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Meditating on the Private Markets in 2018 — Blog Recap

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Asa Lieberman   December 27, 2018

The end of each year brings with it a sense of familiarity and routine: holidays with loved ones, festive lighting all throughout town, the same old catchy holiday songs seemingly everywhere you turn… and year-in-review content. So much recap content.




In this spirit, we wanted to give our version of this style of content in the form of a blog-year-in-review. That is, a look back at some of our most popular pieces from the year. In a world of tech that has never been faster and a news cycle that has never been more sporadic (and exhausting), we hope you can kick back on the couch with a beverage of choice and enjoy some of our most popular blogs of 2018.

1. SoftBank: An Endless Reservoir of Dollars and Intrigue

Have you heard of this Japanese fund called SoftBank? Oh you have? I suppose when you raise $100B, you might warrant some attention… In late August, we released an in-depth report on SoftBank. The analysis was chock full of interesting research, including gems such as the following:
"Even at a more modest 20% hurdle rate, the Vision Fund will need to return almost $23 billion in realized equity value per year after the fund’s investment period. Including the annual interest payments, this equates to roughly the GDP of El Salvador every year over this period."
Read the full report here.

2. IPO Outlooks and Updates

Though we released our 2018 IPO Outlook in December of 2017, many of you were excited to read our mid-year update which detailed what we got right, what we may have missed, and any new insights we had for the remainder of the year. The IPO Outlook is a staple here at EquityZen, and so we were thrilled to see that your excitement continued on through to the new 2019 IPO Outlook. Others were watching too, as our 2019 IPO Outlook was picked up by many major networks, including our 4-part series on Yahoo! Finance.

Download the full 2019 IPO Outlook here. Read the 2018 IPO Outlook Update here.

3. Value Private Companies the EZ Way

At the end of Q3, we let you all under the hood and gave you a complete guide to how we value private companies. Our Research Team uses these methods when reviewing the many pre-IPO companies that come across our platform, and now you can use these techniques when reviewing our offerings, company valuations, or simply for your own entertainment (though, if valuing private companies is your idea of entertainment, then check out our Careers page because we should talk!)

Read through the how-to valuation guide here.

4. Spotify’s Non-IPO

Remember Spotify IPO’d this year? We know, it seems like just yesterday Napster was a thing. Well maybe not Napster, but hey, vinyl is back so is anybody really sure what year it is in the music industry? In April, Spotify opted to eschew the standard IPO process and instead list directly onto NYSE in what many referred to as a “non-IPO.” We broke down the difference between an IPO and Initial Public Listing, as well as what the success of this style of exit would mean for the future of the private and public markets.




Read the full piece here.

5. Oldies but Goodies

As is often the case, we received many hits to our evergreen content from yesteryear. These are some of our greatest hits, including:
  • Understanding equity comp for employees (read it here)
  • NSOs vs ISOs (read it here)
  • Understanding RSUS like your boss (read it here)

Thank you to all of you for continuing to support EquityZen as we strive to bring liquidity to early startup employees, access to investors, and education materials on the private markets to the greater internet populous. We hope you’ve enjoyed our EZ Meditations over the course of the year and we look forward to bringing you even more content in 2019! And from all of us here on the EquityZen Team, we wish you a sincere Happy Holidays and good fortune in the New Year!

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Spotify: Blurring the Private and Public Market Lines

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Nat Disston   March 22, 2018

With 160 IPOs in 2017, it is rare for a company's initial public offering to get as much coverage as Spotify's already has this past year. In many ways, however, Spotify deserves the attention. For starters, Spotify is a widely used consumer product that continues to exhibit impressive growth against deep-pocketed and experienced competitors (*cough* Apple *cough*). Many Spotify fans and cynics alike will be eyeing their listing and continued results as a public company. Secondly, Spotify's decision not to raise any capital and forgo a traditional Initial Public Offering in lieu of an Initial Public Listing has already made them stand out in the tech world. While Spotify's trailblazing attitude allows them to eschew Wall Street banks and save unnecessary dilution from a traditional IPO, it comes with its own bevy of risks, such as price discovery and liquidity once the shares are publicly traded.

That brings us to the third reason we're looking forward to this listing (one that has not been discussed much on the interwebs): Spotify, once again the black sheep of the tech world, appears to be welcoming trades of their private shares with open arms. EquityZen's mission is to bring private markets to the public, and Spotify's recent maneuvers—although intended to help them with public market price discovery—are further evidence of the blurring of the lines between the private and public markets.

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Streaming: The Savior of the Music Industry?

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Chuk Okpalugo   August 03, 2017

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 post, an excerpt of our industry overview report, we’ll briefly discuss the industry growth trends. For a detailed analysis of the industry’s history and the business performance of the key players, please download the report here: EquityZen Industry Overview: Music Streaming.

Source: Global Music Report 2017, IFPI

 
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