EquityZen Knowledge Center

EquityZen has curated this list of quality resources for secondary investors, shareholders and company representatives.
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Key Terms

  • Glossary of Key Terms

    We've compiled this list of common terms to help you navigate the world of pre-IPO companies.

Secondary Investment

  • Robo Advisors — Key Metrics Update

    Our Robo Advisor Key Metrics Update looks at RAUM (regulatory assets under management) and client trends reported by startup advisors on their Form ADV filings with the SEC. All registered investment advisors (RIAs), including robo advisors, are required to file an updated Form ADV at least annually; however, some advisors will provide intra-year updates following a material change in their business (new investment officers, product lines, etc.) or as desired. We look at the following robo advisor startups: Acorns, Betterment, Personal Advisors, Sofi Wealth, StashInvest, Wealthfront and WiseBanyan.

  • EquityZen & Redfin Pre-IPO: A Case Study

    Redfin (NASDAQ: RDFN), the Seattle-based tech-enabled residential real estate brokerage, completed its Initial Public Offering (IPO) on July 28, 2017. By providing investment access in the company pre-IPO in late 2016, EquityZen’s platform allowed several qualified investors to achieve returns in excess of a typical public market investor.

  • Cybersecurity Startups: Hacking into a Growing Market Opportunity

    As the world grows increasingly digitized, from cryptocurrencies to the interconnectivity of social media platforms, it has never been more important to protect your data. In this report, we will examine the cybersecurity industry as a whole, as well as the major players and trends.

  • EquityZen's 2018 IPO Outlook

    The past year capped yet another relatively subdued year for tech IPOs, with activity still well below 2013/2014 levels despite favorable market conditions. In our view, the underlying reasons for the ongoing public offering torpor remain consistent with prior years: an abundance of capital (and high valuations) in private markets, the high costs of becoming—and remaining—a public company, analyst scrutiny, and an increase in liquidity alternatives. We believe these factors may continue to weigh on IPO volume in the year ahead.

  • EquityZen Industry Overview: Music Streaming

    The last two years have proven to be a huge turning point for the music industry as internet streaming has meaningfully reversed the 15-year decline in industry revenues brought about by the internet piracy age at the turn of the century. In this report, we’ll look at how digitization has developed the music industry since its peak in 1999.

  • Artificial Intelligence Startups: The Key to Real Returns in the Modern Economy?

    Given AI’s broad applicability, the potential impact of the technology is staggering, with two prominent consultancy firms pegging the eventual economic contribution at ~$14-16T. In this report, we will examine the artificial intelligence industry as a whole, as well as the major players and trends.

  • EquityZen's Guide to Investing in Pre-IPO Tech Companies

    Are you new to secondary investing in private companies? It can be a daunting but ultimately rewarding asset class to invest in. Here are some topics to consider when investing.

  • White Paper: A Guide To Secondary Transactions

    Written by Secondary Fund Saints Capital: Alternative Paths to Liquidity in Private Companies

Equity Compensation

Completed Secondaries

Bubble Talk

  • No Need For Alarm Over Private Company Valuations

    A data-driven counterpoint to Bill Gurley is proffered by Ben Narasin of TriplePoint Ventures.

  • Bubble Talk

    Sam Altman chimes in with some thoughts and a wager on his YC portfolio.

  • Bill Gurley Predicts 'Dead Unicorns' in Startup-Land This Year

    Bill Gurley of Benchmark gets back on the "risk bubble" soap box at SXSW.

  • On Bubbles …

    Bill Gurley addresses early fears over a tech bubble and suggests the correct investment temperament for taking advantage of the situation.

  • Investors Beware: Today’s $100M+ Late-stage Private Rounds Are Very Different from an IPO

    Bill Gurley suggests that we are not in a valuation bubble, but in a risk bubble.

  • Why This Tech Bubble is Worse Than the Tech Bubble of 2000

    We're in a bubble worse than 2000, according to Mark Cuban

  • Are We In A Tech Bubble?

    Lou Kerner weighs in on the tech bubble debate by comparing and contrasting data from the ’99-’00 tech bubble with today’s data.

  • Illiquidity and Bubbles in Private Share Markets: Testing Mark Cuban's thesis!

    Academic Aswath Damodaran tests Mark Cuban's bubble thesis.

