Blue Apron

Unicorns are real, and they're stampeding

Unicorn stampeding ahead.
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

They were called "unicorns" for a reason: No one really knew whether Silicon Valley's fabled billion-dollar valuations were real, or whether they were a mixture of delusion and financial engineering that would evaporate upon contact with harsh public-market realities.

Flashback: An influential paper in 2017 declared that, properly valued, most so-called unicorns were actually worth less than $1 billion. The paper downgraded Zoom's valuation to $500 million from $1 billion. Other unicorns imploded either before they went public (Theranos) or afterwards.

Blue Apron has fallen to one-tenth of its IPO value

Blue apron box
A Blue Apron box. Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

Meal prep company Blue Apron noted a profit in its first quarter earnings report yesterday, but it wasn't enough for investors who sold the stock after the report.

The big picture: It looks to be too little, too late, the Wall Street Journal's Elizabeth Winkler reports, "As the company has struggled, many employees — including all three of its founders — have left. The company’s market value of around $220 million is just one-tenth of what it was worth when it went public in June 2017."