There are now well over a hundred private tech companies that have announced financings with post-money valuations of over $1B. Having worked on several of these high-valuation deals over the years, it surprises me that no mention (in anything I read) is ever made of how heavily structured the deals are to protect the investors from downside risk. At least in the ones about which I know, the Company could sell for 10% of the valuation of the most recent round, and the investors in that round get all their money back, plus some interest-factor-like return (structured as a mandatory, cumulative dividend). There are often numerous other protective terms as well: strong liquidation preference protections, antidilution protection, drag along rights, etc. It strikes me as lazy journalism (but even the WSJ does it) to just report the valuation but not any of the structural factors (some of which are in publicly-available documents). But, of course, the more nuanced headline: "XX Closes Deal at Nominal $50B valuation, but Strong Protective Structural Rights make the Normalized Valuation Much Lower." -- does not dangle as much click-bait.
In the late-stage, private equity world, there's a saying: "I'm happy either way: the Company's terms/my valuation or my terms/the Company's valuation." Would be interesting to see more on this in future reports of Unicorn financings.