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Investors Jostle for Pre-IPO Stake in Impossible Foods

on August 25, 2019

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Andrea Lamari Walne, a San Francisco-based partner at merchant bank Manhattan Venture Partners, adding that interest picked up after Beyond Meat went public in May. “Investors from Turkey through the U.K. are calling us at all hours. They’re trying to find a way to get in the stock.”

The company hasn’t shared any plans to go public. However, at the time of Impossible’s most recent fundraise, Chief Financial Officer David Lee said the financing likely would be the company’s last or second-to-last private round before an initial public offering.

Manhattan Venture Partners recently obtained more than $20 million of stock in Impossible Foods through an investment vehicle, Ms. Walne said.

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Sarah Kunst’s Cleo Capital Raises $3.5 Million To Boost Women Decision Makers In VC

on August 21, 2019

Andrea Walne, a partner at Manhattan Venture Partners, told me last month about how she’s noticing a growing class of female venture capitalists. No longer are we in a world where venture capitalists have to come from a male-dominated semiconductor and computer chip industry, she said. Walne herself came into venture capital from an “untraditional” path, coming from a job as a director at Carta, which helps startups manage equity for employees.

“There’s a new subset of venture capitalists,” she said, referring to a rising class of female venture capitalists.

That said, Walne said  “there’s no one better suited than Sarah to utilize the network effects of the strongest females in the Valley to identify untapped, female-led opportunities.”

“She understands that there are so few women who have built recognizable startups that when they spot a good opportunity they know exactly which characteristics make them attractive investment opportunities,” she added.

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Expect one more rate cut by Fed, not sure beyond that: Santosh Rao, Manhattan Venture Partners

on August 1, 2019

More than Trump, the Fed’s hand was forced by the emerging markets, by the rest of the world slowing down, says Santosh Rao, Head of Research, Partner, Manhattan Venture Partners. Excerpts from an interview with ETNOW.

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Beyond Meat Insiders Plan to Unload Shares in Secondary Offering, Spooking Investors

on July 31, 2019

“The biggest thing is, do you pass the ‘smell test,’ so to speak,” says Santosh Rao, head of research at Manhattan Venture Partners. “Are they selling because they think it’s maxed out and there’s no more upside? Or are they selling because they’re early stage guys?… They’ve been there for 9, 10 years.” Rao suggests that VC funds may be matured and want to get a return to “recycle the money into new investments.” He believes the follow-on isn’t a negative thing. “They can use that money, they need it,” Rao says of Beyond Meat. “If you have to do this, this is the time.”

The last tech company to do a secondary offering less than three months after their IPO was Splunk in 2012, according to FactSet data.

Rao thinks Beyond’s issuing is tied to balancing supply and demand in the market and allowing matured shareholders to cash in. The company says it wants to use the funds raised from the offering to bolster production and supply—something essential to compete in the heating-up space.

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‘Doesn’t Pass the Smell Test’: Investors Question Recent Developments at WeWork Ahead of IPO

on July 26, 2019

“It just gives the appearance of self-dealing,” Santosh Rao, head of research at Manhattan Venture Partners, says of Neumann’s business dealings. “He’s not doing anything illegal, but it just doesn’t pass the smell test. No founder wants to sell at a low—they always believe that their company is undervalued and the value is going to go up.”

Rao acknowledges that “founders deserve to make money” on their product, and that Neumann could well still be deeply invested in his company via a “sizable stake.” But while Neumann is believed to still be WeWork’s largest shareholder, no one will know just how large his stake is until WeWork puts out its public prospectus, and Rao stresses that a CEO like Neumann “cannot give the appearance [to public investors] that you’re cashing out.”

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What’s the rationale for selling a private company’s stock ahead of an IPO?

on July 22, 2019

Santosh Rao, head of research at Manhattan Venture Partners, says if Neumann has to take out money now, it’s a good time to do it.

The practice of selling stock in a private company before it goes public is becoming more common. Companies are waiting longer before going public, which makes the incentive for founders to cash out even stronger.

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These Major IPOs are Still Slated to Debut in 2019

on July 15, 2019

2019 is well on its way to being the year of the high-profile IPO.

Still, the year that gave investors the likes of Uber, Slack and Beyond Meat is just getting started, according to Wall Street insiders.

“This has been the year when cloud-based companies and on-demand services came of age,” Santosh Rao, head of research at Manhattan Venture Partners, told Fortune.

Rao suggests 2019 in particular has been a “perfect set up for an IPO” due to a hunt for high-growth stocks, scarcity of large companies coming to market and the fact that investors “don’t want to miss out” on the next big IPO, Rao says. And to boot, he believes companies are equally aware of the rush to market—”You don’t know when the party’s going to end.”

Still, while it’s clear investors are hungry for IPOs, Rao says the market has some criteria. “[IPOs this year] need to show two things. One, their top-line is growing, and second, there is definitely a path to profitability,” he says.

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WeWork Must Do These 3 Things Before Its IPO to Avoid Uber’s Mistakes

on July 10, 2019

This preview of how the market received Lyft and Uber is a major benefit for the workspace company, Santosh Rao, head of research at Manhattan Venture Partners, believes. “I think they’ve seen the writing on the wall, so to speak,” Rao says.

WeWork’s model largely focuses on short-term leases, but the company is beginning to diversify by looking to buy buildings and expand globally, Rao says. And as the company takes on more debt (WeWork already has some $702 million raised last year with a hefty 7.9% interest rate), moving into enterprise renting and long-term leases would provide WeWork with the recurring revenue that is attractive to bond holders, Rao says.

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Large IPOs Set Record Pace in First Half

on July 8, 2019

Enterprise-technology startups are better received than consumer-facing companies, said Andrea Lamari Walne, a partner at Manhattan Venture Partners. That is because most of these companies, with mostly corporate clients, have healthier finances than consumer-facing companies, she said.

“There’s certainly no less than absolute insane excitement around enterprise tech IPOs,” Ms. Walne said.

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Laz Alonso, Reginald Hudlin, Kirk Franklin, Tasha Cobbs Leonard, Kel Mitchell, Kellita Smith, and More Deliver Enlightening Insights for July on the Hit Show “Money Making Conversations,” Hosted by Rushion McDonald

on July 1, 2019

“The guest* lineup expected on “Money Making Conversations” for July includes:”…”Rashaun Williams, Venture Capitalist, Tech Coach to athlete and entertainers, General Partner of Manhattan Venture Partners’ All-Star Fund.”

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