Fred Wilson compares going public to taking medicine and he has some strong words for tech companies who refuse to take their medicine.
“It doesn’t taste good,” he said on-stage at the Upfront Summit. “But it makes you better.”
It’s the slowest tech IPOs have been in years, and Wilson has had enough with companies staying private to wait for better market conditions or to keep getting capital from private firms.
“I agree with Bill Gurley on this. Man up! Woman up! F—— do it! Don’t be chicken!” Wilson ranted.
One company in his cross-hairs as a bad example of it is Uber: the ride-hailing company valued at more than $62 billion.
Its CEO Travis Kalanick has compared its situation to being like an eighth grader while people are telling them to go to the prom. He still sees going public a few years off.
Wilson, who isn’t an investor in the company, doesn’t buy it.
“He’s wimping out. That should be a publicly traded company,” Wilson said.
At a certain point, he needs to be giving the more than $8 billion he’s raised from investors back to them. And the investors want it, according to Wilson.
“When you take money from me, am I getting money from you?” Wilson said. “You have a responsibility to give me my money back sometime. You can’t just say f— you. Take the goddamn company public.”
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