Above the Crowd

Archive for the ‘Venture Capital’ Category

On the Road to Recap:

April 21, 2016:

Why the Unicorn Financing Market Just Became Dangerous…For All Involved In February of last year, Fortune magazine writers Erin Griffith and Dan Primack declared 2015 “ The Age of the Unicorns ” noting — “Fortune counts more than 80 startups that have been valued at $1 billion or more by venture capitalists.” By January of 2016, that number had ballooned to 229 . One key to this population growth has been the remarkable ease of the Unicorn fundraising process: Pick a new valuation well above your last one, put together a presentation deck, solicit offers, and watch the hundreds of million of dollars flow into your bank account. […]

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Benchmark’s New General Partner: Scott Belsky

February 8, 2016:

The partners at Benchmark are delighted to announce that Scott Belsky has joined the firm as our newest general partner. It is rare for us to encounter a partner candidate who has so much experience as an operator, investor, and advisor at such a young age. We have confidence that Scott can be one of the best investors of his generation, and we are excited by the opportunity to have him as a member of our team. Scott came to our attention through his work as an early-stage investor and active advisor to important companies like Uber, Warby Parker, Pinterest and most […]

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Investors Beware: Today’s $100M+ Late-stage Private Rounds Are Very Different from an IPO

February 25, 2015:

[An edited version of the following blog post originally appeared in a modified form in the pages of the weekend edition of the Financial Times last Saturday.] Every successful technology company raises money throughout its lifecycle, perhaps starting with a seed investment and progressing through Series A, B, C, late-stage investments, and, for the most successful companies, an IPO. Historically, different financial institutions specialized in different stages, because the assessment of risk and opportunity was considered unique at each stage — for example, a seed investor was unlikely to do late-stage financing, and vice versa. Over the last few years, the late-stage (pre-IPO) market has become the most competitive, the most crowded, and the frothiest of […]

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Uber’s New BHAG: UberPool

January 30, 2015:

“Can you take me Higher? To a place where blind men see  Can you take me Higher?  To a place with golden streets”      — Creed, Higher In their seminal 1994 book Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies , Jim Collins and Jerry Poras coined the term BHAG (pronounced BEE-hag) — an acronym that stands for “Big Hairy Audacious Goal.” Collins and Porras suggest that the very best companies set an audacious, very long-term goal that shines a light towards “an envisioned future.” BHAGs serve as a rallying cry for the company culture, an ambitious target for the future, and a focusing tool for corporate […]

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How to Miss By a Mile: An Alternative Look at Uber’s Potential Market Size

July 11, 2014:

On June 18, Aswath Damodaran , a finance professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business, published an article on FiveThirtyEight titled “ Uber Isn’t Worth $17 Billion. ” This post was a shortened version of a more detailed post he had written for his own blog titled “ A Disruptive Cab Ride to Riches: The Uber Payoff .” Using a combination of market data, math, and financial analysis, Professor Damodaran concluded that his best estimate of the value of Uber is $5.9 billion, far short of the value recently determined by the market. This estimate of value was tied to certain “assumptions” with respect to TAM (total available market) as well as Uber’s market share within […]

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