The Q4 2017 Prime Unicorn Index Trend Report is an analysis of 85 components that comprised the Index in the last quarter of 2017. The Index includes both unicorns and “approaching unicorns,” which are private companies with a valuation of at least $500 million. Valuations for individual components are determined by an analysis of various documents, such as: Certificates of Incorporation, Employee-Plan Exemption Notices, Limited-Offering Exemption Notices, Annual Report filings, Form Ds, bankruptcy filings, and many more sources. Utilizing all sources, we can extract key Deal Terms, such as: Round of Financing, Round Direction, Liquidation Preference, Liquidation Multiple and Dividend Rate. The report analyzes the different trending deal terms for a more granular picture of the capitalization structures surrounding the Q4 2017 Index components.
Are massive valuations just a marketing ploy? Are VCs letting these late stage companies pick the valuation as long as the company agrees to their terms? These unicorns become media darlings because of their astronomical valuations; it seems like lipstick on a pig. Bill Gurley is right in this blog post from TechCrunch, there is a lack of due diligence and the cycle will continue to produce the overvalued company, they will go through the “financial root canal” with their S-1, and we will all wait for the next unicorn to dance across our screens.
Read the full article: Startups, Late-Stage Valuations, And Bull | TechCrunch.