While today even the pundits are aghast at the latest Snapchat valuation round, which according to the WSJ has Kleiner Perkins inject a laughable $20 million into the private-parts photography service, boosting its valuation to a whopping $10 billion in a clear windowdressing mark-up round, up from $800 million a year ago, even as the actual equity invested into the company is a paltry $160 million or under 2% of said valuation, the true indicator of just how bubbly the second coming of the dot com era has become comes courtesy of none other than Jessica Alba's, yes the actress, own startup: a company launched in 2012 and which makes "non-toxic" diapers (as opposed to toxic diapers?), called the Honest Co., has raised $70 million at a valuation just shy of $1 billion in preparation for an IPO.It appears that Kleiner Perkins are using their own pocket lint to bump valuations now that Advanced Equities is no longer around.
Ridiculous? Well of course, but at least unlike Snapchat which still has zero revenue, there actually are idiots who will pay a premium to subscribe to hemp diapers, and the company does in fact have some revenue: "since launching in 2012 with its non-toxic diapers and other natural baby products, the California-based startup has grown quickly by blending its environmentally sensitive products with a social mission. Annual revenue is tracking to hit north of $150 million in 2014, or three times the revenue of 2013, according to Mr. Lee. Roughly 80% of Honest revenue is from customers who subscribe to a monthly service delivering diapers and other consumable products on a recurring basis."..MORE, including gratuitous pics of Jessica.
From November 2012's "Phi Scamma Jamma: Late Stage VC Investor Advanced Equities Shutting Down (Bloom; Fisker etc.)":
That's a wrap.See also:
These guys would do middle-of-the-alphabet rounds (H-round, N-round etc.) that the Sand Hill Road crowd owned at 1/20th the valuation. They invested private placement style for accrediteds, giving the original VC's a nice bump in valuation while the AE principals got to act like they were in with the in crowd.
We were dubious as far back as 2008.
After the principals were hit with attention-getting fines, the last straw came when they were ordered to make a recission offer to some of their Fisker investors.
Recissions are brutal for that type of operator, they are not ordered when investors are making money hand-over-fist and tend to be accepted rather quickly by the investor and/or their counsel....
Al Gore (and Kleiner) no Score? Advanced Equities Execs Under SEC Investigation for 2009 Private Placement
Aug 19, 2008
Venture Capital: "Garbage In..."
From Forbes:Friday, May 21, 2010
A late-stage venture funding outfit is foisting junky startups on investors--much to the benefit of the Sand Hill Road crowd.It's just the sort of improbable success that Silicon Valley adores. Two young entrepreneurs have, in a mere five years, turned an obscure Chicago venture capital firm into a presence visible from Sand Hill Road. This year Keith Daubenspeck and Dwight Badger's Advanced Equities Financial is on track to raise $1 billion for startups previously backed by industry Brahmins like Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Benchmark Capital, New Enterprise Associates and Vinod Khosla....
The Company you Keep: "Bloom, Fisker and Serious Materials Raising Cash from Advanced Equities"
And many more.