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What It Was Like Trying To Raise Money The Day Lehman Brothers Collapsed

Roman Stanek

One of the essential ingredients for a startup is timing.

GoodData CEO Roman Stanek knows that particularly well, having started his first major company just as the Internet bubble started, and sold it in 1999. 

But when it came to his most recent company, the timing was slightly less auspicious, at least at first. Stanek arrived in New York to ask for funding on the very day that Lehman Brothers collapsed. "So for GoodData, I landed in New York on September 15, 2008 and I came here to raise money, I came from Boston, I opened a newspaper and it said 'Lehman Brothers failed' and I was like, 'OK, here it comes.'"

That began a period for the company where it was all but impossible to get funding. "I went to VCs and they said, 'we are not funding anybody,'" Stanek says, "and here's the reason why. Imagine that as a VC, let's say you have $100 million, you have ten companies and each one of them needs $20 million. But you can assume that you will syndicate, so $100 million plus $100 million from somebody else will get you into a good place."

Then came the financial crisis. Stanek says, "What happened in 2008 is that the whole notion of syndication went away, everybody was trying to protect their own portfolio. So now you have $100 million and 10 companies, those companies need $200 million so what do you do? You have to eliminate half of your portfolio. ...That's the moment I showed up."

It was not a hugely receptive audience; they had bigger problems at the time. "These people, they don't know where their money is," Stanek says. "It could be parked with Lehman Brothers, so they don't even know where it is."

The result was a seven-month "VC no," a phenomenon where funds, rather than telling you "no" outright and burning a bridge, just never get back to you.

Stanek and GoodData got a different stall tactic. "The other way VCs delay their decision is, and that's what happened to us, is they ask you to do technical due diligence," Stanek says. "They take you through six months of testing and they essentially do it just to delay the decision, they know they've made the decision from day one."

But admitting failure wasn't an option, Stanek argues. "For me, to go back to my team and my existing investors and say, we're accepting defeat, we're not raising money because it's impossible, that means that you have a problem and you may lose employees and so on. ... I kept going, I kept trying."

Eventually, Stanek succeeded, getting investors like Mark Andreesen and Ben Horowitz on board.

He argues that the process actually made his company stronger in the long run, that the timing was actually right on. "It was very painful, but what it also did, it allowed us to start at a time when nobody else was starting," Stanek says. "I would hate to start today when, every day, Y-Combinator and 500 kinds of seed companies are spitting out startups, you have no differentiation. It's much harder today." 

NOW READ: This Photo Illustrates How Hard It Is For A Startup To Succeed

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The 45 Stocks Hedge Fund Managers Love The Most

Hedgehog

Factset has just released its quarterly report on the stock holdings of the nation's 50 largest hedge funds.

On the whole, the 50 largest hedge funds increased their exposure to stocks by 3 percent, although 23 managers decreased their stock holdings in the third quarter.

AIG and Capital One were two stocks that received much love from hedge fund managers during the period. While Apple remained the most popular holding, hedge funds cut their exposure to the stock.

We ranked the stocks by their aggregate share in the top 50 hedge funds. And we start with #45.

Note: Market cap data is from YahooFinance.

Research group Factset is out with its latest quarterly report on the equities exposure for the  50 largest hedge funds. 

They found that 45 of 50 managers increased their stock positions by an average of 3 percent in Q2.

Procter & Gamble and BP were the big winners: the top 50 hedge funds more than doubled the number of shares they own of each stock during the quarter.

The funds surveyed range from James Simon's $34 billion Renaissance Technologies to young gun William von Mueffling's $4 billion Cantillon.

Read on to see who else came out on top among the country's most influential financial players.

We ranked the stocks in order of number of funds holding the stock. 

And one definition note, "market cap" refers to the aggregate value of the funds' holdings of the given stock.



Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-45-stocks-mega-hedge-funds-are-loving-the-most-2012-8?op=1#ixzz2ChtY6ri6

Research group Factset is out with its latest quarterly report on the equities exposure for the  50 largest hedge funds. 

They found that 45 of 50 managers increased their stock positions by an average of 3 percent in Q2.

Procter & Gamble and BP were the big winners: the top 50 hedge funds more than doubled the number of shares they own of each stock during the quarter.

