How private market transactions can help sustain companies for the long haul

Goldman Sachs veteran Jack Fowler to head up Capital Markets business

At Lightspeed we are always looking to drive innovation, disrupt markets, and create value, for the LPs that trust us with their capital and the founders who have ambitions to change the world. We recognize that our industry has undergone significant disruptions over the past couple of years yet most VCs have not evolved to respond to some of these changes.

A change that has been particularly acute has been the length of time companies remain private. It is no longer unusual to see venture-backed startups reaching the age of 15 or 16 without seeking or needing an exit. This phenomenon has created a unique set of challenges and opportunities for our portfolio companies and investors. And while buying and selling private shares is a common practice among private equity firms, it is still relatively new to the venture community. We anticipate that this is likely to change dramatically over the next few years.

With this in mind Lightspeed is pleased to welcome Jack Fowler as our newest partner as we continue to expand our team’s expertise in navigating the evolving private market landscape.

For three years Jack Fowler was a managing director at Goldman Sachs. During his time there he built the private secondary market trading business, creating a role and incubating a process that had not previously existed at the world’s second largest investment bank. During much of that time Jack also served on the board for the Nasdaq Private Market. Prior to joining Goldman, he was an early employee at Fintech startup Forge and held leadership roles for Deutsche Bank and BlackRock.

With Jack’s expertise, we aim to address these industry challenges head-on while maximizing value for all stakeholders involved. Jack will play a pivotal role in identifying discreet opportunities to buy private company stock and in helping companies navigate best practices for creating employee liquidity through company tenders and thoughtful company driven processes.

Our decision to explore the secondary market does not diminish Lightspeed’s commitment to its current investments. We will continue to support our long-time portfolio companies with the same energy and focus we devote to new startups.

Our approach is founded on the principle of being founder and private company-friendly, while also being mindful of the interests of our LPs. We believe that by striking the right balance between these priorities, we can create value and drive growth for everyone involved.

We hope you’ll join us in welcoming Jack to the Lightspeed community. We look forward to the journey ahead as we work together to empower founders and shape the future of venture capital.

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