What Are Your Top Business Predictions for 2020?

November 12, 2019, 3:04 PM UTC

This article originally ran in Term Sheet, Fortune’s newsletter about deals and dealmakers. Sign up here.

It’s become a Term Sheet tradition to compile your top business predictions for the new year. 

For 2017, readers predicted that there would be “irrational exuberance” in the markets. Bitcoin and cryptocurrency predictions were all the rage for 2018. And 2019 was sure to bring doom and gloom in the form of a recession that never quite happened (but is still on the horizon).

The teens are over. What will 2020 bring?

In answer to the question: “What’s your top business-related prediction for 2020?” 

Feel free to give me your thoughts on everything from the broad (M&A trends and policy changes) to the specific (Bitcoin’s price and the future of WeWork). I also welcome the outrageous (but still somewhat plausible). 

I will include highlights of your answers in an upcoming Term Sheet. (Note: These are submissions for inclusion in an article. Unless you indicate otherwise, I will assume that you’re OK with attributing the prediction to your first and last name.)

WEWORK’S SAVIOR? WeWork’s searching for a CEO with a steady hand to stabilize the embattled company. And it looks like that person might be … T-Mobile’s CEO John Legere? Like ex-CEO Adam Neumann, Legere is a colorful character and a rather unconventional leader.

But as my colleague Aaron Pressman notes, it’s not such a crazy idea to have Legere lead WeWork. He writes:

“Some mistake Legere’s outspoken style for lack of management acumen. Legere, who has 6.5 million followers on Twitter, frequently berates his rivals with colorful, and even off-color, quips. And he has a somewhat goofy weekly cooking show on Facebook. But he used price cutting and marketing to revive T-Mobile, while recruiting a team of top-notch executives to help execute his strategy.”

But let’s not forget that Legere has his hands full with the complicated $26-billion merger between T-Mobile and Sprint. Although federal regulators approved the deal in 2018, numerous state attorneys general have filed a lawsuit claiming that such a merger will hurt competition. The trial is set to begin on Dec. 9. 

I agree with Aaron — as someone who is used to putting out fires, maybe Legere wouldn’t be a terrible choice.

Read more on Fortune.com.

MAKING AN EXIT: There’s a new joint report out this morning from PitchBook and All Raise that examines the trends surrounding female-founded companies and female-led VC funds throughout the last decade. 

One portion that’s bound to catch every VC’s eye: the data on exit activity.

The report finds that, in 2018, startups with at least one female founder exited $26 billion, up from $18 billion in 2017 and a decade-high for exit value. What’s more, 2018 represented the fourth consecutive year with at least 200 exits, and 2019 is pacing as the fifth straight year. 

The research shows that companies with at least one female founder have proven to exit more quickly than average, boasting a median of 6.4 years, compared to a median of 7.4 years for all companies. In other words, the data speaks for itself.

NEW FUND ALERT: Earlier this year, I learned that LearnVest founder Alexa von Tobel was planning to raise $200 million for a new early-stage venture capital fund called Inspired Capital Partners. Penny Pritzker would join the new venture as a founding partner. The fund has officially closed, and the duo will invest in seed and Series A stage companies. Read more.

Polina Marinova
Twitter: @polina_marinova
Email: polina.marinova@fortune.com 


- Xpeng Motors, a China-based electric and autonomous vehicle startup, raised $400 million in funding. Investors include Xiaomi.

- Hero Future Energies, an India-based clean tech company, raised $150 million in funding, from Masdar.

- Workato, a Cupertino, Calif.-based enterprise automation platform, raised $70 million in Series C funding. Redpoint Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including Norwest Venture Partners, Geodesic Capital, Battery Ventures and Storm Ventures.

- WHOOP, a Boston-based coaching and performance company, raised $55 million in Series D funding in a combination of equity and debt. Foundry Group led the round, and was joined by investors including Two Sigma Ventures, Accomplice, Thursday Ventures, Promus Ventures, and Silicon Valley Bank.

- Styra, Inc, a Redwood City, Calif.-based developer of a tool for security and compliance, raised $14 million in Series A funding. Accel led the round, and was joined by investors including Unusual Ventures and A.Capital. 

- Loop, a Columbus, Ohio-based retail post-purchase SaaS platform, raised $10 million in Series A funding. FirstMark Capital led the round, and was joined by investors including Lerer Hippeau and Ridge Ventures.

- Alpaca, a San Mateo, Calif.-based financial service company, raised $6 million in funding. Investors include Spark and Social Leverage.

- BRYTER, a Germany-based no-code automation platform, raised $6 million in funding. Accel led the round, and was joined by investors including Notion Capital and Cavalry Ventures.

- Flavourworks, a U.K.-based games studio, raised 3 million pounds ($3.85 million) in Series A funding. Investors include Hiro Capital and Sky Ventures.

- Branch, a New York City-based provider of office furniture, raised $2.4 million in seed funding. Nine Four Ventures led the round, and was joined by investors including Alate Partners, RRE, Dolik Ventures and Rough Draft.


- Gemini Bioproducts, which is backed by BelHealth Investment Partners, acquired ORFLO Technologies, a Ketchum, Idaho-based provider of cell analysis instruments. Financial terms weren't disclosed. 

- Hub International Limited, which is backed by Altas Partners and Hellman & Friedman, an insurance brokerage, acquired the assets of W.R. Carey Corporation, a Winnipeg, Manitoba-based employee benefits consulting firm. Financial terms weren't disclosed. 

- Main Post Partners made an investment in SUGARED + BRONZED, a Santa Monica, Calif.-based provider of hair removal and sunless tanning services. Financial terms weren't disclosed. 

- Sverica Capital Management invested in Gryphon Networks Corp, a Boston-based provider of sales performance management and compliance software. Financial terms weren't disclosed. 


- SK Capital Partners, a New York-based private equity firm, raised $400 million for its new fund, SKCP Catalyst Fund I.

- Balderton Capital, a U.K.-based venture capital firm, raised $400 million for its new fund. 

- Salesforce Ventures, the San Francisco-based venture capital arm of Salesforce, raised $50 million for its Consultant Trailblazer Fund.


- Courtney Buie Lipkin joined Susa Ventures as a partner. 

- Natalie Sandman joined Spark as an early-stage investor.

- Andrew Oddo will join Silicon Valley Bank as a director on the startup banking team. Previously, he was at Bowery Capital.

- Zackary Zapolsky joined Turnspire Capital Partners as an associate.

- Yves de Balmann joined Bridge Growth Partners as an executive partner.


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