Blog Article | Rohit Kulkarni
Posted: July 24, 2017

The Redfin IPO: Should You Buy or Rent?

The internet-based real estate brokerage Redfin filed its IPO last week, and the question investors are asking is: “Will the third consumer internet IPO this year be a hit or a flop?” So far, trading trends in consumer internet IPOs haven’t been encouraging. Snapchat shares are down 40 percent since its first day of trading, and Blue Apron may no longer remain a “unicorn” (its shares have declined almost every day since its down-round IPO). One common thread among these IPOs has been a continued high cash burn. Clearly, these companies seem more concerned with satisfying their capital needs than their valuations. We expect a number of similar companies relying on “people powered with technology” to go public. This cohort includes ride-sharing, home-sharing, and last-mile delivery companies, among others. Thus, we will be closely watching Redfin to gauge investor appetite and sentiment surrounding these types of companies.

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Blog Article | Rohit Kulkarni
Posted: July 17, 2017

FinTech 3.0 and ICO Cambrian Explosion

As part of our feet-on-the-street approach to research, we attend key conferences where industry leaders debate emerging trends and issues. We recently went to a FinTech conference hosted by True Global Ventures in New York. (True Global Ventures is an investor in SharesPost, Inc.) We came away with a number of surprising insights regarding investment opportunities in FinTech subsectors, BlockChain technology, and initial coin offerings (ICOs). Here are our key takeaways and views on what will happen next.

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Blog Article | Rohit Kulkarni
Posted: July 4, 2017

New SharesPost Private Growth Index Highlights Opportunity For Growth Investors

Strong 2015 Followed by a Mild 2016 Create an Attractive Entry Point in 2017

How have investments in late-stage private growth companies performed compared to publicly traded stocks? Can investors generate growth equity returns in the private market? If so, what does the performance of the private growth asset class over the last couple of years suggest about future returns?

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Blog Article | Rohit Kulkarni
Posted: June 27, 2017

Tintri IPO: Does A Downround Present An Opportunity?

Roughly 10 IPOs will be priced this week, making it the busiest week so far in 2017. Among them, Tintri, a San Francisco bay area cloud storage company, is pursuing an IPO with a valuation that implies a roughly 50% haircut to its private valuation in July 2015. This is one of the steepest valuation resets we have seen among VC-backed companies pursuing an IPO in the recent past. So, why is Tintri facing such a steep downround IPO?

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Blog Article | Rohit Kulkarni
Posted: June 21, 2017

Blue Apron’s Recipe for Success? Cook, Pack, and Deliver

Earlier this week, Blue Apron, a New York-based meal-kit subscription service, launched its IPO roadshow. With an implied valuation exceeding $3 billion, Blue Apron’s IPO has set the stage for New York’s largest VC-backed exit to date, ahead of Etsy, OnDeck, and Yext, and roughly 33 percent above its most recent private valuation of $2 billion in June 2015.

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Blog Article | Rohit Kulkarni
Posted: May 24, 2017

Pinterest: The Love Child of Amazon, Google and Facebook?

The subpar first-quarter results that followed Snapchat’s successful IPO have put a spotlight on the next social media platform waiting to go public: Pinterest.

Founded in March 2010, Pinterest has an impressive track record: It has raised $1.3 billion in capital, has garnered an $11.5 billion valuation, and is the fastest social media networks to reach the 10 million monthly active users (MAU) milestone. As of April 2017, Pinterest announced that, globally, it had 175 million MAUs. To date, that number equates to more than 2 billion monthly searches generating more than 80 billion pins. We estimate that Pinterest has roughly 80 million MAUs in the U.S. today, a number that chases Snapchat’s estimated 90 million and Facebook’s 235 million. In other words, Pinterest is probably the third-largest social network in the U.S. today.

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Blog Article | Rohit Kulkarni
Posted: May 9, 2017

On Airbnb’s Triple Digit-Growth and Disruptive Impact

Recently, we hosted Scott Shatford, CEO and co-founder of AirDnA.co, for a fireside chat on the SharesPost Expert Series to dig into Airbnb’s growth. AirDnA provides data and analytics to vacation rental entrepreneurs and investors by tracking the daily performance of more than 2 million listings across 5,000 cities worldwide. Scott personally manages several vacation rental properties and has been an outspoken advocate of the sharing economy.

