Meditations
EquityZen's Blog On Startups and Their Economics

Tech IPO “Down Rounds”: EquityZen Runs the Numbers with Jeremy Abelson and Irving Investors

Phil Haslett | May 25, 2017

The recent Cloudera IPO has re-ignited a discussion about down rounds. How could a private company possibly be valued at $30.92 per share in 2014, and then go public at $15? What could lead to such a corporate phenomenon? Do the valuation techniques of VC firms and Wall Street really differ by such a margin?

Cloudera's valuation was chopped in half between 2014 and 2017
It turns out, down rounds are increasing in regularity, based on data analyzed by EquityZen and Irving Investors , a tech-focused hedge fund managed by Jeremy Abelson. But first…
Read more...

Not So Obvious: Here's What To Know Between NSO and ISO Stock Options

Nat Disston | May 18, 2017

The world of startup stock options can be pretty opaque. To outsiders, its seems all one does is join a small company, and, if it works, everyone becomes millionaires . For new employees, they often don’t know what they don’t know and are faced with piles of new documents and more questions once they join their budding business. Core to our mission is to help educate employees, companies, and their founders about their stock options and what they can do with their resulting shares .

Read more...

Q&A with Troy Paredes: How the SEC Regulates Silicon Valley (Part 2)

Shriram Bhashyam | April 13, 2017

The change in administrations at the White House has multifold ramifications for startups. Important among those areas is the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) posture towards Silicon Valley and how that agenda may shift under incoming Chair Jay Clayton. We’ve tapped friend of EquityZen, and former Commissioner at the SEC, Troy A. Paredes to shed some light. You can read Part 1 here .

Read more...

Q&A with Troy Paredes: How the SEC Regulates Silicon Valley (Part 1)

Shriram Bhashyam | April 05, 2017

The change in administrations at the White House has multifold ramifications for startups. Important among those areas is the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) posture towards Silicon Valley and how that agenda may shift under incoming Chair Jay Clayton. We’ve tapped friend of EquityZen, and former Commissioner at the SEC, Troy A. Paredes to shed some light.

Read more...

FinTech Outlook: Five Developing Issues to Watch in 2017

Lee Schneider | January 26, 2017

FinTech investment, innovation, and media attention has grown steadily in recent years, and do not look to abate any time soon.

We’ve tapped friend of EquityZen, and FinTech lawyer, Lee A. Schneider, to opine on FinTech regulatory trends to watch in 2017.

Each new year comes with a sense of excitement and anticipation.  Let's wipe the slate clean from last year and focus on five trends FinTech companies and investors should monitor in 2017.
Read more...

Trump's Nominee for SEC Chief: Implications for Startups and Fintech

Shriram Bhashyam | January 19, 2017


On January 4, 2017, President-Elect Donald Trump nominated Jay Clayton, a private sector Wall Street lawyer, to serve as the next Chairman of the SEC. While the confirmation hearings will tell us a lot about Mr. Clayton’s background, qualifications, and leanings, I can’t wait that long and preview here what the SEC’s agenda may look like in his tenure.
Read more...

Demystifying the Option Agreement

Abad Mian | January 12, 2017


Your Stock Option Agreement. If you work at a startup, you’ve probably got one. It lays out what you can and can’t do with your stock options , which happens to be a very important component of your compensation. But do you understand how an Option Agreement really works? Luckily, EquityZen is here to help.

Read more...

How to Hedge Against Private Company Valuations

Atish Davda | January 05, 2017

"How can I hedge against private company valuations?"
"Can I short pre-IPO shares?"
"How do I lock my shares’ current price?"

I often get variations of these questions. The answer is "no" – but, I usually point out other ways to enhance the private market portfolio. I thought EquityZen’s client base might find them interesting, so below are some ideas. If you have ideas on the matter, please send them my way via a comment or email.

Read more...

Tech IPOs and Trump

Nat Disston | December 08, 2016

This election has not been short of surprises, and the stock market is no exception. With the Dow and S&P 500 reaching record highs on Wednesday, it seems the market has recovered from the uncertainty we had just one month ago. That said, the President-elect doesn't step into the White House for another month and a half. It's to be determined if we see another shift after January 20th once the the rubber hits the pavement.

Until then, Trump has shared (some of) his plan as president, and as he appoints his administration, the market will adjust. Based on what we know, we expect the impact to be a mixed bag for tech companies and their IPO plans during the Trump presidency.
Read more...

Happy Thanksgiving from EquityZen

Ketan Bhalla | November 24, 2016

Keeping with EquityZen tradition, we'd like to take a few moments to reflect on the past year and share a few things we are thankful for as we celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday here in the United States.  EquityZen hit some major milestones in 2016, including completing over 1,000 transactions in over 50 companies.  We believe it was a transformative year for the company and the private markets as a whole.

Further development of the private markets

Awareness about the investment opportunity in private markets got a well deserved boost in 2016, which we are thankful for.  There were numerous articles in the press about pre-IPO investing, many of which we were actually featured in , which gave increased credence to the market as a whole.  A major tax break for startup founders, employees, and investors was also made permanent , which we believe is a positive sign for an evolving market.  Though it was painful, the public market downturn at the beginning of the year actually gave many investors and shareholders an opportunity to look at their public equity portfolios and consider rebalancing some of their risk into private companies , which was a catalyst for investors wanting to learn more about the asset class.  Finally, the fact that a private investment platform got featured in Forbes as part of the inaugural "Fintech 50" lent even more credibility to the market.
Read more...

Stay up to date

I've got equity

I'm an investor

Search the Blog

We've partnered with Wealthfront to provide our clients with sophisticated, low-cost investment management services.

Full terms: here

Tags

Check out our Knowledge Center for more resources.