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Astonishing facts about startups that will make you question everything you thought you knew

Clara has done some digging to find some truly mind-bending facts about startups. Find out what country is deemed to be the most entrepreneurial in the world, where on the planet you’re likely to find unicorns or angels and how the time of year might affect your business.


Document icon  Contents

1. Founders

2. Around the world

3. Unicorns

4. Businesses

5. Investment and funding


1. Founders70% of founders had the idea for their business whilst working for somebody else

We’ve all had those days sitting at our desks where we’ve had a great idea and built a whole business around it in our heads, right? 70% of startup founders did too, showing us that anything is possible if you really put some time and effort into it.


Most founders spend less than an hour determining their equity split

A surprising 80% of founders spent less than an hour determining their equity split. The decision might be easy if you’re a solo founder or have one other co-founder, but it’s important to consider what each founder brings to the table when you’re discussing equity split, and to make sure it’s written down in a Founders’ Agreement.


Having two founders attached to your startup boosts its chances of success

You’ve heard the saying that two heads are better than one…Having more than one founder can increase the odds of a startup’s success by 30%. Businesses with more than one founder are also likely to enjoy three times the customer growth rate with a high likelihood that it won’t scale too fast.


The older you are, the more likely your startup is to succeed

A study in 2018 showed that 60-year-old founder were three times more likely to launch successful startups compared to their 30-year-old counterparts. Older founders were found to have more leadership experience and were likely to have more insight into specific areas of business or markets.


2. Around the world

Chile is the most entrepreneurial country in the world

48% of founders in Chile said that their product or service is new and that no other businesses offer the same product – astounding! 49% of 18–64-year-olds in Chile also said that they aspire to start their own businesses in the future.


Most female founders can be found in Central and Eastern Europe

In 2020, Central and Eastern Europe had the largest number of female founders of startups in the tech community, with 919 founders based in the region. So, if you’re a female thinking about starting a business but worried about the lack of network support, Central and Eastern Europe is the place to find it!


3. Unicorns

Only 1% of startups evolve into a unicorn

Every startup wants to be a unicorn (AKA the next Uber, Slack or AirBnB). From the moment you receive your first seed investment, thinking about the future success of your company is an exciting prospect. But sadly only 1% of companies make it to legendary unicorn status. Don’t let that deter you though!


If you want to find a unicorn, it’s most likely to be in North America or Asia Pacific

If you want to find a unicorn, you’re likely to find one in North America or Asia Pacific, which is home to nearly 90% of all unicorn companies worldwide. 45% of the world’s unicorns can be found in North America, so if you’re a startup founder there, maybe in time you can join this legendary crowd!


4. Businesses

The biggest venture-backed business in the world is Manbang Group

5 Chinese companies received the largest amount of venture capital financing worldwide in the last quarter of 2020. Manbang Group, a truck-hailing company disrupting the logistics sector in China received a whopping investment of USD 1.7 billion.


GE is the oldest startup in the world

This one might be subjective, but General Electric is the world’s oldest startup! Its path to victory was filled with highs and lows, much like the journey of a modern-day startup. General Electric was formed in 1892 by none other than Thomas Edison, inventor of the lightbulb. The company went public in 1896 and since has witnessed many financial ups and downs as well as business and product growth during its 130-year history.


5. Investment and funding

Y Combinator is the most active startup accelerator in the US

The team at Y Combinator have been busy! According to a survey by Statista, Y Combinator made 3,777 investments in startups in the first 7 months of 2021 making them the most active startup accelerator in the US. They also had the highest number of exits completed by their accelerated startups. Impressive!


You’re most likely to find an Angel in the UK

If you’re looking for an angel investor, the chances are you’ll find one in the UK. In 2020, more than 900 companies were supported by angel investors that were part of angel networks in the UK. This was compared to 365 companies in Denmark and France.


And finally, the time of year can affect your pitch

When you start a new business, timing is everything. Is the idea too early, meaning you’ll have to spend a lot of time educating people about it? Is it too late and there are too many similar companies already? Or is the timing just right meaning that there is a proven customer need for your product or service? VCs are usually very active in October and November and then after the holidays in January to March – so you might have more success with your pitch deck during those times


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