CNBC points out that the companies “have raised over $72 billion in venture capital, according to PitchBook, at an implied Disruptor 50 valuation of more than $388 billion”. 12 have already had public exits and four are involved in SPAC mergers.
A majority of the CNBC Disruptor 50 are already billion-dollar businesses. Thirty-four disruptors are unicorns that have already reached or passed (in some cases far surpassed) the $1 billion valuation mark — 10 of the companies on this year’s list are worth at least $10 billion.
So…no real credit to CNBC for “spotting” them then. But these are still great companies. Many more will go public and some will benefit from the new types of investment now making an impact in late-stage investing.
But these are the disruptors of the last 5 years, not the next 5.
The most interesting disruption happening in my world is the disruption of the old venture capital ecosystem.
Tiger Global, Coatue, Insight Partners, and others are disrupting venture capital by taking over late-stage private investing. SPACs are disrupting late-stage investing by opening public markets for slightly earlier-stage companies.
An educated scan of the CNBC list tells us just how much structural change is happening in Venture Capital and Growth Capital. It is no longer clear who is a PE Fund, a Hedge Fund, a Venture Fund, or a public markets investor.
This Week’s ‘That Was The Week’ has articles about Tiger Global, it also has Andreessen Horowitz’s testimony about IPOs, SPACs, and Direct Listings. Mark Suster writes about why venture is a long game and Saastr looks at acquisitions and concludes that only an IPO represents a good exit strategy for venture investors.
But the story of the week for me is the one about Facebook deciding to un-ban those who write about Covid being man-made. During the former administration, any talk indicating that the virus could have been made in a lab in Wuhan was censored. Now that the Biden administration has opened an investigation into that possibility Facebook has decided it is OK to imply it.
This story reinforces what I have said many times in this newsletter. Leave us humans to decide what we do and do not believe. If you think you know best and act on that instinct, you are both a censor, and probably wrong. Being wrong is forgivable. Being a censor is not. I personally have no evidence that the virus was or was not man-made. I do however think I can make my mind up over time. And I have no reason to be afraid of views on either side. I do not need protection.
Canceling people also backfired this week. A pro-Palestinian former Stanford University journalist, Emily Wilder, was fired for views held while in college. Republicans rounded on her former views as a reason for dismissing her:
Wilder, who worked with the Arizona Republic upon graduation until this May, became a national news story after the Stanford College Republicans wrote a Twitter thread Monday
highlighting Wilder’s pro-Palestine activism in college as well as some of her old Facebook posts. In one post, Wilder referred to the late Sheldon Adelson — who was a Jewish billionaire, Republican mega-donor and staunch defender of Israel — as a “naked mole rat.”
Wilder, who is Jewish, said she would not have used such language today. Not long after the thread started to gain steam on Twitter, Wilder says an Associated Press editor called her and said she would not get in trouble for her past activism and social media activity.
SF Gate - https://www.sfgate.com/politics/article/Emily-Wilder-Associated-Press-Israel-Palestine-AP-16192391.php
This is just one example that seeking to punish people for their views has no boundaries and that society itself will be the worse for it. Let’s talk, not ban.
More in this week’s video.