Aside from the difficulty of starting and growing a successful company in the first place, there’s also the challenge of getting an ‘exit’ where the return on the investment you’ve put in is made ‘liquid’. In the dot-com boom the answer was an IPO and then from 2002–2012 the answer was ‘get bought by a big american company’, which was fine but a bit limiting.

Now there are some new options starting to appear. It’s good to see that the London Stock Exchange has announced a new proposal called the High Growth Segment which got quite a lot of coverage in the business pages this week. The idea is that small but fast growing companies can go public and retain their independence rather than having to sell out. Combined with initiatives like the Social Stock Exchange (which is apparently about to launch) all this gives me some hope that London is becoming smarter about the whole life cycle of investment.

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