Investors are slashing startup valuations—and not even Uber and Airbnb are safe

The unicorn in dismay.
The unicorn in dismay.
Image: Reuters/Kieran Doherty
We may earn a commission from links on this page.

It’s shaping up to be an uneasy year in Silicon Valley. Funding has slowed, downrounds are kicking in. Once high-flying startups are cutting perks and laying off staff. They’re also afraid to pursue exits via public markets, leaving the tech IPO market a wasteland.

Now, investor skepticism is affecting even the biggest and richest startups. On Friday, investment firm T. Rowe Price disclosed markdowns for at least a dozen privately held tech companies, including Uber and Airbnb.

For the quarter ended March 31, mutual fund filings show T. Rowe cut the value of its stakes in both Uber and Airbnb by 6%. Uber’s latest round of funding, which T. Rowe took part in, was thought to value the ride-hailing company at $62.5 billion. Airbnb raised a $1.5 billion round last summer—one that T. Rowe was also involved in—which lifted its valuation to $25.5 billion.

Other companies took much greater hits. T. Rowe slashed the value of its stake in Evernote by 75.7%, in Cloudera, a data analytics company, by 36.7%, and in database company MongoDB by 23.4%.

WeWork notably bucked the trend, though T. Rowe still values its stake below the $16 billion price the shared office-space company raised money at in March.

In late February, Fidelity Investments marked down many of the startups held in its funds, among them, billion-dollar “unicorns” Blue Apron, Dropbox, and Zenefits.