After a whirlwind path towards its initial public offering, The We Company’s roadshow is set to begin this week.
After slashing its valuation from $47 billion to as low as $12 billion, investors will likely be weary of the company, particularly due to CEO Adam Neuann’s dealings. For example, Neumann had been buying properties, then leasing them to his own company.
The company’s stumble to the public markets has led many analysts to believe that this could mark the end of the unicorn era in Silicon Valley.
SoftBank, WeWork’s largest shareholder and backer, may have to backpedal on its $10 billion commitment into the coworking firm which may cause it to reconsider its method of rapidly funneling money into nonprofitable tech companies.
This may lead other venture capitalists to stop banking on unprofitable startups, and unicorns will once again become a rare sight to see.
The tech cycle started over a decade ago, with the iPhone, Facebook and others fueling excitement and cash from venture capitalists. While business cycles typically last seven to 10 years in Silicon Valley, due to massive supply of venture capital from new sources, it continues to drag on.
Despite recent stocks from firms such as Dropbox, Uber and Lyft falling under their IPO prices, investors are still holding on to hope.
So what will truly end the unicorn era? Possibly a recession, withdrawing of overseas capital, or the collapse of a once darling unicorn.