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.