It’s the most reflective time of the year!
As the end to this bizarre year approaches, I want to peer into your crystal ball.
What will 2021 bring? Send me your best predictions for how the new year will unfold for dealmaking and businesses. There’s a lot of material to work with: A pandemic changed the world. IPOs are booming. TikTok battled with the Trump administration. Big Tech is cementing its place as the new Wall Street in ‘08. Quibi opened…and shuttered its doors. Bitcoin is back, and to an extent, so is VR.
I welcome your business predictions from the broad (where will be the strongest areas from M&A?) to the specific (who will Microsoft buy next? Who is the next WeWork?).
On Friday, I’ll feature highlights of your answers, alongside your name and title, unless you explicitly indicate that you’d only like to use your first name.
Here’s the great thing. Though none of you predicted a massive pandemic, some of last year’s predictions for 2020 were scarily accurate.
Sure, many of you predicted a recession in 2020. But Michael Proman, managing director at Scrum Ventures was even more precise in his prediction, correctly foreseeing increased M&A activity in home fitness companies, saying companies like Tonal, Mirror and Zwift would be “likely acquisition targets.” In June, Lululemon announced plans to acquire Mirror.
Patricia Nakache, general partner at Trinity Ventures, successfully predicted that business leaders would be increasingly forced to publicly address political issues. Even as Coinbase took what it considered an apolitical stance, it still became political, whether they liked to or not.
We are still waiting for some very promising predictions to materialize. South Central Ventures Investment Manager Pedja Predin prophesied that former T-Mobile CEO John Legere would reveal himself to be “Adam Neumann’s real biological father, or that Adam Neumann is actually Sacha Baron Cohen playing a role.” Either Baron Cohen is an excellent actor with teleportation abilities, or this particular prediction may not be panning out.
This is my way of saying: Yes, bring even your zany and far-fetched predictions.
Looking forward to hearing from you 🙂
ANOTHER IPO! ContextLogic, the company behind discount e-commerce platform Wish, raised $1.1 billion in an IPO of 46 million shares priced at the high end of its previously stated range: $24 apiece. The IPO is a venture capital-backed unicorn debut in public markets when Affirm and Roblox have pushed their debuts to 2021 after seeing other offerings raise higher-than-expected valuations.
The story is unfolding differently for Wish at the moment. While the pandemic has increased the need for e-commerce, Wish’s growth has been slower, with revenue up 32% in the first nine months of 2020 to $1.8 billion. Meanwhile, over 70% of sales come from “personalized browsing,” or impulse buys, rather than searches for specific items—raising questions about the company’s long term.
ESCAPE FROM SAN FRANCISCO: Many of those leaving San Francisco are loud about their grievances and reasons. But as I’ve written in the past, while “exits from the crowded and troubled city are splashy, it’s worth meditating upon who stays to understand the full impact of the changes on the city.” Most of those that stay won’t talk about it—who would announce, “Hey, I’m staying in my same old home?” But here’s one Tweet from Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky: “Airbnb is staying in California and I’m staying in California. This is a special place.”