Thanks to the pioneering work of Barry McCarty and others, paying the “IPO Pop Tax” is now 100% optional.
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 […]
[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 […]
Attached are my thoughts on the Facebook S-1 along with some quick stabs at valuation. Brief disclosure, Benchmark Capital has a minority position in Facebook as a result of the acquisition of FriendFeed, a company that was incubated in our offices. I thought it would be useful to look at Facebook using the scorecard from our May 24 blog post, “ All Revenue is Not Created Equal, the Keys to the 10X Revenue Club .” For those that want to save time, the key point of this piece is that there is a broad disparity of Price/Revenue multiples for global Internet stocks, and that only a very small fraction of these companies achieve a […]
As you likely know, I am a big believer that the IPO can play a key role in the development of a company’s life. Moreover, I have argued that many in our ecosystem have an unhealthy anxiety regarding the dangers and consequences of being public. Lastly, I have argued that the IPO window is wide open for great companies – something I still believe today. All that said, I have been quite surprised by the recent trend in companies that file and then chose to delay. If you are going to file the S-1, it is imperative that you are prepared to follow through. Standing too long in […]