Alisher Usmanov, the Russian magnate behind DST, is telling reporters that he thinks valuations are starting to get too high in tech.
DST, you’ll recall, is the late stage investment firm that in 2009 and 2010 put hundreds of millions of dollars into mature startups like Zynga, Facebook, and Groupon.
It was those very valuations that first got people screeching about a bubble.
Fortunately, we’re probably not in a bubble – certainly not because of DST’s investments.
One thing Zynga, Facebook, and Groupon have in common is that they are not only enormously popular, they also all make a lot of money – enough to justify their crazy high valuations.
Bubble talk is also strange to hear coming from Usmanov because he and business partner Yuri Milner just raised another pile of cash to invest in Internet companies through a fund called DST Global 2.
What’s probably actually going here is that everyone and their brother is now copying DST’s late-stage pre-IPO investment strategy – buyout founders and early investors, take non-votiing shares – and Usmanov would like to keep plucking all the low-hanging fruit all by himself.