Twitter’s former head of investor relations Nils Erdmann has a new job. Instead of doing the logical thing, and going to the beach, Erdmann is now a partner at Battery East Group, a boutique shop that helps facilitate the sale of shares of private companies to external parties. That process is called a ‘secondary’ transaction, in contrast to a ‘primary’ sale of equity in which the company is itself the vendor of shares.
It’s a wild moment for anyone bouncing capital around the technology market. Investors, hopped up on years of all-but-free capital have driven the valuations — and implied future growth rates — into low-Earth orbit. To summarize, a decacorn is the new unicorn, which by an order of magnitude makes the point.
But those companies are often putting off going public. And when a company doesn’t go public longer than what is traditionally normal, investors, employees, and other shareholders can become impatient for liquidity. That’s when Battery East tries to come up with a deal that makes all parties, including the investing, third-party entity, content with a transaction.
Erdmann noted in our interview that the secondary market is growing, which, given the above, is hardly surprising. Hit play, and make sure to stick around for his prediction about the NASDAQ’s level in 18 months. We now have him on the record.