a16z Podcast: On Recent IPOs and Comparing Private vs. Public Valuations


It’s hip to be Square right now. Or is it? How do we assess [< links to our internal partial summary memo] whether it — and other recent IPOs — went well, not just for investors but overall?

In this episode of the a16z Podcast, Nicole Irvin and Stephen McDermid from our startup corp dev team — and Andreessen Horowitz managing partner Scott Kupor — share an internal “hallway conversation” of sorts around how to make sense of market reactions to recent IPOs, and more broadly, how to compare private vs. public valuations (and investors). Is there a method to the madness, a formula to compare these from beginning to end? Does it make a difference if you’re creating a new category (like SaaS previously) or are in an existing one?

Finally, we share views on the somewhat religious debate about whether public is really the new private, growth vs. profitability, and more. Especially as startups are always optimizing for so many competing things at any given time.