CXOs log out of unicorns to start up own ventures


The prolonged funding winter in the startup world is making several C-suite executives who helmed trailblazing new-age companies in recent years to quit and set up their own companies or join early-stage businesses that are receiving investor funds. A large number of top executives have moved from unicorns to Series A and B firms or even down the chain in recent months – a move that reflects fund flows in the startup space. Nearly 77% of active funding so far in 2023 have been below $30 million deal size – that are primarily pre-Series A, Series A and B companies, data put together for ET by executive search firm Longhouse Consulting showed. As many as 239 companies funded so far this calendar raised less than $5 million.

“A large number of deals are happening at the Series A, B or very early stage. A lot of executives are looking to move from unicorns to these places where there is a significant interest in funding,” said Anshuman Das, CEO of Longhouse Consulting.

Experts attribute this trend to a combination of factors including an overhang of uncertainty due to inadequate funding, a series of mass layoffs, and many firms’ plan to get listed on stock markets.

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