Just because it's worth $1 billion doesn't mean it's a unicorn, says VC who lived through the last bubble

Brad Feld, the founder of both tech incubator Techstars and Boulder-based VC firm Foundry Group, has a message for Silicon Valley.

In a tweetstorm Monday, Feld warned that just because a company is valued at more than a billion dollars, that doesn’t mean it’s a “unicorn.”

The term “unicorn” is used today to refer to private tech companies with a $US1 billion valuation, but it was originally investor-speak for the rare startup that offers massive returns, and can make an entire fund. 

A company’s valuation is relative and fleeting, and not necessarily indicative of how much it’s going to be worth over time.

As chatter about billion-dollar companies continues, Feld’s tweetstorm couldn’t have come at a better time. On Monday, health insurance startup Oscar announced that it had just closed a $US4145 million round of funding, making it the latest company with a billion-dollar valuation. 

Here’s what he had to say:

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