It is not until the USA companies file for their IPOs that you can find out the shareholding structure. Zynga is big and has raised big sums and is raising some $1billion at the IPO. More details at All Things D and other sites such as Dealb%k.
It is good to see that the big winner is the CEO and founder Marcus Pincus. He has done it before at Support.com. He cashed in some $109.5million before the float and collects some pocket money (for him) by being the company’s landlord.
Do go and read all the details and when people in Cambridge, UK, say that VCs only do wash out rounds, add Zynga to the list of great companies they have helped create.
Good to see that Fred Wilson and Union Square Ventures have done well investing in the second VC round. With Fred Wilson no doubt sharing 20% of the gain with his business partner at USV he will be able to rent some more bikes on holiday. Strange that Fred is always shy about talking up his successes. I read his blog most days and whenever he is cashing in, you get no posts or updates on his blog. Nice that he behave so well!!
Also the founder of Silicon Valley Comes to Cambridge (UK), Reid Hoffman is listed as a shareholder. I guess we hear about the home runs and not the washouts!
Then there is the interesting aspect of the Russian VCs buying shares before the IPO and allowing the founders and others who created the business to cash in without raising the number of shareholders. It looks so easy and they do it so well – the investors!
I was listening to one of the motormouths of the Cambridge Cluster talking about washout rounds. Why does he not concentrate on the many companies that have been built by VCs in the Cambridge Cluster? One of the troubles, an example is Xensource, that everyone goes very quiet in Cambridge, UK, when things go well.
I warned the founder of a company I am trying to invest in that a potential angel is a high class act. Please do not be taken in by his diffident manner and just grab him as an investor. But let me in first, please!
Merry Christmas and happy new year. Wishing good luck to all entrepreneurs and never forgetting the billions of people not so lucky. But hopefully one of the products of our success will be a better world.