For those who missed the webinar, we have recapped some of the highlights of our far-ranging conversation. Upon request, the entire webinar replay is available online to SharesPost accredited investors. Click here for a transcript and the presentation.

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Blog Article | Rohit Kulkarni
Posted: May 3, 2017

VC Sentiment Remains Strong, Sovereign Wealth Funds Bullish

Are Chinese VCs a New Source of Capital for Private Tech Growth Firms in U.S.?

As part of our “ear-to-the-ground” approach to research, we attend key conferences where leaders in the venture-backed asset class debate emerging trends and issues. We recently went to an investor conference hosted by F50 in Palo Alto and discovered a number of surprises regarding current valuation levels, a potentially “mild winter” in the venture ecosystem, and the growing impact of non-traditional venture investors. Here are our key takeaways and views on what will happen next.

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Blog Article | Rohit Kulkarni
Posted: April 20, 2017

The Outlook for Cloudera IPO: Cloudy with a Chance of Rain

Over the past week, Cloudera’s upcoming IPO has caused much hand-wringing amidst speculation that it will be a down round – about 60 percent lower than its last private valuation in 2014.

As the largest enterprise software unicorn pursuing an IPO in 2017 and the sixth private tech growth IPO of the year, a down-round IPO raises a couple of key questions for investors. First, what does this mean for the IPO market in general? Second, why invest in Cloudera now?

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Blog Article | Rohit Kulkarni
Posted: April 13, 2017

Ride-Sharing & Drivers: The Love-Hate Story Continues

Last week, in our SharesPost Expert Series webinar, renowned ride-sharing expert Harry Campbell, founder of the popular blog, The RideShareGuy (RSG), did a deep dive into the ongoing tug of war between drivers and ride-sharing companies. Affable and irreverent, Harry has a unique perspective on the ride-sharing industry, particularly from a driver’s point of view. He has personally interviewed and conducted surveys of thousands of drivers over the past several years.

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Blog Article | Rohit Kulkarni
Posted: April 2, 2017

Enterprise Software On a Roll - Enterprise 6 vs. Consumer 1

It’s been a fairly busy Q1 for cloud or Enterprise Software investors in the Private Tech Growth asset class. In late January, AppDynamics was expected to be a bellwether for tech IPOs but was acquired by Cisco for $3.9 billion just hours before pricing its IPO. On March 17, MuleSoft began trading as a public company with a starting market cap of $2.5 billion; it raised more than $250 million. Last week, Alteryx’s IPO raised $125 million with a public valuation now approaching unicorn status. Also last week, both Okta and Yext launched their IPO roadshows with trading to begin as early as next week. Then on Friday, Cloudera filed its first public S-1 on the last day of first quarter. On the other hand, there has been just one Consumer Internet IPO – Snap – during Q1. Granted that was big, but the score is lopsided.

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Blog Article | Rohit Kulkarni
Posted: March 22, 2017

The Case for Airbnb’s $50 billion IPO in 2018

Very few companies in the Private Tech Growth asset class have the growth and disruptive potential of Airbnb. Airbnb started as an online marketplace where users could rent out surplus or unused space inside their homes to host travelers. Today, Airbnb is well on its way to becoming the single largest disruptor in the $2 trillion-plus travel and tourism industry in the 21st century. With a $30 billion implied valuation, Airbnb is more valuable than some global hotel chains (e.g., Hilton and Hyatt), leading airlines (e.g., United Airlines and American Airlines), and online travel companies (e.g., Expedia and Ctrip).

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Blog Article | Rohit Kulkarni
Posted: March 8, 2017

Unicorns Galloping? MuleSoft Is Next

Let me get to the punchline first: The past six weeks have been very positive for Unicorn exits, to say the least, and that bodes very well for the IPO market in coming months.

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Blog Article | Rohit Kulkarni
Posted: March 3, 2017

To IPO or Not to IPO

Last week, we sat down with Silicon Valley IPO Icon Lise Buyer, Founder of Class V Group, to answer that exact question. As a public equities institutional investor, investment banker, venture capitalist, public company board member and IPO project manager, Ms. Buyer has a unique perspective, which she shared with us on the SharesPost Expert Series on Friday. In a wide-ranging conversation with Ms. Buyer, she also covered a number of topics we at SharesPost hear regularly in our discussions with institutional investors.

