Lonergan SV150 Insights - 2021

The Lon­er­gan SV150 is the defin­i­tive list of the top pub­lic com­pa­nies in tech­nol­o­gy locat­ed in the Sil­i­con Val­ley. It is the suc­ces­sor to the SV150 list pub­lished for over thir­ty years by The Mer­cury News.

Down­load the 2021 rank­ings now, and con­tin­ue read­ing for our analy­sis and insights below.

Company Insights

2020 Lon­er­gan SV150 rev­enues and prof­its surge dur­ing year of his­toric change

The Lon­er­gan SV150 had total 2020 rev­enues of $1.245 tril­lion, which rep­re­sents 11% same com­pa­ny growth year-over-year. 115 com­pa­nies in the list were rev­enue win­ners, with an aver­age growth of 30%. The rev­enue loss for the 35 com­pa­nies with declin­ing sales aver­aged 13%.

#1 ranked Apple (rep­re­sent­ing 24% of Lon­er­gan SV150 rev­enue) con­tin­ued to be a major con­trib­u­tor to deter­min­ing over­all growth. Apple grew cal­en­dar year 2020 rev­enues by 10% ver­sus only 2% for the 2019 cal­en­dar year (Apple fis­cal year adjust­ed per our rank­ing method­ol­o­gy; the Apple fis­cal year end­ed Sep­tem­ber 302020). 

Total net income for the Lon­er­gan SV150 was $199 bil­lion, up $24 bil­lion from the pri­or year (on a same com­pa­ny basis), for a weight­ed aver­age growth of 13%.

Aston­ish­ing growth in Lon­er­gan SV150 total mar­ket cap
March 312021 mar­ket cap was $9.5 tril­lion, an incred­i­ble 83% same-com­­pa­ny increase year-over-year.

Over half of LSV150 com­pa­nies saw their mar­ket caps rebound over 100% from year-pri­or March 312020 lev­els, which was near a mar­ket low for the year.

The top two per­form­ers on this met­ric were two com­pa­nies led by women CEOs: Sun­run (LSV#83) grew mar­ket cap 913% under CEO Lynn Jurich, ben­e­fit­ting from the cur­rent administration’s big sup­port for green projects; and Upwork (LSV#125) grew mar­ket cap 655% under CEO Hay­den Brown, as pan­dem­ic tail­winds expand­ed the free­lance-gig economy.

Rev­enue growth win­ners were not con­fined to pan­dem­ic sto­ry’ stocks – but two of them did top the list

In a same-com­­pa­ny com­par­i­son, total Lon­er­gan SV150 rev­enues grew 11% (to a total of $1.2 tril­lion), a respectable but not record-break­ing increase. The ratio of com­pa­nies grow­ing ver­sus los­ing rev­enue (115 grow­ing to 35 con­tract­ing) resem­bled recent pri­or years. 

While aggre­gate growth was not remark­able, indi­vid­ual com­pa­nies did see some record-set­t­ing increas­es, however. 

Our first-ranked com­pa­ny for rev­enue growth in 2020 was Zoom Video Com­mu­ni­ca­tions (LSV#48) — up 326%.

Our sec­ond-ranked com­pa­ny was new­ly pub­lic Door­dash (LSV#46) — up 226%.

Some hon­or­able men­tions: Snowflake (LSV#104) up 124%, and Square (LSV#23) up 101%, which were ranked #4 and #5 on rev­enue growth.

New­ly pub­lic Airbnb makes the list of top rev­enue losers in 2020

Airbnb (LSV#39) rev­enues were down 30%, putting it high on the list of those com­pa­nies who lost rev­enue in 2020. Also among the top rev­enue losers were new­ly pub­lic Open­door (LSV#50) — down 46%; Lyft (LSV#53) — down 35%; GoPro (LSV#89) down 25%; and Über (LSV#20) — down 21%. 

    Leav­ing the Sil­i­con Val­ley was Popular

    Sev­en com­pa­nies on last year’s Lon­er­gan SV150 rank­ing moved head­quar­ters out of Cal­i­for­nia in time for this year’s pub­li­ca­tion. Move­ment away from Sil­i­con Val­ley in sig­nif­i­cant num­bers is an unprece­dent­ed trend. 

