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投资理财 - 风险投资

恩颐投资:风投界最大的秘密

Dan Primack 2011年11月09日

恩颐投资没有明星员工。这家公司低调而神秘,一切用业绩说话。

    快问快答。请马上说出全球最大的风投公司。如果你说不出恩颐投资(New Enterprise Associate)的名字,那也不足为奇。虽然这家公司有100多名员工和8处办公室,知名的投资项目有团购网站Groupon、母婴用品直购网站Diapers.com等等,可谓业绩斐然,但公司非常低调而神秘——而且是刻意为之。“我们确实没有明星文化,”恩颐投资的一位合伙人帕特里克•钟表示。

    先扫扫盲吧。恩颐投资的总部并不在炙手可热的西海岸,而是在马里兰州切维蔡斯。恩颐投资从不聘请明星合伙人,不像凯鹏华盈(Kleiner Perkins),后者曾经力邀阿尔•戈尔(美国前副总统——译注)加盟。恩颐投资25位合伙人中没有一个人开通了个人博客,只有4个人有Twitter账户——而且7月份以来事实上只有1个人在Twitter上发过言。时下的风投界以吸引眼球为重,“你知道些什么”好像还不如“谁认识你”来得更重要,因此,恩颐投资的这帮人似乎是一群异类。

    “我对我们的工作总是这么想,企业家就像是艺术家,而我们应该站在幕后,”常驻硅谷的帕特里克表示。“艺术家是天才,他们有远见,但有点情绪化,或者稍微有点不理性。我们的工作就是帮助他们扬长避短。”

    恩颐投资从业33年以来在这方面做得相当好。除了外界一时热议的Groupon,该公司的投资还包括通信设备制造商3Com、数字视频公司TiVo、制药商Alkermes、互联网医疗服务和信息提供商WebMD、闪存设备制造商Fusion-io和Fisker汽车公司。而且在恩颐投资成立前,董事长迪克•克拉姆里克就已是当时一家小型初创公司——苹果(Apple)的首批投资人之一了。

    Quick, name the largest venture capital firm in the world. If you didn't come up with New Enterprise Associates (NEA), you're not alone. Although it has over 100 employees in eight offices, big-name investments such as Groupon and Diapers.com, and a fantastic track record, NEA keeps a very low profile -- on purpose. "We don't really have a star culture here," says Patrick Chung, one of NEA's partners.

    For starters, NEA is based on the wrong coast, with headquarters in Chevy Chase, Md. It has never hired a celebrity partner, as Kleiner Perkins did with Al Gore. Not one of its 25 partners has a personal blog, just four have Twitter accounts -- and only one has actually tweeted since July. It's the antithesis of today's attention-seeking VC industry, where what you know seems less important than who knows you.

    "The way I've always thought about our job is that entrepreneurs are like artists, and we're behind the scenes," says Chung, who is based in Silicon Valley. "The artists are talented people with a vision who are a bit temperamental or slightly irrational. It's our job to harness that."

    In its 33 years in business, NEA has done that job quite well. Besides the controversial Groupon, its investments have included 3Com, TiVo (TIVO), Alkermes (ALKS), WebMD (WBMD), Fusion-io, and Fisker. And before founding NEA, chairman Dick Kramlich was one of the first to invest in a little startup called Apple (AAPL).

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