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Growth Stage CEOs: Growth Is Off The Charts

Last Thursday we hosted 25 of the top growth stage CEOs in the US for our quarterly CEO dinner.  This quarter’s topic was “Growth Stage Financing, M&A and IPOs,” and our guest speakers were noted experts on the subject – Ted Wang (Fenwick & West), Keith Rabois (COO at Square) and Bruce Felt (CFO, SuccessFactors).

My Partner Glenn Solomon listed a few of the highlights on his blog last Friday – see Glenn’s post The Top 10 Ideas from GGV’s CEO Dinner Panel.

In addition to those insights, we took a survey of CEOs in attendance.  A few of the highlights:

1) Size & Funding.  47% of companies in attendance will do >$25M in revenue in 2011.  55% of companies have raised >$15M in venture capital to date, and 59% are planning to raise more in 2011 (wondering where all those new growth stage venture capital funds are going to go?).

3) Growth.  Perhaps the most amazing statistic (and perhaps a bit of an explanation as to why valuations have continued to rise) – 100% of companies are growing revenue at >30% per year, and 82% are growing at >50% per year.  Wow.

4) Hiring.  55% of CEOs said the war for talent is a real challenge  – “very competitive, harder than 2010.”

5) Valuations.  Given their growth rates, this is not surprising, but 77% of CEO’s said they believe valuations will be at their current levels or higher throughout the end of 2011 (46% said they’ll be higher).

6) M&A.  45% of CEOs said M&A interest in their company has increased considerably vs 2010, while 55% said it’s essentially the same as 2010.

7) IPOs.  25% of our CEOs said they are currently planning for a 2011 or 2012 IPO, while 55% said an IPO isn’t something they’ve thought about and 20% said they “have no interest in running a public company.”

Thank you to everyone who attended, and a special thanks to our guest speakers – Ted, Keith and Bruce.  Some great insights shared over a great meal at Town Hall in San Francisco.

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