Conferences - Seminars

  Friday 12 October 2018 10:30 - 12:00 Unil, Extranef building, room 126

Squaring Venture Capital Valuations with Reality

By Will GORNALL, The University of British Columbia

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.


Accessibility Informed public

Admittance Free