There are too many unicorns. That is what the founder of one of Europe’s highest-valued fintech unicorns told me on the sidelines of Web Summit, a conference in Lisbon where some 70,000 delegates were hoping unicorn dust would rub off on their own endeavors.
He’s not the only one who thinks a cull of the billion-dollar beasts may be coming. The travails of WeWork and Uber, unicorns par excellence, recently demonstrated that justifying sky-high valuations may require a path to profitability after all. Financial technology startups have been basking in hype for some time, and firms with fast-rising valuations often got a late-stage boost from the same companies—the likes of SoftBank, T. Rowe Price, and Sequoia Capital—that have driven up the price tags of startups in other sectors.