Early Bird investors are underwater
The stock is trading below what private investors paid as far back as the seed funding round
On Tuesday I wrote about how Travis VanderZanden is selling his Miami mansion. The Bird co-founder bought the 13,816-sq-ft property in July 2021 for $21.8 million and has put it back on the market now at an asking price of $39.9 million, an 83% markup.
If he pulls the sale off, that would make TVZ a pretty good real estate investor! It would also help to cushion his personal financial blow from the collapse of Bird’s stock price, which is currently trading at $0.37 a share (BRDS 0.00%↑).1 VanderZanden’s stake in Bird, worth around $296 million when the company went public last November, has shrunk to about $13.1 million, less than the mortgage on that Miami mansion.
To follow that post up, I wanted to dive deeper into the performance of early Bird investors. We’ve all heard the adage “90% of startups fail,” but it’s also often assumed that if you get in early enough, you’ll probably be able to make a decent return if that company makes it to the public markets, even if it doesn’t perform well in the long term. This is the “greater fool” theory, the idea that there’s always dumber money out there that will buy an overvalued asset.
So I think it’s worth pointing out that sometimes even dumber money isn’t enough to bail you out. A lot of the firms that bought into Bird early are doing quite badly on those investments.