Support the Wall Street Examiner! Choose your level of support to receive a free proprietary report as my thanks. Click the button below to see your options. Become a Patron!

The ‘New Normal’ is a Road to another Tech Sector Bust

This is a syndicated repost courtesy of True Economics. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.

The VC land of wonders and waste is awash with cash, thanks to a decade-long loose liquidity pumping across the markets by the Central Banks. Just as in the prior iterations of the same (the Dot.Com Bubble and the pre-GFC assets binge), the outrun will be the same as it was before: a crash.

Liquidity moves markets!

Follow the money. Find the profits! 

TechCrunch reports that (https://techcrunch.com/2018/11/11/age-of-the-unicorn/):

  • Over the last 5 years, the number of ‘unicorns’ – startups with valuations in excess of USD1 billion – has grown from 39 to 376 – almost a ten-fold increase
  • The rate of ‘unicorns’ emergence is accelerating: in 11 months through November 1, 2018, we’ve added 81 new ‘unicorns’ to the roster, which means there is now a new ‘unicorn’ company launched every four days
  • Mega-deals for start ups – funding rounds in excess of USD100 million – are also on the rise, with their frequency up ten-fold on five years ago. “Back in 2013, there were only about four mega rounds a month, but now there are forty mega rounds a month based…” Thus, “starting from 2015, public market IPO has for the first time no longer been the major funding source for unicorn size companies.”
As the chart above shows, there has been a power-law acceleration in the trend since mid-2017 and it is now clearly topping the asymptote.
Two countries dominate the ‘unicorns’ league: China (with 149 count) and the U.S. (with 146 count). Which implies two things:
  • Given the close links between the PBOC policies, Chinese Government investment strategies and supports, and China’s counts of ‘unicorns’, majority of these start ups are heavily dependent on debt, and political good will. They are sitting ducks for ESG risks and are extremely exposed to political and policy uncertainty.
  • The U.S. ‘unicorns’ are completely dependent on the markets ability to cycle cash from corporate and financial sectors debt and private equity into start ups funding, and M&As. There is zero rational valuation happening in this sub-sector.
A dramatic shift in risks from tangible tangible technologies (including strongly patentable innovation or defensible market shares) of the likes of Apple and Google toward less tangible, highly price and income elastic SaaS types of product offers is reflecting the massive buildup in valuations risks. This too is reflected in the article, albeit the authors fail to spot the implications. TechCrunch conclusion is perhaps even more alarming that the stats they present. “Mega rounds are the new normal; staying private longer is the new normal; and the global composition of the unicorn club is the new normal.” We’ve heard exactly the same arguments at the tail end of the Dot.Com boom about the absurdly over-valued early internet age companies. We’ve heard exactly the same arguments about the real estate sector prior to 2008. We’ve heard exactly the same arguments about tulip bulbs in Amsterdam some centuries ago too.
‘The new normal’ is the old road to a bust.

Wall Street Examiner Disclosure:Lee Adler, The Wall Street Examiner reposts third party content with the permission of the publisher. I curate posts here on the basis of whether they represent an interesting and logical point of view, that may or may not agree with my own views. Some of the content includes the original publisher's promotional messages. I may receive promotional consideration on a contingent basis, when paid subscriptions result. The opinions expressed in these reposts are not those of the Wall Street Examiner or Lee Adler, unless authored by me, under my byline. No endorsement of third party content is either expressed or implied by posting the content. Do your own due diligence when considering the offerings of information providers.

Try Lee Adler's Technical Trader risk free for 90 days! Follow the money. Find the profits!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.