Reddit Devalued 44% by Fidelity

Photo Credit:Marco Verch

Reddit. Platform for the neckbeard variety. Run by mods that stand tall as crooked centurions defending the name of passive aggression and lols. Sentinels that protect feelings from being easily bruised and ensure to quickly shut down opinions that don’t match their suggested narratives. It’s a place where people laugh, whine, get owned, and engage is self aggrandizing banter with people they’ll never meet. It’s also where Fidelity Management has recently discovered a major chink in its portfolio’s armor. Fidelity, the lead investor in Reddit’s most recent funding round in 2021, has slashed the estimated worth of its equity stake in the popular social media platform by 41% since the investment.

Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund’s stake in Reddit was valued at $16.6 million as of April 28, according to the fund’s monthly disclosure released over the weekend. That’s down 41.1% cumulatively since August 2021 when the asset manager spent $28.2 million to acquire the Reddit shares, according to disclosures the firm has made in its annual and semi-annual reports. Reddit was valued at $10 billion when the social media giant attracted funds in August 2021. Fidelity — which has marked down its stakes in many startups including Stripe and Reddit in recent quarters — also slashed the value of its Twitter stake, it disclosed in the filing, valuing Elon Musk’s firm at about $15 billion. About one third of its valuation in October. This devaluation, part of a broader trend that has hit a variety of growth stage startups across the globe in the past year, raises uncertainties about whether Reddit will maintain its initial intent to reportedly go public at a valuation around $15 billion.

In early April, Musk merged Twitter with a new shell company called X Corp. In other words, Twitter Inc. no longer exists. Musk plugged the platform’s viability in an April 12 interview with the BBC, a month after Twitter’s web traffic dropped by nearly 8 percent. He went with a political bent and for the sake of averting state sponsored propaganda, now Twitter boasts public-sponsored propaganda. Here’s a thought experiment: What if society could be offensive and not offended at the same time? You would have a net 0 social impact. Twitter is neither right or wrong. It’s just an instance of Elon Musk being self referential and ironic.

Reddit, on the other hand, is not gearing up for any real losses in the future. With more than 430 million monthly active users and over 100,000 active communities, it’s ranked among the most popular social networks worldwide. Reddit is so confident with their upwards trajectory that they are now ready go public and shut off third party Reddit indexing apps like Apollo.

The company, which first disclosed plans for an IPO in late 2021, is asking developers to pay $12,000 per every 50 million requests, according to a post from the creator of a popular third-party app called Apollo. The developer said the number was “deeply” disappointing.

“Apollo made 7 billion requests last month, which would put it at about 1.7 million dollars per month, or 20 million US dollars per year,” the developer said in a Reddit post about the change.

Musk responded with a tweet regarding Twitter, saying “free API is being abused right now by bot scammers & opinion manipulators. There’s no verification process or cost, so easy to spin up 100k bots to do bad things. Just ~$100/month for API access with ID verification will clean things up greatly.”

I see Reddit flourishing. It’s a perfect microcosm for modern society where people are trying to convey ideas rather than make money. I think they could boost their MAUs (Monthly Active Users) by allowing users to vote in mods. That simple feature would yield a highly interesting benefit. Suffice to say, Reddit is confident in it’s inherent value and Musk will never let the public see him sweat over Twitter’s losses.

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