Secondary Markets

Digital Dumbo Needs a New Name, Cause ‘Silicon Beach’ Is Taken

L.A. does have some pretty nice beaches, we guess.
regional roundup Digital Dumbo Needs a New Name, Cause Silicon Beach Is Taken

Snazzy umbrellas, guys. (SecondMarket.com)

SecondMarket’s first quarter private company report just dropped, offering some insight into which private companies are preoccupying not just us ink-stained tech writers, but secondary market investors. So who’s the belle of the ball? Everyone’s still riveted by Facebook, but Pinterest and Warby Parker are on the rise. Plus, we hate to disappoint Dumbo, but that particular tech alley needs a new name.

But before we get into the horserace, some SecondMarket numbers. According to the report, “In 2011, institutional and accredited investor demand, measured by submitted IOIs [“Indications of Interest” to buy or sell shares], exceeded $6 billion.  We have already outpaced 2011, with over $10 billion in total buyside demand in Q1 alone.” The SecondMarkets team also informed Betabeat that, quarter-over-quarter, they’ve seen a 32 percent increase in overall transaction volume. There’s also been a year-over-year Q1 increase of 42 percent. But those numbers do involve Facebook trading from before halt, so it’s still too soon to tell how the IPO changes things.

Now, for the part everyone loves: the rankings. By allowing users to watch or follow particular companies, SecondMarket offers a (somewhat scientific) way of measuring investor interest. On the national level, users are paying attention to precisely the VC-backed private companies you’d expect, with Facebook and Twitter in the lead. But Yelp’s IPO shuffled the deck among the top ten most-watched: LivingSocial and Spotify are now numbers eight and nine, and Square has climbed number eight to number five. In the ranks of the “rising stars,” which is based on quarter-over-quarter increases in the number of watchers, the locals at Warby Parker made the list for the first time, with a 454.6% increase. Pinterest continued its white-hot streak with a 666.7% increase–though we can’t help but wonder what the next quarter numbers will look like.

New York’s younger, blonder sister also gets a shout-out, with Los Angeles receiving the regional spotlight.  The city’s most-watched companies constitute an impressive list: HulueHarmonyeSolarFisker and GameFly. The report speculates that, “Silicon Beach could be the home to the next tech hotbed.” Well if Science CEO Mike Jones is correct and L.A. companies are especially revenue-focused, that’s no great surprise.

Sounds like Dumbo has some competition for the rights to our favorite cringe-inducing neologism!

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article misstated the first name of Science’s CEO. It is Mike Jones, not Chris Jones. Betabeat regrets the error. 

Follow Kelly Faircloth on Twitter or via RSS. kfaircloth@observer.com