Number of Public Companies v. Private: U.S.

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U.S. Companies

Private vs. Public, by Revenue

What is this chart showing?

  • This chart shows the total number of U.S. companies with annual revenues greater than $100 million; bifurcated between publicly-traded and privately-held companies.
  • Publicly-traded companies are referred to companies that are typically listed on an exchange and subject to reporting requirements as defined by the SEC.

Why is it important?

  • Currently, only 13% (2,790) of U.S. companies with over $100 million in revenue are public, leaving investors closed-off from potential investment opportunities in over 19,000 private companies.
  • Further, the trendline of publicly-held companies in the U.S. has been on downward trajectory; declining by almost 50% over the last 25 years.
  • A greater percentage of U.S. companies have been staying private longer and by the time they go public (if at all) more of their growth and value creation are behind them.
  • As such, venture capital and private equity firms are arguably extracting more value from their portfolio companies before taking them public leaving individual investors less choice and diversification.
  • Moreover, many of the stocks that have disappeared from the public arena are small cap, which tend to exhibit stronger growth profiles than larger, more mature businesses, making it even more difficult to find growth in the public markets.

Source: iCapital, Hamilton Lane, Capital IQ, as of Feb. 2023. For illustrative purposes only. This is not intended to be an offer or solicitation to employ a specific investment strategy. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Future results are not guaranteed.