    Which com­pa­nies from last year’s list have moved?

    Last Year’s RankCom­pa­ny (New head­quar­ters)2020 Rev­enues ($ mil­lion
    adjust­ed to quar­ter clos­est to cal­en­dar year end)
    Mar­ket cap (March 312021)
    7Ora­cle (Austin, TX)$39,402$203.4 b
    8HPE (Hous­ton, TX)$26,866$20.5 b
    46Avaya (Durham, NC)$2,901$2.3 b
    50Align (Tempe, AZ)$2,472$41.5 b
    70Viavi (Scotts­dale, AZ)$1,107$3.6 b
    129Nat­era (Austin, TX)$391$8.8 b
    136Avi­at (Austin, TX)$261$0.4 b

    Acqui­si­tion activ­i­ty slow for a sec­ond year in a row year

    As of this post­ing, only five Lon­er­gan SV150 ranked pub­lic com­pa­nies have been ful­ly acquired and delist­ed since our rank­ing last year. These include Forescout, Mobile­iron, Livon­go Health, Fit­bit, and Telenav.

    How­ev­er, as of the time of this analy­sis in April 2021, sev­er­al addi­tion­al LSV150 ranked com­pa­nies are in the process of being acquired, includ­ing #86 ranked Slack, #42 ranked Var­i­an (update — closed April 15), #43 ranked Xil­inx, #54 ranked Max­im, #79 ranked Proof­point, and #100 ranked Inphi (update — closed April 21).


    Explo­sion of IPOs

    After a long pan­dem­ic-relat­ed pause in access­ing pub­lic mar­kets start­ing in March of 2020, the last half of the year saw an explo­sion of pub­lic trad­ing enthu­si­asm for Sil­i­con Val­ley based com­pa­nies, includ­ing long await­ed IPOs such as Airbnb (LSV#39). For the first time, ranked com­pa­nies also accessed pub­lic mar­kets as a result of direct list­ing (Asana LSV#141) and SPAC merg­er (Open­door LSV#50) as well.

    The high­est rank­ing debut IPO on the Lon­er­gan SV150 is #39 ranked Airbnb, with 2020 rev­enues of $3,378 mil­lion.

    All twelve new­ly pub­lic com­pa­nies shown below:

      RankCom­pa­ny (year pub­lic)
      IPO unless not­ed
      Busi­ness Descrip­tion2020 Sales
      ($ mil­lion)
      GrowthProf­itabil­i­tyMkt Cap
      (March 312021)
      39Airbnb (2020)Online mar­ket­place for tem­po­rary lodging$3,378-30%-136%$114.3 b
      45McAfee (2020)Secu­ri­ty software$2,90610%-10%$9.8 b
      46Door­dash (2020)Online Food deliv­ery platform$2,886226%-16%$42.2 b
      50Open­door (2020 SPAC merger)Online home sell­ing service$2,583-46%-11%$11.8 b
      52Wish (2020)Online e-com­merce platform$2,54134%-29%$9.8 b
      96Uni­ty (2020)Video game software$77243%-37%$27.9 b
      101Affirm (2021)Online shop­ping install­ment loan platform$67031%-15%$18.2 b
      104Snowflake (2020)Cloud data warehousing$592124%-91%$50.5 b
      138Posh­mark (2021)Online fash­ion marketplace$26228%6%$2.9 b
      141Asana (2020 direct listing)Project man­age­ment software$22759%-93%$4.6 b
      145Sumo Log­ic (2020)Real-time data ana­lyt­ics service$20331%-40%$2.0 b
      149C3.ai (2020)AI soft­ware platform$17310%-36%$6.7 b


      The South Bay hangs on as geo­graph­i­cal hub for Lon­er­gan SV150 headquarters 

      The South Bay is still the cen­ter of grav­i­ty for the pub­lic com­pa­ny tech world. Despite VC and start-up com­pa­ny flight north­wards, the South Bay (from Moun­tain View south to San Jose and includ­ing Fre­mont) hous­es just over half of the head­quar­ters for the Lon­er­gan SV150

      By con­trast, while San Fran­cis­co is now home to 25% of Lon­er­gan SV150 head­quar­ters, its mar­ket share has been steadi­ly ris­ing; San Fran­cis­co boasts the head­quar­ters of sev­en of the twelve new­ly pub­lic com­pa­nies on the list. San Fran­cis­co coun­ty is sec­ond ranked among the sev­en coun­ties rep­re­sent­ed in our rank­ing (oth­er coun­ties are San Jose, San Mateo, Alame­da, Con­tra Cos­ta, Marin and San­ta Cruz). 

