Lightspeed partner: Outbrain will hold IPO in 12-18 months

Ravi Mhatre tells "Globes": The rate of companies that will go public in the current wave will be similar to what we saw in the 1990s.

"Outbrain will hold an IPO in 12-18 months," Lightspeed Ventures founding partner Ravi Mhatre told "Globes" in an interview.

Lightspeed raised $875 million for its fifth fund 18 months. $200 million of the fund is slated for investment in China, and the rest for the US and Israel. Altogether, the firm manages $2 billion. It made its first investments in Israel in the late 1990s, and opened an office in Herzliya Pituah in 2006, where two partners are based: Yoni Cheifetz and David Gussarsky. Israeli companies in its portfolio include Outbrain, LiveU Ltd., and Solaredge.

"There is nothing new in Silicon Valley, at least not in venture capital," he said.

"Globes": Is the change on Wall Street fleeting, or is the window for IPOs really open?

Mhatre: "Definitely. The market is much more open for high-tech IPOs, which was not the case in the past 6-7 years. A lot of companies are growing very fast and the public market is hungry for growth right now. Growth cannot be found anywhere else. The mergers and acquisitions market is also healthy, and the option of becoming a public company is pushing up company values because entrepreneurs have an option, and they don’t want to sell at a low price. My guess is that the rate of companies that will go public in the current wave will be similar to what we saw in the 1990s."

From the perspective of Silicon Valley, do you sense a change in Israeli high tech?

"I think that we see maturity among entrepreneurs on the venture capital side too. The market here has become more experienced, which brings better results, and the technology markets are picking up. We are now simply seeing companies that start here have bigger ambitions."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on November 27, 2013

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2013

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