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Squaring Venture Capital Valuations with Reality


Event details

Date and time 12.10.2018 10:3012:00  
Place and room
Unil, Extranef building, room 126
Speaker Will GORNALL, The University of British Columbia
Category Conferences - Seminars

We develop a valuation model for venture capital-backed companies and apply it to 135 U.S. unicorns -- private companies with reported valuations above $1 billion. We value unicorns using financial terms from legal filings and find reported unicorn post-money valuations average 48% above fair value, with 13 being  more than 100% above. Reported valuations assume all shares are as valuable as the most recently issued preferred shares. We calculate values for each  share class, which yields lower valuations because most unicorns gave recent investors major protections such as IPO return guarantees (15%), vetoes over  down-IPOs (24%), or seniority to all other investors (30%). Common shares lack all such protections and are 56% overvalued. After adjusting for these valuation-inflating terms, almost one-half (65 out of 135) of unicorns lose their unicorn status.


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