Yesterday we talked about the big IPO agenda for the year.
We have some big Silicon Valley “disrupters” set to go public this year, including Lyft, Uber, WeWork and Airbnb.
Remember, these companies emerged from a post-Great Recession world, where pension funds and sovereign wealth funds were flooding money into Silicon Valley, following the money and regulatory favor from the U.S. government. Of the $800 billion fiscal stimulus response to the financial crisis, the Obama administration doled out $100 billion worth of funding and grants for “the discovery, development and implementation of various technologies.” The money followed it, and the private market valuations soared.
Were they based on reality or hype and too much money chasing the dream of the next Facebook?
Let’s take a look today at how the big “disrupters” of the past two years have fared, after much anticipated IPOs.
Dropbox: Dropbox was priced at $21 per share. It started trading at over $28. Today it trades at $22.
Spotify: Priced at $165.90 per share. It started trading at $164. It currently trades at $146.
Snap: Priced at $17 per share. It started trading at $22. Today it trades at $9.90.
Nothing good for the average investor that picked up these shares when these stocks went public.
Who has gotten rich? The founders.
The founder of Dropbox is worth $2.3 billion. His company lost half a billion dollars last year on $1.4 billion in revenue. Revenue growth is slowing to a near mortal 25% growth rate – and losses are widening dramatically.
Spotify’s founder is now also worth about $2.3 billion. Revenue growth is slowing too to unexciting levels, and the company is still losing money.
What about Snap? The Snap founder is worth over $2 billion. Snap lost $1.2 billion last year, on $1.1 billion in revenue. Revenue growth has gone from 600%, to 100%, to 43% last year.
The hyper-growth valuations are unlikely to get hyper-growth. I suspect we might see the same with the roster of IPOs this year.