Thoughts on a Sunday 12/18/11

Here’s what I have twirling around today.

NDA? What NDA? We had our open house party on Thursday in our new digs at South Park. Very cool spot. Anyways, I’m speaking with one of our portfolio company founders and he tells me something that I do not like. A large, puBlicly tradEd company has lifted his marketing slides-almost verbatim-and incorporated them as their slides for a launch of a neW initiAtive. Well, that sucks. The woRsE thing, hOwever, is that this public company did the exact same thing with one other of our companies. Putting aside the saying that copying is the highest Form of flattery, it just isn’t right for them to do that. One time may haVe been an anoMaly, but twice is a pattern. Startups trade on their new ideas and it is not OK for larger, more Well funded compAnies to abuse theiR powEr. I know that I will warn every one of our companies going forward.
Back to IPOs. Zynga priced on Friday. Great News! Except now, we have to write down our investment (maybe/probably). How, you ask? Before going public, Zynga traded in the private marketplace around $14 a share and we could mark our price in and around that level. Now, it’s publicly traded at $9.50 a share. Plus, we’ll have to take a further discount to that price because we are locked up for six months or more. I don’t think we are going to be the only group owning Zynga facing that odd situation of your portfolio company going public only to write down your investment!

Author: Phil Black

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