So Openview has a bunch of great metrics in its latest SaaS Benchmark report here.

One that stood out to me was this great chart summarizing the steep fall in Unicorn production (which in turn is sourced from CB Insights);

Unicorn “production” has now fallen 80%-85% in Q3, and probably has further to fall.  At the peak of 2021, 40 Unicorns were being minted every month.  It really was like that.  Now we’re down to 8 — and falling.

Yes, you might be one of the 8.  I hope you are.  Just share the chart above with any of your cofounders or teammates who don’t quite have a sense of how things have shifted lately.

Having said all that, there are 2 different ways I see this chart:

  • On the one hand, unicorn production has fallen 80%-85%.  Ouch!
  • On the other hand, it seems to just sort of be back … to “normal”.  To where it was before the Covid Boom in SaaS and Cloud.  We’re back to roughly minting as many unicorns as we did back then, when SaaS was … hard.

So the real danger I see, as do other SaaS veterans, is with folks who weren’t founders and execs before the Boom.  They don’t remember what SaaS used to be like.  That it was hard.  That sales and marketing and success had to be a lot more efficient than they have been.  That sales teams have to close 4x or more what they take home, not 2x.

And this infographic may not be fun, but it does a good job of explaining venture today:

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