In his recent bankruptcy proceeding filing, John Ray III, the new CEO and Chief Restructuring Officer at FTX, minced no words: I have over 40 years of legal and restructuring experience. I have been the Chief Restructuring Officer or Chief Executive Officer in several of the largest corporate failures in history. I have supervised situations involving allegations of criminal activity and malfeasance (Enron). I have supervised situations involving novel financial structures (Enron and Residential Capital) and cross-border asset recovery and maximization (Nortel and Overseas Shipholding). Nearly every situation in which I have been involved has been characterized by defects of […]
Above the Crowd
By Bill Gurley
Customers Love Free Stuff … But That’s Not Your Problem
Thanks to the pioneering work of Barry McCarty and others, paying the “IPO Pop Tax” is now 100% optional.
Going Public Circa 2020; Door #3: The SPAC
If you are looking past or through Covid — and why not, all of Wall Street is — the topic du jour in Silicon Valley is Special Purpose Acquisition Companies, or SPACs. SPACs are all the rage, and everybody and their brother have either raised one or are talking about raising one. What are they, and do they matter right now? Historically they have been a kind of back-door way for a company to go public, and as a result have historically had a sub-standard reputation. But in light of where we are in 2020, especially with regard to the […]
Money Out of Nowhere: How Internet Marketplaces Unlock Economic Wealth
(*) Benchmark is/was an investor in companies labeled with the asterisk. In 1776, Adam Smith released his magnum opus, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations , in which he outlined his fundamental economic theories. Front and center in the book — in fact in Book 1, Chapter 1 — is his realization of the productivity improvements made possible through the “Division of Labour”: It is the great multiplication of the production of all the different arts, in consequence of the division of labour, which occasions, in a well-governed society, that universal opulence which extends itself to the lowest ranks of the people. Every workman has a […]
Benchmark’s Newest General Partner Chetan Puttagunta
The partners at Benchmark are pleased to announce Chetan Puttagunta has joined the firm as our newest General Partner. As early-stage investors, we are acutely aware of the work of other venture capitalists on the boards of the companies we serve. Nearly 15 years ago one of Benchmark’s founding partners, Kevin Harvey, saw the skills of a young Peter Fenton on a board they shared. Peter’s work so impressed Kevin that he recruited Peter to join Benchmark. More recently, Peter encountered a once-in-a-generation venture capitalist on the board of Elastic, Chetan Puttagunta. In every way, from how Chetan discovered the […]
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