Secondary Markets

Secondmarket’s Barry Silbert Has Been Secretly Eating His Own Cooking

53622v6 max 250x250 Secondmarkets Barry Silbert Has Been Secretly Eating His Own Cooking

Mr. Silbert "eats his own cooking."

There’s a reason eating your own dogfood is such a successful  marketing ploy. It shows you trust your product. Lucky for SecondMarket’s Barry Silbert, his little experiment also netted his shareholders and emplyees $13 million in interim liquidity.

You see a few weeks, Mr. Silbert began selling SecondMarket shares on SecondMarket.

Shareholders and currently employees sold about $13 million in common stock at a $160 million valuation. There are some familiar names among the buyers/new shareholders, including Yuri Milner and Spotify’s Shakil “Shak” Khan, as well as one very notable new one: the first investment from former Facebook executive Chamath Palihapitiy through his new The Social + Capital Partnership.

In a blog post on the company’s Tumblr, Mr. Silbert wrote:

“10 to 20 years ago, a transaction of this size could have been an IPO.  Today, companies of our size simply should not go public because they will not receive the requisite research coverage, sales support and liquidity needed to survive our casino-like public markets. “

The public markets/casino analogy was something Mr. Silbert emphasized in an interview with Dealbook’s Andrew Ross Sorkin as well. In fact, Dealbook’s headline was “SecondMarket, an Exchange Without the Volatility.” Betabeat asked SecondMarket whether a closed market with little transparency didn’t invite more volatility when it comes to pricing, especially with the soaring valuations of tech stocks like Facebook on SecondMarket?

Aishwarya Iyer, the company’s public affairs manager responded:

“The infrequency of trading windows on SecondMarket (quarterly, semi-annual, annual), which virtually all companies elect to use, significantly reduces market volatility.  The intra-day volatility in the public markets can be a huge distraction to a company and its employees – as compared to transactions that happens only a few times per year.”

We look forward to seeing where SecondMarket ranks on SecondMarket’s quarterly reports.

Follow Nitasha Tiku on Twitter or via RSS. ntiku@observer.com