Unicorn Startups, Dragon Startups… What Do You Call a Startup That Returns ALL Your Funds?

dragon startupThis morning I wrote about the Fitbit IPO, and casually referenced the company as a “dragon startup”. It turns out I can’t keep these mythical creatures straight, and *technically* at least according to the paper on dragon startups, a dragon merely returns the fund.

Stewart Alsop of Alsop Louie Partners dropped me a quick note to point out:

I think the article that proposed the term “dragon” defined one as returning a multiple of the whole fund, rather than returning a simple $1B. Since the Foundry fund that invested in Fitbit was ~$240m, this is even better — nearly 10x the entire fund (if it’s still worth $6B when the stock is sold or distributed). Even more congratulations due to the firm…

I also chatted with original “Unicorns vs. Dragons”┬áco-author Hemant Bhardwaj, who said:

“Fitbit is definitely a Dragon for Foundry, but because it returned their fund, not because it returned $1B to investors. So this would fall into the dragon label :) but maybe super dragon!”

What Do You Call a Startup Exit That Returns ALL Your Funds?

In Foundry’s case, Fitbit goes WAY beyond returning the $250M fund it was a part of and I believe it may have returned an amount greater than all of the funds Foundry has ever raised.

So what do we call that, a “Google Startup”? It fits the whimsical theme, but it’s kind of taken.

© Mattermark 2017. Sources: Mattermark Research, Crunchbase, AngelList.
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