The funds surveyed range from James Simon's $34 billion Renaissance Technologies to young gun William von Mueffling's $4 billion Cantillon.

Read on to see who else came out on top among the country's most influential financial players.

We ranked the stocks in order of number of funds holding the stock. 

And one definition note, "market cap" refers to the aggregate value of the funds' holdings of the given stock.



Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-45-stocks-mega-hedge-funds-are-loving-the-most-2012-8?op=1#ixzz2ChtY6ri6

Research group Factset is out with its latest quarterly report on the equities exposure for the  50 largest hedge funds. 

They found that 45 of 50 managers increased their stock positions by an average of 3 percent in Q2.

Procter & Gamble and BP were the big winners: the top 50 hedge funds more than doubled the number of shares they own of each stock during the quarter.

The funds surveyed range from James Simon's $34 billion Renaissance Technologies to young gun William von Mueffling's $4 billion Cantillon.

Read on to see who else came out on top among the country's most influential financial players.

We ranked the stocks in order of number of funds holding the stock. 

And one definition note, "market cap" refers to the aggregate value of the funds' holdings of the given stock.



Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-45-stocks-mega-hedge-funds-are-loving-the-most-2012-8?op=1#ixzz2ChtY6ri6

Research group Factset is out with its latest quarterly report on the equities exposure for the  50 largest hedge funds. 

They found that 45 of 50 managers increased their stock positions by an average of 3 percent in Q2.

Procter & Gamble and BP were the big winners: the top 50 hedge funds more than doubled the number of shares they own of each stock during the quarter.

The funds surveyed range from James Simon's $34 billion Renaissance Technologies to young gun William von Mueffling's $4 billion Cantillon.

Read on to see who else came out on top among the country's most influential financial players.

We ranked the stocks in order of number of funds holding the stock. 

And one definition note, "market cap" refers to the aggregate value of the funds' holdings of the given stock.



Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-45-stocks-mega-hedge-funds-are-loving-the-most-2012-8?op=1#ixzz2ChtY6ri6
 

The 45 Stocks That Big Hedge Funds Love The Most

Rob Wile | Aug. 22, 2012, 4:55 PM | 95,226 | 3

William Shatner Star TrekResearch group Factset is out with its latest quarterly report on the equities exposure for the  50 largest hedge funds. 

They found that 45 of 50 managers increased their stock positions by an average of 3 percent in Q2.

Procter & Gamble and BP were the big winners: the top 50 hedge funds more than doubled the number of shares they own of each stock during the quarter.

The funds surveyed range from James Simon's $34 billion Renaissance Technologies to young gun William von Mueffling's $4 billion Cantillon.

Read on to see who else came out on top among the country's most influential financial players.

We ranked the stocks in order of number of funds holding the stock. 

And one definition note, "market cap" refers to the aggregate value of the funds' holdings of the given stock.



Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-45-stocks-mega-hedge-funds-are-loving-the-most-2012-8?op=1#ixzz2ChtQHaTE
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International Business Machines Corp. is held by 16 funds.

International Business Machines Corp Is Held By 16 Funds

Sector: Information Technology

Quarterly market value performance: +6.9%

Market cap: $215.08 billion

Shares outstanding: 0.7%

Share of Top 50's aggregate portfolio: 0.3%

Source: Factset



General Growth Properties Inc. is held by 10 funds.

General Growth Properties Inc Is Held By 10 Funds

Sector: Financials

Quarterly market value performance: +6.9%

Market cap: $17.79 billion

Shares outstanding: 8.9%

Share of Top 50's aggregate portfolio: 0.3%

Source: Factset



Beam Inc. is held by 12 funds.

Beam Inc Is Held By 12 Funds

Sector: Consumer Staples

Quarterly market value performance: -3.6%

Market cap: $8.64 billion

Shares outstanding: 18.1%

Share of Top 50's aggregate portfolio: 0.3%

Source: Factset



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And There Goes The Euro...

A few minutes ago, Europe's finance ministers concluded an 11 hour meeting with no Greek debt-reduction package.

Apparently, markets were expecting something different.

Check out the euro's insta-plunge after the announcement:

Euro

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