In a previous post, “For Unicorns, It’s a Long Road Out of Silicon Valley.“, I discussed the issues with unicorn exits. Now, it seems like the dreamers of Silicon Valley are beginning to wake up.
A recent article on TechCrunch titled “Secondary Shops Flooded With Unicorn Sellers“, shows concern is growing in the heart of unicorn land. VC’s, employees, and even founders are all looking to exit their unicorn holdings. One of the article’s sources added “The smartest inside money is trying to get out for the first time in six years”.
Struggling IPO markets (January saw not one IPO and recent unicorn IPOs have had poor results) , ratcheted valuations, unicorn failures, and large firms devaluing their unicorn holdings , have those holding unicorn shares worried about becoming “bag holders”.
So far, secondary trades continue to go through. While the “premium” unicorns are still receiving strong valuations, other unicorn sellers are having to take lower prices. Time will tell if this is the extinction of unicorns or just a market correction.
Ben Kotch is a managing director and investment committee member at Acquis Capital, LLC, a private investment firm that specializes in acquisition funding. He has extensive experience with both private and public companies. Ben graduated with an economics degree from Bentley University where he concentrated in entrepreneurship and law.
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