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Blog Article | Rohit Kulkarni
Posted: February 6, 2017

Top 10 Scariest Questions for Snap on IPO Roadshow

The much-anticipated Snap S-1 was filed last week, so the question now facing investors is whether the company is worth more or less than its most recent private funding round. We think there would be ample demand for Snap’s $3 billion IPO because public investors haven’t had such an opportunity to invest relatively early in a growth asset recently. But after reading Snap’s S-1 filing, a lot of questions come to mind. Below, we pose the Top 10 questions you always wanted to ask, but were afraid to know.

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Blog Article | Sven Weber
Posted: January 18, 2017

2016: Banner Year For Exits In Private Tech Growth Asset Class

IPOs may steal all of the headlines, but when it comes the liquidity of venture-backed tech companies, M&A exits remains the bread and butter of the industry.

In 2016, that was absolutely true.

While the number of VC-backed tech IPOs went down, current Pitchbook data shows that corporations paid over $60 billion in 2016 to acquire US-based technology companies. Impressively, the mean price of the acquired companies rose more than 40%, and the median consideration doubled, according to Pitchbook.

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Blog Article | Greg Brogger
Posted: September 19, 2016

What Selling Shareholders Should Know

An ever-increasing number of shareholders of late-stage private companies are seeking liquidity, and with good reason. As companies stay private longer and longer, the lack of liquidity, and its converse, over concentration in a single stock becomes even more burdensome.

For the great majority, though, it is their first time selling private company shares, and the process can be quite daunting. Selling shareholders must: (1) Analyze limited information to value their shares; (2) Source and negotiate with multiple potential buyers; (3) Retain or have the legal expertise to comply with securities laws, document the transaction and conform to the issuer’s unique transfer protocols. Even where a seller has access to these resources, finding the time needed to manage these tasks is frequently a problem.Continue Reading
Blog Article | Greg Brogger
Posted: August 16, 2016

SharesPost Launches Research Team

The Private Market Gets More Transparent

At SharesPost, we believe that the more information and analysis private market investors have access to, the better the private market will be.

Over the last few years, our market has moved slowly but steadily in the direction of greater transparency. That’s primarily because leading late-stage growth companies have gotten gradually more comfortable with disclosure, but much remains to be done.Continue Reading
Blog Article | Greg Brogger
Posted: September 15, 2015

Stock Options and the New Silicon Valley

For decades, a key part of the success of Silicon Valley companies has been employee ownership. Granting stock options attracted the most talented employees and motivated them to work tirelessly in pursuit of an IPO enabled cash-out. Now though, private companies are staying private much longer and so the appeal of stock options is diminishing. Because of the recent market volatility, more IPOs are likely to be delayed, further dimming the hopes of employees looking for public market liquidity . Faced with that reality, what are smart private companies doing to reestablish the lure of equity ownership?Continue Reading
Blog Article | Greg Brogger
Posted: July 17, 2015

Fear the Bubble? Then Embrace Transparency and Liquidity

Silicon valley is abuzz with bubble talk.

It’s the VC conversation starter of choice these days. Frequently, the topic segues into unease about the increasing competition for deals from Valley newcomers. The argument goes that the new investors are inflating a bubble in the venture asset class by bidding up valuations. Often there is nostalgia for the days when investment in the best private growth companies was essentially a private matter involving only a small group of bankers and venture capitalists.Continue Reading
Rohit Kulkarni
Article Author

Rohit Kulkarni

Rohit is the Managing Director, Private Investment Research for SharesPost Financial Corp. Prior to joining SharesPost, Rohit was a Vice President, Senior Analyst at RBC Capital Markets.
Greg Brogger
Article Author

Greg Brogger

Greg Brogger is the CEO and Founder of SharesPost, Inc. He founded SharesPost in early 2009 to bring transparency, efficiency and scale to private securities transactions.
Sven Weber
Article Author

Sven Weber

Sven Weber is a managing director of SharesPost’s SEC-registered investment advisor, SP Investments Management, LLC and responsible for the management of SharesPost investment vehicles. Sven is also the president and a trustee of the SharesPost 100 Fund.
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