  • The Coming Zombie Startup Apocalypse

    Brooklyn Bridge Ventures’ Charlie O’Donnell maintains that, if we are in a tech bubble, many of today’s unicorns would survive through the inevitable downturn.

  • Opportunities lost in a sea of growth rounds

    Bijan Sabet of Spark Capital discusses the Series A crunch and the possibility of slow-burn startups not getting a fair shot in the current funding environment.

  • The Potential Upside To A Technology Bubble

    Brandon Lipman, formerly of 3DLT, confidently proclaims that the tech bubble is here, but goes on to explain why the bubble may, in fact, be a good thing for the industry.

  • Tech Bubble? Maybe, Maybe Not

    Bill Maris of Google Ventures compares the data both for and against the existence of a tech bubble, concluding that, if there is a bubble, it is of a different kind than the 2000 bubble.

  • Bubbles, Unicorns & Our Crazy Private Markets

    Anand Sanwal of CB Insights offers a data-driven perspective on various unicorn trends, concluding that we’re not in a tech bubble.

  • Are these the bubbles you're looking for?

    The Scout Ventures Blog relates mispricing in the current tech boom to the negative effects of excess downside protection.

  • Valuations

    Sam Altman examines the potential pitfalls of high valuations and gives founders advice on managing their behaviors in light of the increased availability of capital.

  • Sam Altman: What Bubble?

    Sam Altman takes his message to the masses on CNBC.

  • Consequences of a Tech Bubble Deflation

    Mike Brown of the International Business Times describes the extensive, potential ramifications of a bubble burst, including significant job losses and a slowing of innovation due to a collapse of investor confidence in private tech companies.

  • Similarities and Differences: the Dot-Com Bubble and Today's Tech Bubble

    Writing for Vanity Fair, Nick Bolton discusses numerous and disparate factors – from professional’s salaries to company operating costs – that indicate the existence of a tech bubble not totally dissimilar to the dot-com bubble, but notes various differences between the two that would affect the impact of an eventual burst.

  • The Existence of a Private Market Bubble

    Emily Chang of Bloomberg Business addresses the statements of Workday CEO Aneel Bhusri, who confidently stated that there is a private market bubble, but not a public market one.

  • Global Consequences of a Silicon Valley Tech Bubble Pop

    Idriss Al Rifai, CEO of Fetchr, warns of the consequences for the global tech scene from the bursting of the tech bubble in Silicon Valley.

  • The Tech Bubble is Inflating Thanks to the Lack of Interesting Alternatives

    Gregg Greenberg of TheStreet describes the views of Kevin Kinsella, founder of Avalon Ventures, who argues for the existence of a tech bubble and asserts that hedge funds and private equity shops are investing capital into unicorns because there are no interesting alternative investments to make.

  • Valuations are Not Actually That High

    Morgan Bender, Benedict Evans, and Scott Kupor of VC firm Adreessen Horowitz discuss the differences between the dot-com bubble and today’s tech boom, noting that, for public stocks, today’s valuations are not high by historical standards, and that market size is real this time (with nearly four billion people online as opposed to forty million in 1999).

  • Today's Tech Bubble is Not Like the Dot-Com Bubble

    Timothy B. Lee of Vox Media challenges the conception of the present tech boom as a bubble akin to that of the late 1990s, arguing that the value of today’s technology companies is proportional to their future earnings potential, given the fact that there has been massive growth in Internet use, that many unicorns are already generating significant revenues, and that private company valuation is not comparable to the market capitalization of a public company.

  • Signs that the Tech Bubble is About to Burst

    Adam Lashinsky of Fortune Magazine explores subtler signs that the tech bubble is about to burst, from canceled land auctions in San Francisco to reports of tech company meetings at which revenue is deprioritized or ignored.

  • OpenStack Silicon Valley 2015: There is a Tech Bubble and it will Burst. Softly.

    Teryn O’Brien of SiliconANGLE reports on the tech bubble discussion at OpenStack Silicon Valley 2015, where John Furrier, co-founder of CrodChat and SiliconANGLE Media, admitted to his belief that there is a tech bubble and that it’s bursting, though softly.

  • Valuations are High, but Have Corrected Themselves

    Writing for the Silicon Valley Business Journal, reporter Cromwell Schubarth discusses the statements of Ben Horowitz, founding partner of Andreesen Horowitz, who argues that while valuations have gotten high in certain tech sectors, those valuations have corrected themselves quickly.

