Thursday, January 21, 2016

New York Times Validated Our Predictions on Unicorns

In our annual predictions, we predicted that the business media, which in 2015 had breathlessly reported on unicorns – startups valued at upwards of $1 billion – would start reporting that there's a unicorn bubble. On Jan. 20th, a little more than a month after we posted that prediction, the New York Times' Steven Davidoff Solomon wrote an article, "Expect some unicorns to lose their horns, and it won't be pretty."

In his article, Davidoff Solomon predicted, "The unicorn wars are coming, as the downturn in the market will force these onetime highfliers to seek money at valuations below their earlier billion-dollar-plus levels, known as 'down rounds.'”

He also goes into more detail about the kinds of wars that will occur, including those 

  • Who own common stock vs. those who own preferred -- those with preferred make out better.
  • Employees vs new money -- in other words between stock options that may now be worthless as new investors push the value down significantly.
  • New money vs. old money -- in this case the valuation given the shares that new investors get vs. those earlier investors got. 
  • Founders vs. everyone else.
If you're interested in unicorns because they set a tone for the market, Davidoff Solomon's article is worth checking out.

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