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This is an interesting deal. There was an article posted on HN a while ago that talked about investors pouring money into publicly traded companies who directly compete with private tech companies who have insanely high valuations.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/10/technology/investors-find-...

HomeAway Vs AirBnB was specifically mentioned. Turned out well for the guys who made this particular bet.




That's an interesting strategy in light of some of the recent discussion on private tech company valuations.

Sam Altman recently claimed [1] that the large valuations of late-stage private tech companies may be more notional than real in a number of cases, because they're extrapolated from the pricing of investment rounds that are nominally equity investments, but are really more like debt instruments in their actual terms. Given that, it might not really be appropriate to consider them as actual valuations in the traditional sense, because the "investor" is doing something closer to making a loan, vs. buying an ownership stake of a company at an implied valuation. The good side of this, in Altman's argument, is that some of what looks like a bubble in that sector might not really be one, because even though the valuations are very high, these valuations in some sense don't even really exist, because people aren't actually buying equity in the companies at those theoretical valuations. So instead all that's happening is that people are improperly computing implied valuations based on things labeled "equity investment" which weren't equity investments.

If that's true, but then people are buying into other companies on the assumption that the private tech companies' implied valuations are real valuations, and can be used as a benchmark to value competitor/peer companies, that sounds like at least someone is putting significant real money into investments based on these valuations... but elsewhere. That's at least eyebrow-raising.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10495402


Time to invest in Lyft :)


Lyft is not publicly traded.


GSV Capital (ticker: GSVC) is an investor in Lyft. As of June 30, its investment in Lyft represented 2.9% of its portfolio.

Alibaba (ticker: BABA), Rakuten (which is listed on the Tokyo exchange) and Tencent (which is listed on the Hong Kong exchange) are also investors in Lyft.

I believe GSV Capital participated in Lyft's Series D, while the others were Series E investors.




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