Hot start-ups like Airbnb and Uber have garnered attention for disrupting their respective industries, and pocketing high valuations in the billions.
But given the two upstarts' user experience for consumers, some tech experts are defending the recent valuation math.
"When I go out on the streets of New York and I take my Uber rather than taking a yellow cab ... that is the kind of personal-to-grand scale that makes me feel like, 'Yes that valuation or a high valuation is worth it,'" says Turi McKinley, design director at Frog Design, a product strategy and design firm.
McKinley was among a user experience—or "UX"—panel this week at the MIT Enterprise Forum of New York City, which supports entrepreneurs and tech-run ventures.
Uber, which enables riders to order cars with the touch of a button, is valued at several billion.
Overall, venture capital financing earlier this year grew to quarterly highs not seen since 2001, some $13.9 billion across 974 deals, according to tech data firm CB Insights.
While admitting some valuations are indeed eye-popping, Beverly May, executive director of the forum's UX Awards, said in some aspects the valuation numbers aren't off.
"I can say without hesitation that UX has been a core part of why their valuation is as high as it is, and why they have retained the customer adoption that they have," May said.