There's a new way to track startups that are in serious trouble

Baby CryingFlickr / Sam StantonA lot of startups are starting to feel the squeeze.

In the last quarter, Silicon Valley has swung from greed to fear.

Unicorn companies, or those valued at more than $1 billion, have been closely tracked by everyone from the Wall Street Journal to Fortune to any venture capital data firm during the past couple of years.

Now that the startup ecosystem has entered a perceived downturn — or at least unicorn creation has slowed down — VC data firm CB Insights is launching a new way to follow what’s happening: the downround tracker.

Downrounds are when a company raises money at a lower price than where it was valued last time. They’re often considered a sign of trouble that the company has failed to live up to hype or deliver its metrics.

The new CB Insights tracker is hardly the first site dedicated to chronicling the doom and gloom at startups during times of trouble.

In 2000, F— launched as a way to track the dot-com bust. As startups died left and right, employees could post anonymous comments about which companies were starting layoffs and who was losing money. in 2007, right before the next crash, the site shut down.

CB Insights’ new Downround Tracker will now pick up some of the slack on chronicling the bad parts of the startup ecosystem, just without the snark, says its CEO and founder Anand Sanwal.

Sanwal hopes the downround tracker won’t be seen as a negative or kicking a startup while it’s down. Instead, by only relying on data and presenting the facts, it can be valuable resource for companies looking to poach talent and keep informed on what’s happening (both good AND bad) in the market.

“Sometimes the data helps shine a light on things that appear to be going well (see our unicorn tracker as an example) and sometimes it doesn’t, but objectively tracking the ebbs and flows of the market is important for VCs who are investing, corporations that are acquiring and even startups that are negotiating their latest term sheet,” Sanwal told Business Insider in an email.

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