The Sad But Lucrative End of Jet.com

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This is from the Wall Street Journal:

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is in talks to buy online discount retailer Jet.com Inc., according to people familiar with the matter, in what would mark a disappointing end for one of the most ambitious challengers to Amazon.com Inc.

….It isn’t clear how much Wal-Mart would pay, but a person familiar with the matter said Jet could be valued at up to $3 billion in private markets. Jet, barely a year old, has drawn more than $500 million in capital from the likes of venture firms New Enterprise Associates and Accel Partners.

Let me get this straight. Jet is one year old. Venture funds have invested “more than” $500 million (actually around $800 million). They will sell themselves to Walmart for about $3 billion. And this is a “disappointing end.”

I get it: they wanted to take over the world and they didn’t. That’s disappointing. At the same time, it appears that investors are going to quadruple their money in 12 months, give or take. And the founders are going to do even better. If they own, say, 20 percent of the company, they’ll walk away with $600 million for a year’s work.

Can I please sign up for a slice of this disappointment?

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Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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