As competition for top tech deals heats up among top investment banks, Goldman Sachs has increasingly jumped into private tech investing participating in over 60 deals since 2009.
Goldman Sachs which regularly serves as a deal adviser to many of the largest tech M&A and IPO transactions is now among the most active direct investors into startups as well. The financial services behemoth has been near the top of the list of our Tech IPO Pipeline investors for the last couple of years, and recently, Goldman’s private tech investing has intensified – even at the early-stage. The uptick in activity by Goldman follows a similar rise in investments into private companies by hedge funds and mutual funds as well as by competitive peers such as JP Morgan Chase.
We analyzed CB Insights data to see the stages and geographies of the tech firms that Goldman has invested in, as well as its most well-funded portfolio companies which may represent soon-to-be IPO prospects.
Goldman Sachs Private Tech Investment Trend
Since the start of 2009, Goldman Sachs has participated in 63 disclosed tech deals totaling nearly $3.9 billion. Its largest investment came in January 2011 as part of Facebook’s $1.5B round which valued a then-private Facebook at $50 billion. And its deal activity has risen significantly since that round – hitting a high in 2012. The bank has led two Series E deals to Tech IPO Pipeline candidates Spiceworks and Applause, respectively, in 2014 to date.
Goldman Sachs Private Tech Investments By Stage
Over 45% of Goldman’s private tech investments have come at the late (Series D+) or growth equity stages since the start of 2009. Its lone seed deal was a 2012 investment to NY-based hyperlocal real estate tech startup Compass (fka Urban Compass) – co-founded by an ex-Goldman Sachs banker Robert Reffkin. 40% of Goldman’s tech deals in the period were at the mid-stage including deals to unicorn startup cos Dropbox, Uber and Nutanix. While Goldman counts a number of portfolio cos in the $1B startup club globally, the firm hasn’t been immune to missteps which is only natural given the high risk nature of private company tech investing. As one example, Goldman previously participated in three rounds to virtualization firm Pano Logic which closed shop in 2012.
Goldman Sachs Private Tech Investments By Geography
Geographically, 88% of Goldman’s private tech investments have been concentrated in the U.S. Over 1/2 of its U.S. deals since 2009 have gone to California-headquartered companies, followed by New York at 10% and Mass. at 9%. Internationally, Goldman has participated in at least five deals to Chinese tech companies over the past five years including 55tuan, Paixie and Cloudary.
Goldman Sachs Most Well-Funded Private Tech Investments
Below are the top 10 most well-funded private tech companies that Goldman Sachs has previously invested in. Not surprisingly the list sees a significant crossover with our Tech IPO Pipeline list of private tech companies. Dropbox tops the list, followed by Spotify and Mobileye, respectively. (Note: Goldman debt-financed cos including SurveyMonkey were excluded from the list.)
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