TechCrunch noted a week ago that private markets appeared strongly bullish on future startup value creation, while public markets were drifting lower, repricing possible exit values for today’s upstart companies. The was, it seemed, a rising gap between the level of bullishness in the private and public markets.
That dissonance has only increased in volume in the intervening days. New data from China’s private market, sharper central banking forecasts, sliding tech shares and rampantly bullish funding rounds make today’s startup cocktail even more confusing than what we saw a week ago.
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In broad terms, the era of cheap money is coming to a close as startups continue to raise record sums, creating a possible collision course between private-market enthusiasm and a tightening stock market. And the discrepancy is only getting bigger.
Let’s talk about it.
This morning, Goldman Sachs updated its expectation regarding how quickly the U.S. Federal Reserve will tighten monetary policy. Three hikes to the key overnight rate were anticipated this year; that figure has risen to four. The financial giant also expects the Fed to start to shrink its balance sheet in July. This is a full-on reversion of today’s policy that has kept rates at effectively zero and bond-buying afoot.
The macro environment is going to change mightily this year, meaning that we’ll close 2022 in a very different state than we began it. You might not know that, looking at the market today.
A few data points for flavor concerning startup fundraising: