Valerie Thompson

Valerie Thompson Valerie Thompson has been writing about technology and fast-growing private companies, as well as the people that create and invest in them for almost two decades. She became an independent communications professional in 2011, after more than a decade as a stringer and freelance journalist for online & print publications. Based in Zurich, she works with innovative organizations and individuals across Switzerland to support their need to communicate with other busy, smart and specialized professionals.   Connect with Valerie Thompson on LinkedIn

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Record-breaking – From Seed to Market Dominance, Dealmaking Reaches New Highs

Record-breaking – From Seed to Market ...

The superlatives are flying this week as analysts and companies describe the latest rush of deal activity and news. Here is a roundup of just five of the biggest, the largest, most audacious and record-breaking totals.   Biggest Year on Record for US M&A Market … and Highest Volume Year to Date Ever   A record number (45) of deals [...]

Disrupting Foreign Exchange with Blockchain

Disrupting Foreign Exchange with Blockchain

Last week Lykke announced a competition to build a new and superfast foreign exchange and settlement platform based on blockchain. Its Swiss founder is Richard B. Olsen. He was a fintech founder long before that buzzword entered our vocabulary. In the eighites, he established a real time financial information system and in the nineties, a Forex trading platform startup that [...]

5 Cures for Portfolio Troubles

5 Cures for Portfolio Troubles

The troubles pension funds and other institutional investors are having with their private equity (PE) portfolios have been making headlines, and regulators are reacting with more oversight. There is talk of diminished PE returns and a broken PE business model. Nevertheless, some industry experts still see potential in private equity, albeit with a healthy dose of applied knowledge and understanding [...]

Hunting Green Unicorns and Other Ways to Make Capital Deliver Super Returns

Hunting Green Unicorns and Other Ways to Make ...

A new breed of investor is pursuing a "triple bottom line" strategy, including in their due diligence an analysis of the social, environmental and governance  risks and impacts of investments. As result, there are new opportunities for investing in transportation networks, alternative energy infrastructure, textiles and even farmlands. The motivation is to make money on the deals but also to [...]

Billions to the Crowd Taps Appetite for Alt Asset Investing

Billions to the Crowd Taps Appetite for Alt Asset ...

The quick growth and growing confidence in lending platforms and equity crowdfunding is attracting more capital from professional and institutional investors. Milestones announced this summer illustrate these two trends. Zopa, the UK-based pioneer in peer to peer lending, announced on its blog that it hit the milestone of GBP 1 billion in loans.   Elsewhere, Citywire reports that P2P Global [...]

Slashing Silicon’s Early Stage Burn Rate

Slashing Silicon’s Early Stage Burn Rate

Investment in semiconductor startups pales in comparison to Internet and software  ventures. One of the larger rounds this year went to Goleta, Calif.-based Transphorm, which  announced in July that it raised USD 70 million in a deal led by a KKR growth fund. In fact, there is a bit of a run on startups like Transphorm that aim to exploit Gallium [...]

New Angel Model Delivers Returns, Now It’s Aiming for Expansion

New Angel Model Delivers Returns, Now It’s Aiming ...

There are countless stories about successful startup founders who parlay fortunes earned in an IPO or trade sale into becoming early stage angel investors. But what about successful angel investors, what do they do next? Sometimes they form a general partnerhsip,raise a capital pool from limited partners, and join the ranks of the private equity industry. Recent examples are VC [...]

Real Returns, Real Performance and Smarter Fund Due Diligence

Real Returns, Real Performance and Smarter Fund Due ...

It used to be easy for private equity practitioners to claim top quartile prowess without too many people being able to challenge the claim, quite astonishing for a USD 3.8 trillion slice of the financial market. As recently as two years ago, Sovereign Wealth Fund advisor Ashby Monk wrote an open letter in Institutional Investor magazine describing the problems and [...]

New Twist on Private Equity Appeals to Family Offices

New Twist on Private Equity Appeals to Family ...

Especially over the past three years, family offices have been increasingly active in direct private company invests. What is new is that some family offices are investing in “search funds” that basically back an entrepreneur to seek and buy an existing business to take it to the next level.   The participation in Search Funds is an ongoing trend amongst [...]

The Private Equity Job Market Is Hot In 2015

The Private Equity Job Market Is Hot In 2015

Trade press headlines from Hong Kong to London are  talking about a ‘War for Talent’ in private equity. In the past seven days, more than 440 jobs in private equity and venture capital were added to eFinancialCareers, which seems like a lot. It does not include the hundreds of open positions posted lately on LinkedIn or the websites of buyout [...]

First-time Funds Buck the Trend

First-time Funds Buck the Trend

When it comes to fundraising, first-time private equity funds are a small part of the private equity universe these days, but the fact that some are successful at all in today’s competitive market merits taking a closer look.   Last year the trend in private equity (PE) fundraising was to invest in the largest and brand-name funds. The sheer number [...]

Corporate VCs Have a Field Day in High(er) Tech

Corporate VCs Have a Field Day in High(er) Tech

The rush to invest in exponentially growing Internet and digital media startups has “sucked the oxygen out” of the room for patent-rich startups, and one of the results is that corporate venture investors are having a “field day”, according to Go4Venture in its latest research note. The notion that certain investor groups are operating with very little competition, finding opportunities [...]

Blockbuster Deals Make Cross-Border M&A Pop

Blockbuster Deals Make Cross-Border M&A Pop

US firms are investing huge sums in acquiring European companies through M&A. Volume climbed to USD 116 bn via 410 deals so far this year, nearly triple the USD 38.9 bn announced via 393 deals in the same period last year, according to dealogic. It is the highest YTD on record. Eighteen large-sized transactions (greater than USD 1 bn) caused [...]

Quote of the Week: Outmaneuvering Strategics in Food & Consumer Investing

Quote of the Week: Outmaneuvering Strategics in Food...

Strategic buyers have always dominated food and consumer industry M&A. If you go back a decade, they do anywhere from eighty nine to ninety percent of the deals, and last year they were 91%. So we always saw strategic corporate buyers as our primary competition and we focus on finding ways to outmaneuver them or compete with them … Who [...]

Inside the PE Deal Funnel

Inside the PE Deal Funnel

The deal funnel is a part of the decision-making amongst PE investors and it was studied recently by academic researchers. The analysis showed that out of one hundred investments or deals considered, the average PE investor deeply investigates fewer than 24. Of those fewer than 14 will sign an agreement, and a close will be made on only 6 deals. [...]