Fastest Unicorn Exits - Enterprise Software Startups


To determine the fastest ($1b+) exit for enterprise software startups.

Early Findings


  • Virtustream is an enterprise cloud computing management software provider for enterprise customers, IT service providers and government agencies.
  • The startup launched in 2008 and was acquired by EMC in May 2015.
  • Inc reported that Virtustream sold for $1.2 billion.
  • Virtustream remains active today and counted Heinz, Kawasaki and Lexmark among its enterprise customers.
  • The company was included in Inc's list of "13 Tech Companies Sold for More Than $1 Billion".


  • While Skype is primarily a telecommunication tool, it also offered an enterprise versions called Skype for Business.
  • Skype for Business allowed businesses to call, send instant messages, hold online meetings, and share files.
  • According to Pitchbook, Skype was the 4th fastest company to achieve a unicorn exit by 2015.
  • It only took 26 months for Skype to achieve a $2.5 billion exit in October 2005 through merger and acquisition.
  • It followed in the wake of other unicorn exits such as YouTube (21 months), Juno Therapeutics (24 months), and Oculus VR (24 months).


  • Sourcefire provides cybersecurity services to enterprise IT infrastructures.
  • It was launched in 2001 and was acquired in July 2013.
  • Cisco bought the startup for $2.7 billion.
  • The company remains active today and services companies in the healthcare, financial, manufacturing and energy industries among others.
  • Sourcefire was included in Inc's list of "13 Tech Companies Sold for More Than $1 Billion".

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