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One of Silicon Valley’s so-called “unicorns,” firms valued at more than $1 billion, appears to have lost some of its magic in its initial public offering or IPO.
Square Inc., a company known for its payments processing services, is getting valued at about $3 billion publicly, roughly a third less than what it had been fetching privately.
“Investors have questions about the business model. They like Square’s revenue and growth but there is some uncertainty about the path to profitability,” said Kathleen Smith, principal at Renaissance Capital, which manages portfolios of newly public companies.
The company Match Group, which owns online dating services like Match.com and Tinder, also raised less than it expected for its IPO.
Smith said she thinks both companies are actually quite attractive overall, but investors are worried about taking on too much risk.
“So these IPOs that are happening of the highly funded venture backed companies look like they’re going to be done at discounts to their private valuations,” she said.
Smith said that’s bad news for private investors, but good news for public investors who are able to buy shares more cheaply.
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