At the very height of the 1999 dotcom bubble the 24 largest floated US based technology firms were worth a total of $71bn. Today the four largest new dotcoms in the US (Twitter, Groupon, Zynga and of course Facebook) are valued at around $80bn.
That spells trouble. To highlight this I would like to look at Groupon. It is 2.5 years old and has a value in the region of $20bn. Really? To my knowledge there is nothing that makes Groupon insusceptible to a competitor stealing large market share. Associated Newspapers are among the large UK players looking to do so and Google are at it too following a rebuffed approach for Groupon.
There are however some reasons to be excited. Many new tech firms have monetised their offering early and have robust profitable models – and may even prove worth their valuations. Facebook for instance stands a real chance of justifying it’s dizzy $50bn price tag but with several long term headwinds facing the global economy we will find some of these valuations suffer and a new dotcom bubble might burst.