Dear Justice Department; please sue one of our portfolio companies!
Before I die, I want to invest in a company with 5 employees and, then, 15+ years later the Justice Department decides it’s a monopoly… Along the way, our investors will have made a bucket of money!
By the time the Justice Department thinks one of our portfolio companies is a monopoly, it will be worth more than $50B. Have you noticed that the regulators don’t even notice little, seed-level companies funded by firms like ours? They only start paying attention when competitors start howling, usually when the company is worth well more than a billion dollars.
I am insanely jealous of VCs who have seed invested in companies eventually sued by the Justice Department for monopolistic behavior. Which companies are currently in the gun sights of Lina Khan, the current queen of antitrust (and chairperson of the Federal Tarde Commission)? Apple: $2.4T Facebook: $443B. Amazon: $1.4T. Google: $1.5T.
Those investors are famous: Arthur Rock. John Doerr (2 of the 4!). Mike Moritz. Jim Breyer. I want to be like them!
We have three companies in our portfolio that could qualify, eventually, for attention from the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission. I’m not going to tell you which ones, since there will be plenty of opportunities for those companies to miss the opportunity, in which case you’ll never know about them.
But, if you run one of our portfolio companies, fair warning: Do everything you can to turn your company into a monopoly! I’ll send you a bottle of the best champagne the day you receive that letter inviting you to testify behind the green felt table…9