Image credit: Carta
Being acquired is one of the most common exit strategies for startups, but how can you predict when that acquisition will come? Well, according to one study, the series A funding round is the most likely time.
As the chart above shows, in six out of nine verticals, series A is the most common time for startups to be acquired.
Shared by Peter Walker, head of insights at Carta, the chart is based on data from January last year to May 2023 for startups acquired off of the US-based ownership and equity management platform.
See also: Common growth mistakes that SEA startups make and how to fix them
Interestingly, pre-seed is a common acquisition time for startups in consumer, hardware, and energy industries – though data for the last vertical may have been skewed by a small sample size of only 14 companies.
One commonality across industries is that a small percentage of startups were acquired during their series D round or later.