New merchant bank to focus on direct secondaries

Manhattan Venture Partners has launched as a research-driven firm focused on the secondaries market for late-stage private technology companies.

Manhattan Venture Partners (MVP) has launched as a merchant bank focused on the secondaries market for late-stage private technology companies, according to a statement.

The New York-based firm will invest its own capital and help investors buy pre-initial public offering (IPO) stock on the secondaries market.

“Until now, there has been a vacuum in the market which has been hard to access and difficult to navigate, with few firms dedicated to serving entrepreneurs who are seeking to unlock value in their stock and stock options,” said managing partner Evan Haymes. “MVP brings transparency, structure and best practices to a marketplace between investors, early employees and angels in what are now late-stage growth companies.”

MVP will also provide investors with reports focused on clean technology and renewable energy, capital formation and alternative investment structures.

One of the main drivers behind MVP’s approach is the fact that venture capital investing is evolving, as companies stay private longer and raise significant rounds of late-stage pre-IPO funding. In turn they are going public at substantially larger pre-money valuations, the firm explained in the statement.

The firm will target direct secondaries investments in companies that have been well-capitalised by venture capital firms. Targeted companies will have strong growth rates and lower risk, with a potential for 2x to 3x return on invested capital within 30 months.

MVP’s team is anchored by managing partners Haymes, Eric Brachfeld and Jared Carmel who previously worked together at Gentry Venture Partners, which is now part of GSV Financial Group. Former Ares Group partner Jonathan Malveaux is also a managing partner at MVP.