VC Pay Surged Again in 2021, but Future Jumps Are in Jeopardy

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TI 50
Startups

What We Got Right and Wrong on Last Year’s TI 50 List

Photo: Art by Haejin Park

A year ago, our inaugural list of the most promising startups in tech highlighted 50 companies to watch based on their financial and other metrics. A majority of them had breakout, banner years. Others, not so much.

The biggest winners from our list included bill payment firm Melio Payments, whose valuation rose by roughly six times to $4 billion as of August, including cash from its new investors; and Trade Republic, a European equivalent of Robinhood, which garnered a $5.3 billion valuation from Sequoia Capital in a funding round in May after the startup’s revenue exploded. The top dud was China-based Good Driver, which this year suffered from the Chinese government’s regulatory crackdown on online insurance providers and faced domestic press accusations that it had misled the public about its business.

Below is our autopsy report on the first edition of TI 50, focused on companies valued at less than $1 billion on paper as of 11 months ago. Here were our takeaways from that list at the time, and don’t forget to check out this year’s list as well as an article on what we learned from our reporters’ informed picks this time around.

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