Even by the standards of Silicon valley CEO messenger Slack’s Stewart Butterfield was a genius fundraising. Co-founder of the popular applications for office correspondence raised $1.27 billion of investment over the last ten years. When Slack came on the stock exchange on Thursday, Butterfield used a rare method of direct listing, with the result that the company in fact will not attract new funds. But no direct listing Slack will stock investors and employees more liquid without dilution of their shares, what would happen in the case of traditional IPO.
This is good news for early investors Slack among the founders of it-companies and social networks.
46-year-old Butterfield, who once called “irresponsible” failure to invest if money is cheap, has followed his own precepts, when together with his partner cal Henderson and two former colleagues at Flickr in 2009, decided to raise money for the early version of the app, then known as Tiny Speck.
Before contact with major venture capital firms like Softbank, the founders of Slack raised funds from influential friends, mostly the founders of it companies: Jeff Weiner of LinkedIn, Patrick and John Collishaw of Stripe, Anthony Casalena from Squarespace, Biza stone of Twitter, David sacks of Yammer and Jeremy Stoppelman from Yelp. They are all invested in the seed or early stages, and now the value of their shares exceeds the cost of the initial investment in 16-1600 times.
Slack is not the only company, which invested the founders of other startups. Such investments get a from Airbnb to Uber, Postmates, and from Pinterest to Stripe. The amounts that the founders of the unicorns are investing in promising startups, ranging from $25 000 to $100 000. Such investment is a sign of solidarity, although there is a desire to diversify, and not to miss the best deal.
In assessing the Slack for an IPO of $16 billion CEO of LinkedIn, Jeff Weiner, Twitter co-founder BIZ stone, co-founder of Path Dave Morin and other early investors will be able to count on a 1600-fold increase in the initial investment. Every $25 000 they invested, became nearly $40 million Casalena, Stoppelman and Collison will get your money back in 73-fold, getting $1.8 million for every invested $25 000.
“This is the greatest strength and the Achilles heel of the Silicon valley, says Margaret O’mara, Professor of the University of Washington who studied the modern history of Silicon valley. — You allow winners from previous generation to choose who will be the winner in the next. Their mentoring gives these companies the advantage.”
The General Director of the Silicon valley companies began to invest in the next generation of startups back in the 1970-ies, when the founders of Apple took the money from Mike Markkula from Intel.
According to David sax, the founding fathers like it when their investors have a similar experience. Startups still often take money from venture capital firms when they have the opportunity, but many leave a portion of the total investment available for people in the hope that they will show more understanding and give you tips from first hand. “This suggests that the influence of employers in relation to the financial investors is increasing,” says Sachs.
A chance for an impressive profit is nice, but investing in other start-UPS still allows you to satisfy the curiosity. CEO Box Aaron levie is one of the most active leaders-investors in the it industry, in its portfolio more than 30 companies. He says he invests, to see the world outside the Box, a company providing corporate services (in 2015, the company entered the stock exchange).
“When you’re 14 years old: 14 hours a day working on something, your thinking becomes blinkered, and it is useful to see what else is happening in the world,” says levy.
The lack of investors-entrepreneurs that capital continues to circulate among the unofficial leaders of Silicon valley — wealthy white men, although there are exceptions. African American Troy Carter, a former top Manager of Spotify, who founded the company in asset management in the entertainment industry at the Atom Factory, invested in Slack, and Uber. Ann Miura-Ko of venture capital firm Floodgate, participant of the “Midas list”, previously invested in the service search taxi Lyft.
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