  • The Bursting of the Tech Bubble Will Not Destroy Those Who are Prepared

    Jeff Bercovici of Inc. surveys the tech industry and various high-stakes players in the tech industry, concluding that there is a tech bubble and that it will burst, but conceding, ultimately, that the bursting of the tech bubble will not wipe out everyone – only those who are not prepared for the change in investment climate.

  • Common Misconceptions About the Tech Bubble

    Scott Rosenberg, cofounder of Salon.com, cogently argues against common misconceptions of the present day tech bubble, explaining that private investment transactions should not necessarily be extrapolated to billion dollar valuations, and that the bubble must eventually pop.

  • When the Bubble Bursts, the Effects Will Be Minimal

    Christopher Mims of the Wall Street Journal clarifies how today’s tech bubble is less terrifying than the dot-com bubble, in that it is being inflated by relatively small amounts of money, and explains how the inevitable deflation would hardly affect the wider economy.

  • The Tech Bubble Won't Deflate - Unique Factors That Will Prevent Collapse

    John Rampton, founder of Due, argues that there will not be a tech market crash, examining several unique factors, including but not limited to the reality that many thousands of employees involved in today’s “tech bubble” have unvested stock options which can later be used to re-invest and revitalize the industry.

  • There is a Massive Difference Between Today's Tech Bubble and the Dot-Com Bubble

    Jonathan Marino of Business Insider unpacks the opinions of Goldman Sachs COO Gary Cohn regarding the present tech bubble. Cohn, who describes the tech scene as merely “bubble-ish,” believes that there is a massive difference between the dot-com era companies and today’s companies, where today’s tech unicorns are fundamental to our everyday lives.

  • The Tech Bubble Collapsing May be a Good Thing

    Tom Taulli of Forbes believes evidence of a tech bubble is obvious, but argues that a crash may be a good thing, not only to bring about “creative destruction,” but also to create new opportunities for businesses designed to be frugal and profitable from an early stage.

  • Many Founders and Funders in the Silicon Valley are Aware of Soaring Valuations, but Remain Unconcerned

    Cromwell Schubarth of Silicon Valley Business Journal provides an overview of the tech industry’s discussions about a bubble at TechCrunch Disrupt, finding that many founders and funders acknowledge soaring private valuations but are unconcerned due to the changing, expanding marketplace, as well as the fact that private investors are more experienced than public investors at evaluating risk.

  • TechCrunch Disrupt: what various Silicon Valley players think about the Tech Bubble.

    Carole Cadwalladr of The Guardian narrates her visit to TechCrunch Disrupt, where she interviews numerous entrepreneurs, VCs, and others about the existence of a tech bubble and the potential consequences of a bubble burst.

  • Great Entrepreneurs Can Raise Money Both Inside and Outside of the Tech Bubble

    Mark Bergen of re/code unpacks the opinions of Bill Gurley, General Partner at VC firm Benchmark, who argues that his expectation of an impending tech bubble burst is simply pragmatic. Gurley further argues that great entrepreneurs can raise money in any cycle, and in fact, would be at an advantage when less money is available.

  • Venture Outlook 2016

    Mark Suster dives into one of his most in depth blog posts of the year, discussing the state of venture capital and where he believes the industry is heading.

  • Why Fidelity's markdowns could rock the startup and VC worlds

    For years, venture capitalists have encouraged their later-stage portfolio companies to take money from large mutual fund managers like Fidelity Investments.

  • Are IPOs The New Down Rounds?

    It’s become a meme in tech circles, “IPOs are the new down round,” venture capitalists quip. The dreaded “down round,” when a startup raises capital beneath its prior valuation, is getting pushed back to the public markets.

  • VC Bill Gurley Tries to Bust the Bubble

    Bill Gurley, a prominent Silicon Valley VC argues that tech startups are overvalued, profits are underrated, and a bust is coming.

  • Macro perspective: The startup party is far from over!

    Hang around venture capitalists in Silicon Valley and a clear sense of fear pervades the air. The main topic of conversation these days seems to be of humbled or fallen unicorns. Many are writing down the value of their holdings. This correction is driven by the impact of global macro changes on the late stage funding environment.

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