Lets say 10% are paying customers and they pay on average $30/month (looking at their pricing plans). 200k * $30/month * 12 months = $72mm in annual revenue. Even at 5% freemium conversion they are at $36mm. Thats a big customer base and a big chunky, sticky subscription revenue base.

Would love to hear from folks. What other startups do we have hanging about that could do a big exit? Am I missing any of the 2011 exits to date?

The Next 10 Years…

Editor’s note: This is a guest post by serial entrepreneur and investor Howard Lindzon of StockTwits andSocialLeverage. He was born and raised in Toronto and has a soft spot for his hometown and Canadian entrepreneurs.  You can find this post on Howard’s blog and to stay up to date you can follow him on Twitter @howardlindzon or StockTwits @howardlindzon.

Nobody knows!

Nobody knows what the next 10 minutes will be like, let alone the next 10 years.

It used to be no one cared what the next 10 minutes were going to be like. Twitter has changed that for good at this point.

What we can do is look back for patterns and try to project them into the future or as we do in the stock market all day, spot patterns that are upon us or emerging.

It’s a fantastic business to be in.

William Quigley has a really good post up hypothesizing on the next 10 years in web, tech and VC land. Here is some meat:

Let’s also keep in mind that public companies are generally a lot less risky than private ones. Less work and lower risk. That is how it used to be for public shareholders, but that era has ended for good. Let me give you some perspective on how much things have changed since the last tech cycle.

Amazon.com, the world’s largest Internet retailer, went public at a $440 million valuation. Hard to believe, isn’t it? A company worth $90 billion today was worth just over $400 million when it went public in 1997. That skimpy valuation represented less than one times its forward 12 months of revenues, a multiple more closely associated with a corrugated cardboard manufacturer than the most important innovator in retailing in the past 100 years.

eBay went public at a $650 million valuation, representing less than three times its forward revenues. Amazingly, this valuation was considered adequate even though at the time of its IPO, eBay had already established itself as the pre-eminent auction site on the web. Go back to the earlier part of the 1990s, and it gets even more extreme. Cisco, the most important company in computer networking infrastructure, went public at $225 million, a valuation representing just over one time its annual revenues.

William is talking my book so I totally agree but I always have one foot out the door. I have been called to task often over my years managing money for being too risk averse.

I consider myself ‘liquidity averse‘. I don’t mind paying up for the highest momentum public companies for the liquidity they provide and I won’t pay up for start-ups for the liquidity denied. I assume liquidity is a miracle and need to maximize my upside for that risk. STARTUPS ARE HARD! No matter what happens the next 10 years, you need to read this post and remember the miracle of effort needed to make a start-up succeed.

Not many people I have run across in my 13 years of managing money deploy my strategy or thinking and that emboldens me. I believe the two ends of the investing spectrum are very connected and I am fascinated by the ‘tells’ I see by watching the all-time high list and Angel List.

While I am not sure of the next 10 minutes, let alone the next 10 years, I am confident in my work that thousands of web entrepreneurs will take notice and follow my strategy in the years ahead.