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Fallen Unicorns: Startup Billionaires Nearly $100 Billion Poorer Than A Year Ago


Last January, credit card startup Brex raised $300 million from a string of A-list investors, nearly doubling the company’s valuation to $12.3 billion and making its Brazilian cofounders– 26-year-old Pedro Franceschi and 27-year-old Henrique Dubugras–the world’s youngest self-made billionaires.


“I think it's easy for people to think that we're already successful,” Dubugras told Forbes at the time. “We are, and we aren’t. We're obviously happy about what we’ve achieved, but there's so much more to come.”


It’s certainly far too early to write-off the long-term success story that could be Brex. But a year later, Forbes estimates the company’s value has fallen to $6.4 billion–nearly 50% less than 12 months ago. Francheshi and Dubugras, meanwhile, are no longer billionaires–worth an estimated $900 million apiece, down from $1.5 billion.

They are in good company. In March 2022, near the peak of the startup funding frenzy, 44 founders of unicorns–private companies valued at over $1 billion–were worth a total of $190 billion, according to Forbes’ estimates. A year later, with crypto tumbling and private markets going the way of their tanking public counterparts, Forbes–in consultation with prominent VCs, investors and data providers–has revalued the world’s billionaire-backed unicorns. The results are stark: Half the wealth of the billionaires behind unicorns has been wiped out, leaving this elite group of startup visionaries $96 billion poorer than they were a year ago. Twelve of them are no longer billionaires. And that excludes a dozen Chinese unicorn founders who face their own unique set of issues (political and otherwise).


Read More at https://www.forbes.com/sites/mattdurot/2023/01/27/fallen-unicorns-startup-billionaires-nearly-100-billion-poorer-than-a-year-ago/

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