14. June 2023

Why do investors sell or buy secondaries?

There are various reasons why investors may sell or buy secondaries in the venture capital space. Here are some of the most common reasons:

One of the most common reasons why investors sell secondaries is to gain liquidity. Holding a stake in a private company can tie up capital for years, and investors may want to generate cash to invest in other opportunities or for personal reasons. By selling a secondary, investors can get some cash without waiting for the company to go public or get acquired.

Portfolio management:Investors may sell or buy secondaries as part of their portfolio management strategy. For example, they may want to reduce their exposure to a particular company or industry, or they may want to rebalance their portfolio to maintain their target allocation across different asset classes.

Exit strategy: Secondary transactions can also serve as an exit strategy for investors who want to exit their investment in a particular company. Instead of waiting for an IPO or acquisition, they can sell their stake to another investor and realize a return on their investment.

Diversification: Investors may buy secondaries as a way to diversify their portfolio. By buying secondaries, they can gain exposure to a company or industry that they may not have been able to invest in otherwise.

Tax considerations: In some cases, investors may sell secondaries for tax purposes. For example, they may want to offset capital gains from another investment by selling a stake in a company that has decreased in value.

Limited partner requests: Limited partners, who are investors in a venture capital fund, may request that the fund manager sell their stakes in certain companies to generate liquidity or to align with their investment strategy.

Overall, selling or buying secondaries can be a useful tool for investors to manage their portfolios, generate liquidity, and exit their investments. It can also provide opportunities to invest in new companies and industries while reducing exposure to others.

At Nordic Eye, we are currently raising our first Liquidity Fund. A fund seeking to capitalize on and create value for investors from the often very lucrative secondary opportunities, primarily in Europe and the US. Our dedicated team in Copenhagen and London have a significant experience in venture capital and from previous roles in dedicated secondary funds.

The fund will seek to provide liquidity solutions for founders, employees and early investors, specifically in more mature growth tech companies with a more balanced risk profile that traditional venture. The Nordic Eye Liquidity Fund is designed to address the lack of liquidity in the venture capital market, allowing insiders and early investors to de-risk their personal wealth and companies to stay private longer. We are aiming for a first close during summer 2023, and the fund will play an important role in the growth and development of the European venture ecosystem.

Picture of Peter Hede

Peter Hede

Partner at Nordic Eye