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Fidelity Slashes More Startup Valuations

Feb 28, 2016

Fidelity Investments has once again broken out the red pen for many of its privately-held portfolio companies, according to a Fortune analysis of new valuation reports for three of its mutual funds.

The reports are through the end of January 2016, a period in which the NASDAQ Composite fell 9.89% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 5.5%. Many of Fidelity's startup holdings, however, were marked down by much more.

Here is a quick list of the companies that Fidelity marked down, compared to their Dec. 31 values:

23andMe: -12.78%
Appirio: -6.81%
AppNexus: -15.58%
Dataminr: -4.76%
Domo: -8.72%
Blue Apron: -12.18%
Cloudflare: -30.55%
Delphix: -11.66%
Dropbox: -10.34%
Moderna: -25%
MongoDB: -13.36%
Nutanix: -16.92%
Oportun Finance: -18.37%
Pronutria Biosciences: -28.91%
Stemcentrx: -37.74%
Taboola.com: -8.35%
Turn: -6.59%
Twilio: -12.56%
Zenefits: -14.18%

Three quick notes on the markdowns:

(1) Fidelity has, in the past, tended to hold biotech startups at cost. January was a different story, however, judging by what happened with companies like Moderna and Stemcentrx.

(2) Zenefits got marked down substantially, but the relevant period does not include its CEO stepping down for compliance-related issues.

(3) It is important to realize that monthly markdowns do not necessarily correspond to how Fidelity is fairing on its investments. Some of these marked down shares remain well above cost basis. In some cases, such as with Dropbox, Fidelity is in the money on some of its securities (Series A stock) and losing money on some (Series C stock).

Of the other 20 companies analyzed, 19 had stable valuations between the end of December and the end of January. Well-known names in this group include Airbnb, The Honest Company, Jet, Pinterest, SpaceX, Snapchat, Uber and WeWork.

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The only company to gain in value was Blue Bottle Coffee, which was up 13.33%. Unfortunately for Blue Bottle, it's a bit of a dubious distinction since the new carrying value remains more than 53% lower than what Fidelity paid for its shares last May.

The three Fidelity mutual funds examined were Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund, Fidelity Contrafund, and Fidelity Growth Company Fund.

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