Editor’s note: Each Thursday, Talk Business & Politics provides “Startup Talk,” a round-up of startup, technology and entrepreneurial news.
FOOD TRUCK ENTREPRENEURS CAN GET VEHICLE, RESTAURANT COVERAGE IN ONE POLICY
Farmers Insurance has launched an innovative insurance policy in New Mexico for food truck vendors that combines commercial automobile coverage with a restaurant business owner policy.
New Mexico is one of the first two states, along with Utah, where the policy is now available to food truck entrepreneurs and restaurateurs. Over the course of 2016, Farmers will introduce similar food truck package policies in an additional 24 states.
Currently, food truck owners are often left to work with a complex mixture of separate policies, including commercial auto, business owner and restaurant policies provided by different insurers.
Farmers, one of the nation’s 10 largest insurance companies, will offer food truck owners the option to obtain coverage for their truck or a truck attached to the stand-alone store. By combining these disparate coverages into a single food truck policy, mobile food entrepreneurs now have the option to select one policy for their food business on wheels.
VENTURE CAPITAL INVESTMENTS UP, NUMBER OF DEALS DOWN IN SECOND QUARTER
Venture capitalists invested $15.3 billion in 961 deals in the second quarter of 2016, according to the MoneyTree Report from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA), based on data provided by Thomson Reuters. Total venture dollars deployed to startup companies for the quarter increased 20% and total deal count was down 5%, compared with the first quarter when $12.7 billion was invested in 1,011 deals. Compared with Q2 2015, dollars and deals are down 12 and 22 percent, respectively. This is the tenth consecutive quarter of more than $10 billion in venture capital invested in a single quarter.
The software industry continued to receive the highest level of funding of all industries, receiving $8.7 billion across 379 deals for the quarter, a 70% spike in dollars despite a 4% decrease in deals versus the first quarter of 2016. Six of the 11 megadeals (investments of $100 million or more) were in the software industry.
The biotech industry received the second largest amount of venture capital for the quarter, with $1.7 billion invested into 100 deals, representing a 14% decrease in dollars and a 19% decline in deals, compared with the previous quarter.
To view the full PwC report, click here.
TECH ‘UNICORNS’ OVERVALUED, TECHNICAL CORRECTION IN THE FUTURE
According to a new 2016 IPA outlook by BDO USA, a majority (52%) of capital markets executives at leading investment banks are predicting a serious correction in the valuations of so-called “tech-unicorns” – private startup firms with disclosed valuations of more than $1 billion.
Last year, in order to gain additional funding, some of these businesses went public at valuations considerably below their most recent round of private financing. An overwhelming majority (85%) of bankers believe there will more of these type of offerings moving forward.
Lee Duran, partner in the Capital Markets Practice at BDO said as new rounds of private financing reflect more realistic valuations, unicorns will increasingly be faced with a choice between being acquired or going public. Either way, the actual profitability of these businesses will be given much greater weight versus projections of future performance, he said. If private valuations continue to exceed those of public markets, a majority (55%) of the capital markets community anticipate some of these “unicorns” will fail. When asked how many, the consensus was that approximately 17% will not survive.
According to the report, there are now more than 140 technology businesses privately valued at more than $1 billion, yet just one of these companies has pursued an IPO in 2016 as they fear their private valuations won’t stand-up to scrutiny in the more discerning public markets.
“As new rounds of private financing reflect more realistic valuations, unicorns will increasingly be faced with a choice between being acquired or going public. Either way, the actual profitability of these businesses will be given much greater weight versus projections of future performance,” Duran said.