Monikers have followed Martin Pichinson for his whole career, given his line of work. He winds down technology companies, selling off their assets in their final days. And so, in some corners, Pichinson has become known as the “Undertaker of Silicon Valley.”
It’s a grim practice he has honed since the dot-com bust of the late 1990s, when he shuttered nearly 200 tech companies.
“If there’s no revenue incoming and there’s no money investing, the company is basically insolvent and out of business,” he said. “We basically come in and clean up the messes.”
Now, once again, Pichinson says, his business is booming because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Well, we used to do two, three to four a week,” he said of startup wind-downs. “Now we’re [doing] two to five a day.”
Silicon Valley has developed a reputation for building up companies at hyperspeed, propelled by mega-financed investment that can result in overnight fortunes or colossal failures.
That zero-sum approach is now being reimagined as the coronavirus pandemic, which has spared no industry, rips across the technology sector.
Now, with cash reserves drying up and investors scarce, tech startups have put their business plans on ice. Hundreds of startups have shed workers. Other firms have had to fully liquidate.