How much equity do unicorns founders typically have?

It varies widely.

As a rough rule, if you raise every dilutive round you can, the VCs will end up owning 80%.  The employees as a group will end up owning 10%.  And the founders together, the other 10%.

A good example is Box, where Aaron Levie was diluted to 4%, but they re-upped to 6% via additional grant(s) from the board:

This is what happens when you do 5+ rounds of VC financing, including the first 2 at very dilutive prices.

But … it’s all about the # of rounds of dilution you take, and when.

Atlassian did just one real round, a pre-nicorn round with Accel once they were at scale:

And so, pre-IPO, the Atlassian co-founders owned 75%.  As a result, each today is a billionaire.

Some more case studies here: https://www.saastr.com/the-pernic…

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Published on January 5, 2016

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