Think there's a startup bubble? Bet $100K on it.

tech bubble

Think the tech bubble is going to burst? Then put your money where your mouth is.

As early-stage startups capture millions within months of launching and receive sky-high valuations despite little to no revenue, those in tech have been sounding warning bells.

But Sam Altman, president of elite Silicon Valley accelerator Y Combinator, says he doesn't subscribe to this belief.

In a blog post, Altman acknowledges that yes, there have been some unreasonable early-stage valuations, but those are insignificant compared to the larger market.

"It's a small amount of capital and still nothing I would call a 'bubble,'" he wrote. He admits that he's "pretty paranoid" about bubbles -- yet he feels very hopeful about the future of tech.

And he's willing to bet on it.

He makes three bets on the future of tech five years from now.

  • He selects 6 "unicorns" (companies valued at over $1 billion): Uber, Palantir, Airbnb, Dropbox, Pinterest, and SpaceX. He predicts that they'll be worth over $200 billion by January 1, 2020. That's double what they're worth today, according to Altman.
  • He names nine mid-level Y Combinator startups -- including payments startup Stripe and bitcoin exchange firm Coinbase -- that will be worth a combined $27 billion (up from less than $9 billion currently).
  • He says Y Combinator's current batch of 114 startups ("currently worth something that rounds down to $0") will be worth $3 billion by 2020.

He encourages a venture capitalist to take the other side of his bet. The wager? A $100,000 donation to charity.

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