Unicorns (Short the Hype)

Calling Out Digitally-Native Vertical Brands (DNVBs)

"You know what? F*ck unicorns." Let's not lose perspective here: a number of tech startups (or, shall we say, alleged "tech" startups) are valued at $1b+ merely because the market is awash in so much money and such a hunger for yield that deals are getting priced upwards. To think that a $400mm exit is anything short of successful is bonkers. Meanwhile, a number of those unicorns are digitally native vertical brands (DNVBs). Think Warby Parker. And thisthrows some serious shade on them. Choice quote, "Given all of the expectations surrounding Digitally-Native Brands and their limited optionality, it’s unlikely that many of them will be around in their 47th year, let alone as independent companies. There will always be exceptions to this rule—Dollar Shave ClubGlossierProper Cloth—might outlast the pack as brands that either successfully exited or are mostly in control of their future. But other than these rare exceptions, over the next few years this gold rush will probably turn into a bloodbath" (emphasis ours). In other words, don't count the chickens until they hatch.