There is a publicly traded “VC” firm called GSVC which has put about $250-$300M in 30-40 private company investments, mostly in the Silicon Valley.
I came across this when Facebook was going public and GSVC was mentioned in an article as a way to get in on Facebook before the IPO “pop” (which didn’t come of course). So I looked into this company and generally liked the idea of buying into private companies using a publicly traded stock.
However, I didn’t buy any, which was a good thing since the GSVC stock was trading on the FB hype and that premium has since evaporated. The stock trades in the $8 range vs a NAV in the $12 range (NAV being what mgmt. thinks its portfolio is worth, which is open to interpretation). I’m not sure it’s a good buy, but I’m keeping an eye on it.
GSVC’s top 10 holdings include Twitter, Dropbox and Facebook. I am a big fan of twitter, but twitter says it’s not interested in going public yet. So that value may take time to be unlocked.
Anyway, I watch this VC / company to get an insight into VC activity and trends. I was interested to know that the composition of their portfolio because includes a healthy dose of education-tech holdings. See the slideshow from their 1st quarter 2013 investor presentation on their website (www.gsvcap.com).
Their biggest sectors make up 82% of their portfolio and they are:
• Education-Tech 32%
• Social mobile 24%
• Cloud / big data 26%