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为什么创业公司的晚期估值像火箭般飙涨?

Glenn Solomon 2015年03月05日

热门私营企业的估值变得越来越高,之所以出现这样的结果,劳苦功高的不只是企业自身,还有市场环境。

    3. 商标至上和担心坐失良机的心理

    目前提升估值的第三大动力是对最佳“商标”的渴求。鉴于风投公司越来越重视品牌效应,因此,将自己与成功企业相关联的意愿也更加强烈。从长期来看,评判风投基金的标准应该是回报率。但在较短时间内,投资热门公司也可以算是取得成功。

    在向最优秀的企业提出报价时,风投公司很可能知道自己出价偏高。在很多情况下,它们都相信这样的投资也许不会带来巨额回报。但在某些情况下,跟杰出企业挂钩的重要性和实现高回报不分伯仲。目前,由于有市场环境的保驾护航,此类策略不会像以前那样产生许多备受关注的估值下降案例。购买商标的做法可谓屡试不爽——实际上,其效果是如此之好,以至于越来越多的风投都想参与进来,他们可不愿错过像阿里巴巴集团和Uber这样的出色企业。

    对于所有这一切,我们能得出哪些结论呢?

    短期内,风投回报率有望维持在高位。但在这些回报中,有多少是账面收益,又有多少能真正实现呢?这才是问题所在。

    账面收益已经出现,但它们也会消失。部分风投已经开始悄悄地在IPO之前抛售某些成功企业的股份。我觉得这样的行为或许会增多,原因是在自身价格迅速上升的情况下,热门私营企业会不断推迟IPO,因为其首发价将不可避免地低于当前估值。

    身处这个市场,热门公司的负责人应该在恰当的时候大胆一些。在几乎所有的科技行业当中,市场领先位置带来的估值会远远超过应有水平(许多情况下二者呈非线性关系)。因此,通过大胆投资保持市场领先地位是十分合理的举措,但热门公司负责人也要制定备选方案,以便让公司能够依靠现有的资金来维持运转。一旦市场转向,这些经营者将会感到庆幸,因为他们不必在较为不利的估值环境下再次筹集资金。(财富中文网)

    本文作者格林•所罗门是GGV Capital公司管理合伙人。他最近投资的公司包括Zendesk、Nimble Storage、Pandora、Successfactors、Isilon、Domo、Square、AlienVault、HashiCorp和Quinstreet。

    本文最初刊载于他的博客。

    译者:Charlie

    审稿:李翔

    3. Logos and FOMO

    A third powerful driver of the current write-ups is the thirst for the best “logos.” As branding has become more important for VC firms, the desire to be associated with winning companies has intensified. In the long run, VC funds should be judged by the returns they generate. But, in the shorter run, success can be claimed by having investments in hot companies.

    The best companies are attracting bids from firms that probably know they’re overpaying. In many cases, these firms believe they may not make a huge return on these investments, but being associated with great companies can be just as important as making a good return in certain circumstances. The current market momentum has ensured that this strategy hasn’t led to many high profile write-downs as of yet; buying logos has worked well — so well, in fact, that more and more firms want to play, not risking missing out on big winners such as Alibaba and Uber.

    What can we take from all of this?

    In the short run, venture returns are looking very strong. How much of these returns, however, are paper gains versus true realizations? That’s a critical question.

    Paper gains have come but they can also go. Some firms have begun to quietly sell down some of their big winners, before IPOs. I suspect we may see even more of this activity as hot private companies see rapid price appreciation and continue to defer IPOs where prices will inevitably be lower.

    While we’re in this market, entrepreneurs running popular companies should stay aggressive where warranted. In nearly all segments of technology, market leadership bestows disproportionately large (and in many cases non-linear) valuations. So, investing aggressively to stay ahead of the competition makes good sense. But have a back-up plan to live off of current cash. If the market turns, you’ll be glad to not have to raise another round in a tougher valuation environment!

    Glenn Solomon is a Managing Partner with GGV Capital. Some of his recent investments include Zendesk, Nimble Storage, Pandora, Successfactors, Isilon, Domo, Square, AlienVault, HashiCorp and Quinstreet.

    This post originally appeared on his blog.

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