Above the Crowd

Posts Tagged ‘Venture Capital’

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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On Bubbles …

January 24, 2014:

Over the past few months, many journalists have begun to ask the question that no one really wants to hear; “Is Silicon Valley in another technology bubble?” It’s a dangerous question to ponder – especially out loud and especially here at ground zero. Silicon Valley thrives on optimism, and anyone waving the bubble flag is auditioning for the title of nonbeliever or party pooper. There is another reason it is dangerous to predict the arrival of a bubble. It was 1996 when Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan first uttered the now historic phrase “ irrational exuberance .” Even though things were frothy […]

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You Don’t Have to Tweet to Twitter

November 15, 2011:

Frequent comparisons to Facebook leave many confused about the true value of Twitter. [Follow Me on Twitter] “In a brand new direction A change of perception On a brand new trajection” – UB40 [Disclosure: Benchmark Capital is a major investor in Twitter, and my partner Peter Fenton sits on the Twitter BOD.] Twitter is having a remarkable year. Active users have soared to over 100 million per month, with daily actives now above 50 million. Tweets per day are over 250 million. Most top actors, athletes, and artists are all active on Twitter. Every news and sports program proudly advertises its Twitter account handle. No one would consider […]

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Silicon Valley’s IPO Anxiety

November 15, 2010:

[Follow Me on Twitter] “Living in the limelight The universal dream For those who wish to seem. Those who wish to be Must put aside the alienation, Get on with the fascination…” — Limelight from Moving Pictures, Rush If you could travel back in time to the early 1990’s and ask Silicon Valley’s top entrepreneurs and private company executives about their long-term career ambitions, you would hear a constant theme – they all wanted to be part of an Initial Public Offering (IPO). Back then, taking a company public, either as a CEO, CFO, or founder, held an allure similar to that of a […]

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What Is Really Happening to the Venture Capital Industry?

August 24, 2009:

[Follow Me on Twitter] Many are speculating that the year two thousand and nine represents a fundamental turning point for the venture capital industry. Some are arguing that  the industry is in dire straits  after years of poor performance. Others have argued that  the math simply does not work  for the industry’s current size. Another theory suggests that  permanent challenges with the IPO market call into question the fundamental economics of the VC industry . Lastly, some  credible authors have suggested  that things are so bad that a federal bailout may be in order. What is really happening in the venture capital industry? It is indeed quite likely that the venture industry is in the process of a very substantial reduction in size, perhaps the first in the history of the industry. However, the specific catalyst for this reduction is not directly related to […]

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