Liquidity Trends: Perspectives From Private Company Leaders

Jun 24, 2023

Discover how current market conditions are driving private companies to rethink the way they approach equity and liquidity events.

Did you know that 37% of companies are choosing to stay private longer than originally planned and 34% are unsure or questioning the next steps? With an evolving macro environment, increased capacity for liquidity and the growth of private capital markets, many companies are continuing to delay pursuing an IPO. Meanwhile, the expectation for liquidity events among employees and shareholders is on the rise.   Even amid market uncertainty, both equity ownership and the potential for liquidity events are becoming more valuable to prospective talent than in the past. And while the tender offer remains the most common structure for providing liquidity to employees and shareholders, more companies are beginning to explore alternative paths. 


This is the focus of the 2023 Liquidity Trends Report—a study and survey providing insight into the evolving private company liquidity landscape and the market conditions driving change within it. Based on the survey responses of 300+ private company leaders, this study also highlights the intersection of equity, liquidity and talent, along with the continued expansion of secondaries in the venture capital market.  

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Four Key Survey Findings:

  1. 1
    Companies Are Staying Private Longer

    As market uncertainty continues to grow, more companies today are choosing to stay private longer. In fact, only 13% of private companies reported being eager to IPO in the current market, while 71% either said they were unsure about the next move or planned to stay private longer.

  2. 2
    The Expectation for Liquidity Events Is Growing

    Because companies are choosing to stay private longer, the expectation to hold a liquidity event has increased. 59% of private company decision makers reported increased internal pressure to conduct a liquidity event, which may reflect a combination of causal factors.

  3. 3
    Equity and Liquidity Continue to Be Strong Tools for Attracting and Retaining Talent

    According to 93% of survey respondents, the company’s ability and/or the possibility of having a liquidity event is valuable to a prospect’s decision when considering a job offer.  

  4. 4
    Opportunities for Alternative Paths to Liquidity Are on the Rise

    Interest in alternatives to tender offers, such as direct secondary sales, is on the rise as private companies navigate the pressure for liquidity and decision to stay private longer. From 2012 to 2021, global investments in direct secondaries across the venture market increased from $13B to $60B and are projected to reach $85B in 2023. 

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