This is the follow-up on part 1 some days ago.. These were the listed VC vehicles,I presented as the base in part 1 (in brackets my short vote for the first 4)
- Softbank (too crazy)
- Kinnevik (Yes)
- Rocket Internet (bad rep)
- German Startup Group (no thanks)
- Vostok New Ventures
- Vostok Emerging Finance
I have added two US vehicles to this list:
- Firsthand Technology Value Fund (SVVC)
- GSV Capital (GSVC)
A few thoughts on Permanent Capital vs. “classical” fund structure vs. “SPACs”
In the previous post, one commentator mentioned that he was “sceptical of permanent capital” vehicles. Personally I would not support this. Berkshire Hathaway for instance is a permanent investment vehicle with quite some success. However there are other vehicles like Greenlight Re or Bill Ackman’s Persing NV which clearly have done a lousy job for shareholders as we can see in this chart: (Greenlight in yellow, Pershing Square blue):
One upfront remark: I do not recommend to invest in Venture Capital right now. The market is clearly overheated and the asset class is known to be very volatile although Warren Buffett’s Todd Combs seems to just have discovered Fintechs.
This post is ment as a “long-term perspective” view on the sector and not a buy recommendation in the current environment.
How to invest into Venture Capital as a Private Investor
Famous VC funds
Venture Capital, i.e. the industry funding (technology) start-ups is known that almost everything depends on relationships.
It is no secret that a few funds like Sequoia or Kleiner Perkins have produced outstanding returns but these funds are “invitation only”, there are little chances even for larger institutions to invest in them and for individuals without direct connections it is more or less impossible to get in.
System1 (or under its old name Braijuicer) is a good example for a stock where it didn’t pay off to hold if we look at the chart:
I had looked briefly at them when Ben from Wertart bought them in early 2016 but back then didn’t take the time understand what the company was all about. After the huge drop I decided to have a deeper lok at the company.
This is not investment advice. Please do your own research and don’t follow any anonymous bloggers.
Let’s continue with this nice “anti Buffett” stock from my post last week.
The people / founders
FitBit’s original founders from 2007, James Park and Eric Friedman are still on board.
Interestingly, although both ar only 41 years old, FitBit was the third company they founded together.
The other companies were Windup Labs, a photo sharing company they sold in 2005 and Epesi, a B2B software company that didn’t work out.
Although I wrote a lot about Watch companies over the past few years (Swatch part 1, Swatch part 2, Hengdeli, Fossil part 1, Fossil part 2, Movado, Richemont), no investment came out of it. However I had a lot of fun researching these companies so it was time well spent.
When I initiated the series in 3 years ago, Smart Watches were a big thing and especially the Apple Watch was perceived to be the “Swiss Watch” killer, which, as we know now didn’t happen as they seem to coexist quite well.
Besides Smart Watches, Fitness Trackers were the “hot shit” and especially VC backed FitBit that IPOed in 2015 was taking oer the world.
This chart shows Fitbit against Fossil (blue) and Richemont (green) and we can clearly see who had staying power and who not:
SIAS is an Italian motorway operator that I bought at the height of the “Euro crisis” in 2012 and sold 2 year later with a nice profit of more than 100% including a special dividend.
Looking at the long-term chart, selling in mid 2014 was not such a bad decision at least for the next 3 years (although in general my timing skills are clearly far below average):
It took more than 3 years to surpass this level but then interestingly the stock more than doubled within a few months.
Looking at the aggregated numbers we can see an interesting pattern:
In my initial post for Dom Security, I lined out why the Commercial Lock business is very attractive in my opinion. As a result, most businesses enjoy nice margins.
Kaba, the Swiss company was always the number 3 with some distance to market leader Assa Abbloy and allegion.
However in 2015 Kaba finally managed to merge with he German family owned Dorma in order become a much larger and diversified Group. In theory Dorma was a great fit for Kaba as they were specializing more in building access systems which should compliment Kaba’s locking systems nicely.
Looking at the stock price, investors liked the merger until end of last year: