How was your week? What have you been seeing out there?
Selling: Just spotted this – GE Ventures reportedly wants to sell a portfolio of more than 100 start-ups and find a home for remaining partners, according to a new report from CNBC. The group is working with Lazard on the sale process.
The story said GE’s venture arm has been selling itself for several months and is in talks with other venture firms as well as groups of LPs who invest in those funds. I’m not entirely clear why LPs want to buy the group, but I imagine other buyers looking at the portfolio include traditional secondary groups.
GE made clear it wants to sell the portfolio as a whole, which includes the strong performing companies as well as the weaker ones, the story said.
The deal sounds like it could be similar to what NEA did last year. In that transaction, the firm spun out a portfolio of 31 companies from four older funds into a separate firm called NewView Capital to be managed by one of its former executives, Ravi Viswanathan.
“I think this will be a trend; a very logical, rational trend. The key is to find a win-win-win in the portfolio. It takes time, curation, managing conflicts,” Viswanathan told me earlier this year about such deals.
GP-led secondaries have taken off in the venture world, with several high-level shops exploring or working on ways to deliver liquidity to LPs in older funds. Other shops working on secondaries deals recently include Insight Venture Partners, Technology Crossover Ventures and Altos Ventures.
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