More than half the companies (32 out of 60) were founded in 2007 or earlier. There was a time when a start-up company was considered a dead-end after three or four years maximum. Perhaps something has changed in the past decade. Perhaps the VCs are more patient nowadays, or your list is highly skewed and it is not tracking the younger startups up close.
Things have changed in the last decade. It takes longer to get more complex technologies to market successfully.
The days of back-of-the-envelope business plan, $20 million invested, IPO and 10X ROI are said to be long gone.
VCs are not more patient but sometimes they are prepared to keep punting money if they think their proteges have a chance.
For the first few years of many startups' existence they say very little or nothing. Some don't have websites to avoid the risk of revealing anything. This, by definition, makes them companies that are difficult to watch.
But we do keep track of younger companies.
The other thing that is changing and has been remarked on many times is that VC money for semiconductor companies is increasingly scarse.
So when is a startup no longer a startup? Some of these companies got their start 5-6 years ago. Do you get to stay on the list until you get acquired or your investors finally give up?
Maybe you should consider doing an expose on mid stage companies.... separate from start-ups... Startups should have an expiration date... maybe 3 yrs from founding...
Bob @ JVD
Kudos to Indians working at Silicon valley.Almost in about half of the companies there is an Indian as founder or co founder.It would have been great had more companies from Bangalore would be there in this list but 2 are still there.
You wrote, "To make way for newcomers, some companies have dropped off the list either because they have been acquired, moved on to an initial public offering of shares or have simply matured."
My question is, "Are there no dropouts due to failure?" That's astounding that EETimes is able to always pick 60 companies that never fail. VCs on the other hand fully expect over half their investments to fail. And most entrepreneurs will tell you that they learned more from failing than succeeding. At least in America, failure is not a dirty word. We should here about those stories as well if for no other reason than to know what didn't fly.
Also, I note that Quantance is on the list but not Nujira. Nujira is making substantially more progress in the exact same space with a substantially larger patent portfolio.
Nujira was a member of the Silicon 60 for a number of iterations.
As far as I remember the company was founded in 2002 and at 10 or 11 years old they are still private, but it is hard to class them as a startup.
Hi Peter: when is a start up no longer a start up? That's a good question as there are no hard or fast rules. As part of the semiconductor start-up alumni I tend to think of accession from the start up ranks is more about financial maturity than time measures... there's an argument to say that all the while a company is being funded (i.e. on the way to being profitable) then it could be classed as a start-up. Let's be realistic here - semiconductor start-ups are an endangered species for a number of reasons - not least because the old fabless model takes (on average) 10 years to get firmly off the ground... we've seen the evolution of new models in the past 6 or 7 years which seek to reduce investment and time scales and ultimately the risk to investment as a response. On the question of Nujira - I still class them as a start up. They've had an interesting journey which flies in the face of the trend. Whilst many investors are encouraging start ups away from the fabless model, in Nujira's case they were actively encouraged to go fabless! Hence they may be xx years old but their foray into the fabless start up land has been much more recent... so I class them firmly as a start up (oh and they've received money fairly recently and investing that in development).
Thanks for maintaining this list over the years - always of great interest.
However, I don't think we should just use startup as an alternative to privately-held or as a euphemism for "not-yet-commercially-successful"
Of course development timescales may differ by industry segment.
Certainly startups are often stealthy for a couple of years before they are even to start their tilt at the market.
There are some circumstances where engineers form a company....go away and do something else.....and only later start to develop their business. So you end up with X years of existence but only Y years of endeavor.
There are no hard and fast rules but i think it is hard to class a ten-year old company as a startup.
Peter, what about Riviera Waves?
start-up developing WiFi 802.11 a, b, g and selling it as IP. OK, it's a spin-off (Indian design service) but they run in 100% start-up mode... and it look like they could be successful.
They are based in France, is it an issue? (joke)
To me (as an employee of a Japanese company of 15 years) the elephant in the room is that there are no Japanese companies on the list; nor can I remember there ever being one; nor could I name a single Japanese startup, despite have visited about a dozen times.