2.后期风投基金——比如，Meritech、Adams Street、August、Norwest、 Tenaya、Questmark、SAP和DAG，等等。这些基金只做后期股权投资，据我所知，他们提供的资金在1,000万美元至4,000万美元之间。我认为，他们在估值方面没有传统的早期投资人那么敏感。他们通常在参与公司管理方面会保持一点距离，获得董事会观察员席位——他们似乎总是追随一流的早期投资者，依赖他们的建议和关系网。
5.公众基金——这一拨人是富达（Fidelity）、T. Rowe、Janus、Cross Creek/Wasatch、Altimeter、Tiger和摩根士丹利（Morgan Stanley）这样的投资者。他们依靠公众股权基金投资，单笔投资资金似乎1,000万美元以上，对估值略不敏感（我们稍后将讨论原因）。他们是财务投资者，不想过度介入，也就是说大多数情况下，不会要求获得董事席位或观察员席位。
Times have changed in the growth equity game. It used to be that early-stage venture folks just did early-stage investing, late-stage venture folks just did late stage investing, and public equity investors only invested in publicly traded stocks. What surprised me when raising new funding is that now, it seems like everybody invests in late-stage private companies.
This is certainly not the "official" way to look at it, but here's the way I ended up bucketing types of investors in my own head.
1.Typical Early Stage VC Firms with Growth Equity Funds – These are folks like Sequoia, Accel, General Catalyst, Redpoint, DFJ, etc., that have typically started new funds with new teams focused only on investing in late stage companies. They write checks from $15 million to $100 million as far as I can tell, and I think they're pretty valuation sensitive as a group. They usually want to take a board seat and can add a lot of value in terms of knowledge, connections, and pedigree -- Sequoia led HubSpot's last round and has been huge on those fronts.
2.Late Stage VC Funds – Think Meritech, Adams Street, August, Norwest, Tenaya, Questmark, SAP, and DAG. These folks only do late-stage equity and write checks from $10 million to $40 million as far as I can tell. I think they are less valuation sensitive than the traditionally early stage folks. They are typically a bit more arms length in their level of involvement which often translates into a board observer seat -- they seem to follow-on the top tier early stage folks and rely on them for their advice and connections.
3.Big Check Late Stage Funds – GA, TCV, etc. seem to only do late stage equity and write checks north of $40 million. I think they are relatively valuation sensitive, but keep in mind I only have a small sample size here. It seems they'll want a board seat and to be very involved – and they can add a lot of value.
4.Private Equity Funds – TA, Summit, etc. are the types of firms I know the least about, but my sense is that these folks do late stage investing and write "biggish" checks. They seem to be wired to buy out existing investors, put in some working capital, and raise debt. This can be a great approach for a company, but it's probably hard to work for a firm that already has a lot of venture money in it. My sense is that they want to be involved and are value-add.
5.Public Funds – The last bucket is folks like Fidelity, T. Rowe, Janus, Cross Creek/Wasatch, Altimeter, Tiger and Morgan Stanley. They invest out of public equity funds, seem to write checks from $10 million on up, and tend to be slightly less valuation sensitive (we'll talk about why below). They are financial investors and do not want to be overly involved, which means no board seats or observer seats for the most part.
The Surprising Value Of Public Investors Investing In Your Private Company
We went with public funds -- #5 above -- not private funds for three main reasons that made a lot of sense for us, though they might not make sense for your company:
1.Public investors tend to buy more of your shares after you go public, while private investors will typically look to sell their shares after you go public. The venture funds incentive system is set up such that they are supposed to sell the shares and distribute the profits to their investors after a reasonable time elapses following the IPO. My sense is that the period of time between when you go public and when they sell varies widely, and the better the firm's footing the more likely it is they will hold. Having said that, I think it's pretty rare that the traditional venture folks actually buy more in the public markets. It's important to note that this does not matter if your most likely outcome is a trade sale.