So Square started trading publicly today. The tech world has been awash with schadenfreude and I-told-you-so’s, since they priced the IPO at $9 per share, below the Series E price at $15. I have not studied the filing, but I am assuming there are preferences that protect the late investors in the case of a down-priced liquidity event. That’s how it’s supposed to work: fantastic returns to the early investors (Series A investors are getting like a 50X return), and as the risk was reduced over the company’s development, lower returns to later investors. The latest investors just get their money back, if they sell now.
What amazes me is that people are ignoring the incredible success of a company that has created about $2.5b of value for its shareholders in just 6 years. Here’s the first piece of news about the company I could find.
The story is amazing. Right under the noses of payments giants like Visa, Mastercard, Amex, First Data and PayPal, Dorsey was able to build a product that was welcomed by the SMEs, and a company that is now able to provide returns to its backers. Congratulations to all involved.