The Great Tech Freakout: An Overview
Well if you were looking for lousy news this week, you didn’t need to search long to find it. Days after some hair-raising price falls for publicly traded LinkedIn and Tableau Software (they tanked 43 percent and 49 percent, respectively, on February 5), a broader swath of public and private tech companies prepared to take their lumps. They came quickly, too.
Zenefits, the benefits software company, elbowed out cofounder and CEO Parker Conrad. We also learned the company is under investigation by the California Department of Insurance, as well as firing execs who may have encouraged employees to skirt the law.
Walmart meanwhile threatened to end its agreement with the blood-testing company Theranos, with healthcare investor Stephen Kraus of Bessemer Venture Partners remarking to Politico, “Is Theranos going to be around two years from now? I would guess probably not.”
As for the high-flying daily fantasy sports site DraftKings, things didn’t go much better. In fact, Twenty-First Century Fox, which invested $160 million in the company last summer, just wrote down its investment by 60 percent, as revealed in a 10-Q filed earlier this week.
But wait, there’s more! What other terribleness befell the tech sector this week — and what’s coming next? Let us count the ways…