Bessemer Venture Partners

 

Most companies love to trumpet their ‘brilliant’ investments that have paid off and then bury the write-offs and losses in the small print of the back pages. But Bessemer Venture Partners shines the spotlight of anti-inspiration just as brightly on its duds with its ‘Anti-Portfolio’ feature. Their daft rejections that they failed to invest in…

  • “Bessemer Venture Partners is perhaps the nation’s oldest venture capital firm, carrying on an unbroken practice of venture capital investing that stretches back to 1911. This long and storied history has afforded our firm an unparalleled number of opportunities to completely screw up. Over the course of our history, we did invest in a wig company, a french-fry company, and the Lahaina, Ka’anapali & Pacific Railroad. However, we chose to decline these investments, each of which we had the opportunity to invest in, and each of which later blossomed into a tremendously successful company. Our reasons for passing on these investments varied. In some cases, we were making a conscious act of generosity to another, younger venture firm, down on their luck, who we felt could really use a billion dollars in gains. In other cases, our partners had already run out of spaces on the year’s Schedule D and feared that another entry would require them to attach a separate sheet. Whatever the reason, we would like to honor these companies — our ‘anti-portfolio’ — whose phenomenal success inspires us in our ongoing endeavors to build growing businesses. Or, to put it another way: if we had invested in any of these companies, we might not still be working.”
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