VC-funded software startups are the exception, not the rule

Almost 50% of software companies on Gregslist have no outside funding and fewer than 20% are VC-funded.

Does that surprise you?

  • There are 5438 software companies on in 11 cities outside Silicon Valley.
  • 1019 companies are VC-funded.
  • 752 companies have some angel or seed funding.
  • 2460 companies are self-funded with no outside funding.

We track ALL the active software companies in these regions, not just the ones with big funding.

So many self-funded companies is a surprise to most of the founders I talk to who only see the big VC funding news.

They had no idea that VC-funding, especially big VC funding, is the exception, not the rule.

Fast-growing VC-funded companies are exciting and can become world-changing companies, for sure.

That’s the VC-funded bet. Be a unicorn fast.

By definition (unicorn!), that’s also pretty rare.

But there is a growing crowd of serious, practical founders who aren’t trying to create world-changing unicorns.

These founders don’t want VCs on their boards and they don’t want hundreds or thousands of employees.

They want to grow serious software companies with little or no outside funding so they can maintain the control, freedom, and optionality to do these things:

Grow at their own pace.

  • Sell for 10x revenues when it makes sense for the founder.
  • Focus on customers and employees, not investors.
  • Not bet the company on being a unicorn.
  • Not spend the next 10 years of their lives on a unicorn quest.

Most founders of software companies on Gregslist are practical founders.

It’s just another way to do it that is becoming popular, but it isn’t visible yet.

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