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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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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