Most successful startups have a long timeline to a realized gain, from 4-7 years, and sometimes longer, pushing positive realized gains further out in time. Unsuccessful startups often can fail much sooner, meaning losses are often realized sooner. Overall, realized returns are the only reliable benchmark of performance since they reflect actual losses or gains, but because of the long time frame of startup outcomes, it will typically take several years or more for one’s realized performance to reflect the true performance of one’s overall portfolio.
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