Re: Eh??!!.. The Three Era of VC's.. two are complete frauds
In the beginning, before 1997, VC's were just loan sharks in very expensive suits. They made money (not often) by financing a successful, profitable tech company..
Then in 1997 the SEC changed the early investor rules so that the VC's could sell all their stock as part of the IPO stock pool, not 12 t o 18 months after IPO as before. VC's became straight pump and dump boiler-room stock scams. Hence the first Dot Com bubble.
After the crash in 2000 the IPO market disappeared never to return so the VC's changed their business model to the same as hedge funds. The 2/20 model. 2% management fees and 20% of any upside. Since then 95% of VC's income is from fund management fees. The other 5% from the upside of successful investments. Almost all made by pre 1997 VC's.
Those 95% of VC's who only make money from fund management fees need to stick their cash somewhere for 5 years. Hence all those dot coms around SF etc who will never ever make a cent of profit. Ever. The VC's need to stick the cash somewhere for five years. To make it look like a legit investment vehicle. These 2'nd generation dot com companies usually only last 5 years, the length of a typical VC fund. When they are wound up or "acquired". BY some other VC's dot com shell company.
As for the unicorns valuation, pure pass the parcel ponzi scheme. Divide putative valuation by 20 or 30 and you might have a real valuation. In most case they are worth less than zero by any traditional valuation metric. The valuation inflation is used to make the VC's look like they are making "successful" rounds of investment. Its a straight up criminal conspiracy. A fraud.
And Softbank? Just another way for Japanese banks to play the Yen carry trade. Those trillions of Yens the BOJ have printed have to go somewhere. And like all previous yen carry schemes in the past this one will end with a financial debacle and massive losses for the Japanese banks. Which will be buried. Just as they always are. Same old same old.