(TIME) — “Don't be surprised if the next big wave of successful IPOs aren't 'unicorns' but rather 'paper clips'—a bit boring, perhaps, but based on reliable business software”.
2019 was to be the year of the 'unicorns'—the IPOs of technology companies valued at more than $1 billion. But unicorns aren’t profitable.
While enterprise software businesses like Box and VMware have steadily raked in billions by building collaboration tools, security solutions and IT infrastructure, it’s been the likes of Google, Facebook and, more recently, Uber, Lyft and Airbnb that have been the hottest places to work, the companies satirized on TV shows and the ones lauded (and, more recently, criticized) in the media.
This is why 2019 was to be the year of the “unicorns”—the IPOs of technology companies valued at more than $1 billion. The most anticipated were in the consumer-technology space, in particular Uber and Lyft. Close behind was the real estate company WeWork, which was never truly a tech company–but packaged itself as such, complete with an ambitious (some might say delusional) CEO and a soaring mission “to elevate the world’s consciousness.”