      • 76 of the com­pa­nies in the Lon­er­gan SV150 are head­quar­tered in San­ta Clara county.
      • Four of sev­en IPOs debut­ing on the list are head­quar­tered in San Francisco 

      People Insights

      No momen­tum behind num­ber of women CEOs

      In the past year, the ranks of the SV150 saw no new women CEOs. In fact we said good­bye to Safra Catz of Ora­cle (2019 LSV#7), when Ora­cle moved its head­quar­ters to Austin; and we also lost (we hope tem­porar­i­ly) Julia Hartz of Eventbrite (2019 LSV #12), where rev­enue dropped below our SV150 cut­off. Since we start­ed track­ing this met­ric in 2014, when there were five women CEOs in the SV150, we have had slight­ly up years, and slight­ly down years, but we have nev­er seen the met­ric break into dou­ble dig­its. 

      The cur­rent six women CEOs of the Lon­er­gan SV150 are:

      • Lisa Su, AMD (LSV #22)
      • Jayshree Ullal, Arista (LSV #55)
      • Kat­ri­na Lake, Stitch Fix (LSV #59)
      • Lynn Jurich, Sun­run (LSV #83)
      • Hay­den Brown, Upwork (LSV #125)
      • Jen­nifer Teja­da, Pager­Du­ty (LSV #144

      Con­tin­ued improve­ment in women on boards 

      As of the week of March 31, 2021, women direc­tors fill 30% of the board seats on the Lon­er­gan SV150. Com­pared to our study of Sil­i­con Val­ley boards pub­lished in our 2015 Who Runs Sil­i­con Val­ley Board edi­tion, this is an increase of 16 per­cent­age points. A relent­less focus on gen­der diver­si­ty in the Sil­i­con Val­ley has yield­ed a change in recruit­ment at the board level. 

      • Board seats filled by women: 157 in mid-2015 ris­ing to 404 today 
      • Per­cent women held seats: 14% in mid-2015 ris­ing to 30% today 
      • Num­ber of Lon­er­gan SV150 boards with no women direc­tors: 45 in mid-2015 drop­ping to 0 today 

      Note: our 2015 board study reflect­ed the pop­u­la­tion of board direc­tors of the Sil­i­con Val­ley 150 in sum­mer 2015. Only 144 com­pa­nies were includ­ed at that time, because six com­pa­nies in The Mer­cury News list­ing had been acquired before sum­mer 2015. Our num­bers in the above com­par­isons have been adjust­ed to include the board pop­u­la­tions of those six com­pa­nies using the board pro­files in their April 2014 proxy filings. 

      Founders Flour­ish in the Sil­i­con Val­ley 150

      The Sil­i­con Val­ley con­tin­ues to be com­mit­ted to Founder CEOs. When we start­ed our analy­sis of the SV150 in 2014, there were 38 com­pa­nies being led by Founder CEOs. Today, that num­ber has grown to an all-time high of 55.

      What’s more, SV150 Founders enjoy high job secu­ri­ty. While founder-led com­pa­nies from the 2014 rank­ings were 40% like­ly to still be in the SV150 in 2021, when the com­pa­ny was still on our list, the Founder CEO enjoyed 100% job secu­ri­ty: none of them had been replaced.

      Non founder-led com­pa­nies from 2014 were equal­ly like­ly to still be in the rank­ings (44% of them were), but the CEO from 2014 had been replaced 59% of the time.

      As we do more analy­sis of the trends and sto­ries of the Lon­er­gan SV150, we will post our insights on this page. Check back peri­od­i­cal­ly or fol­low us on Twit­ter and LinkedIn.

      The Stan­ford Dish ban­ner pho­to at the top of this page is by Jawed [CC BY 3.0 ], from Wiki­me­dia Commons