Are there any statistics that measure the success vs. failure rates of startups?
The definition of success would be to attract first or second round of funding and failure would be to not get anymore funding after the initial seed funding.
You don't get to hear about the "failures", so it would be hard to compile those stats.
You might want to approach a few VCs and see if they want to share ballpark figures.
The failure rate is pretty high ~90%
http://futurestartup.com/2011/12/18/globally-nearly-90-startup-business-fails-only-10-out-of-100-sustain-at-last-what-leads-this-10-startup-to-success/ Due to another paper 80% of IT startups are failing in the first year.
this one http://www.statisticbrain.com/startup-failure-by-industry/ tells that 37% of IT startups are still alive after 4 years.
Also it on depends what do you mean under 'success' and 'failure'. Only 1% of startups are earning much, like 10% are earning enough for living and like 90% pretty nothing.
So absolute success rate is like 1%
Well I have come across various everything from 70% to 95% (95% for Indian startups). But would you really simply go by a statistic on this? Frankly, no sane risk averse person would ever think of going for a startup, doing a well paying job is far less hassle any day and their is far more peace of mind.
But hey, you gotta be a little crazy to think your startup will be among the few successful ones.