2019 CRYSTAL BALL
Before we get to your 2019 business predictions, I wanted to share with you some news from Fortune. Chatchaval Jiaravanon, the executive chairman of Thailand’s biggest conglomerate Charoen Pokphand Group, is officially the new owner of Fortune after buying it for $150 million. The deal closes today.
Jiaravanon says he intends to increase investment in Fortune’s “digital capabilities, geographic expansion, and editorial talent as part of a strategy to become the premium business content provider worldwide.”
I’ve been with Fortune for more than four years, and I’ve never been more optimistic about the future of the company. I’ll continue to be in your inboxes every day, and my colleagues and I will uphold our commitment to journalistic excellence, editorial independence, and most importantly, our commitment to you.
In the last year and a half, this Term Sheet community has become a huge & important part of my life, so I will continue to keep you updated along the way.
Fortune president and CEO Alan Murray wrote today: “We’ll be looking to all of you to give us guidance and feedback; to criticize us when we go astray; and maybe even to give us a pat on the back when we get it right. If we do our job well, we will be at your side as you create the future.”
Cheers to the future. ????
THE 2019 CRYSTAL BALL: Thank you to everyone who responded to the question: “What’s your top business-related prediction for 2019?” Below is an excerpt of your predictions, but I encourage you to check out the full list here.
Here are the highlights:
RECESSION: Term Sheet readers predict an economic downturn in 2019.
“Huge stock market crash, particularly in the U.S. and U.K., will lead to falling house prices and a long recession.” — Gareth Stephens
“The relative youth of the tech sector has been an essential part of its decades-long dominance. But in 2019, it is possible that many burgeoning entrepreneurs, investors, and employees in the tech sector will see for the first time what life is like through a recession. While the fundamental drivers of technology will continue to strongly impact innovation across most sectors, an economic downturn will show us which companies, young or not-so-young, are truly able to withstand the slings and arrows of real-world economic cycles.” — Yann Ranchere, partner at Anthemis
“In 2019, there’s a high probability we’re going to hit a recession and if we do, everyone is going to pull back on spending all at the same time leaving small businesses in a lurch. For small business owners, now is the time to reduce expenses, not the time to expand. As interest rates rise, a recession could arrive fast and it could be quite painful for those small businesses that aren’t prepared.” — Ian Crosby, CEO & founder of Bench
“Economists and analysts agree that a recession and market correction could happen within the next 12 to 18 months. Since a downturn will likely cascade to many compensation-related issues—such as benchmarking, dilution, goal setting, and disclosure, more companies will devise a ‘CEO Pay playbook’ to handle these facets in a potential downturn.” – Robin Ferracone, founder and CEO of Farient Advisors
“U.S. – China trade war escalates, China’s debt bubble bursts, markets crash to 1929 level and great depression starts off, leading to nationalist riots worldwide in a social media fueled dimension … or party goes on for a year and people talk about the incredible end of Snapchat instead. — Tim Bartel
CRYPTO: Readers are betting on the growth of blockchain technology.
“I expect one or more major breakthroughs in blockchain network and infrastructure in 2019. Lack of performance, security and privacy have stunted the adoption of public blockchain technologies at scale.” — Scott Beechuk, partner at Norwest Venture Partners
“As Bitcoin and Ethereum continue their downward slide, a new protocol will emerge that solves current scalability problems and reignites global interest in blockchain.” — Aaron Jacobson, partner at NEA
“Activist investing in crypto. Along the lines of what Vista did with smaller SaaS companies.” — Michael Nov
“Massive hassles for many US-based crypto projects in trying to distribute tokens legally and in maneuvering around the regulators as the rules of the road become more clear.” — David Pakman, partner at Venrock
“Facebook announces launch of its own blockchain & accompanying development platform for dApps” — Nikao
“Compliance headaches for banks leads the way for blockchain technology.” — Navin
STARTUPS: Readers predict more money to chase even fewer deals in 2019.
“It’s easier than ever to raise a pre-seed or seed round, but Series A/B investors are setting the bar higher than ever and looking for very strong traction before making an investment. On the flipside, once they see it, they are prepared to write larger checks than before.” — Matt Hartman, partner at betaworks Ventures
“I think that the piles of VC and PE money will chase even fewer deals than they have been in 17’ 18’.” — Elias
“We see a lot more down rounds for unicorns (and soon to be former unicorns!)” — Angela Graves Winegar
“A record number of new U.S.-based unicorns in 2019 will be based in the Pacific Northwest, and more than half will be based outside of the SF Bay Area.” — Karan Mehandru, general partner at Trinity Ventures
“On the private investment side, we have begun to see valuations begin to moderate, although they are still at relatively high levels on an historic basis. That said, the quality of the companies we are seeing in the late-stage private market is very impressive and, in fact, the best ever. Particularly, we are seeing a large number of companies with very rapid (40-100% annual) rapid growth at scale (greater than $50MM in revenue).” — Sandy Miller, general partner at IVP
“The big will get bigger. The great will get bought by them. And trillion-dollar market caps will become more than a temporary phenomenon.” — Ben Narasin, venture partner at NEA
Read the full article here