Global Silicon Valley
Launched in April 2011 by one of the world's preeminent voices on growth investing, GSV Capital Corp. offers the first publicly traded security (NASDAQ: GSVC) enabling all kinds of investors to own a piece of the world's most dynamic, VC-backed private companies.
"GSV" stands for Global Silicon Valley. The Valley, as it's often called, has redefined entrepreneurism and, in many ways, business in general. GSV aims to redefine growth investing.
Innovation is Silicon Valley. Like us, a remarkable percentage of the world's most successful companies—mostly in the high tech space—call this magical region home. And it's also the world's undisputed hub for up-and-comers, representing roughly a third of the VC investment in all of the U.S.
But this little piece of the Bay Area is much more than just a spot on the map. It's bigger than the collective identity of a bunch of tech bellwethers, or even the alter ego of the broader technology sector.
'Silicon Valley' has become a mindset. It's an addiction to constant innovation. A devotion to the brightest talent. An appetite for boldness. A magnet for capital and growth investors. It's the ambitious pursuit of a destiny achieved by the likes of Apple, Google, Cisco, Adobe, and Oracle by companies that are, at present, far more humble.
And it's everywhere.
'Global Silicon Valley' represents this powerful ideology. It has little to do with where companies operate and lots to do with how and why. With the reach and the velocity of information and resources increasing, there are great businesses with tremendous potential emerging on every continent.
We intend to find and invest in the best of the best.
And, through GSVC, we invite you to join us.
Innovators Solve Problems
GSV was formed in 2010. But the forces that led to our inception started a decade ago. And our team has been immersed in growth investing for another ten years prior to that.
Suffice to say that the U.S. capital markets' structure has changed dramatically since the high-water mark in 2000. The number of IPOs is down 75%, and the median market cap of companies going public has skyrocketed nearly eight-fold, to over $1 billion from $130 million during the '90s. And the characteristics of IPO companies have evolved, too. Among other things, now they tend to wait longer before making the move.
Investors used to have access to emerging, rapidly growing companies with big potential earlier in the life-cycle—jumping in on IPOs at $100 million or $300 million market cap. Times have indeed changed.
This seismic shift has also shaken the "Silicon Valley Model" for attracting talent. Smart, ambitious individuals from around the globe used to flock to the west coast to strike it rich. The lure was loads of stock, and like the California Gold Rush 150 years earlier, it lasted less than a decade. With shares becoming liquid in eight to ten years—as opposed to three or four—the appeal lost a lot of its luster.
So companies and employees need liquidity sooner. And outside investors desperately want access to the "stars of tomorrow."
Enter GSV. Like the companies in our portfolio, we're innovators at heart, so identifying critical challenges and devising creative solutions is in our DNA.
Making Private Public
GSV Capital is democratizing access to VC-backed companies. The GSVC fund effectively fills that painful void, where IPOs used to be frequent—companies with market caps of $100 million to $1 billion.
Our strategy is to utilize the private marketplaces like SharesPost and SecondMarket to acquire shares in companies that we believe have the Four Ps and generally are within the six themes we feel have the greatest potential: Social Media, Mobile Computing and Apps, Cloud Computing, Software as a Service, Green Technology, and Education Technology.
In addition to private marketplaces, GSVC buys secondary shares directly from employees and early VCs, as well as primary shares directly from the company.
This is precisely how we've built our current portfolio, and how we'll continue to allow smart investors—those who are accredited, as well as ordinary citizens—to grab their stake in the stars of tomorrow. Today.