[From "How Mark Zuckerberg Hacked the Valley", courtesy BloombergBusinessweek online]
Find low-maintenance overseas investors instead of know-it-all Americans
[At some point] Facebook's growth required even more money. Usually at this stage a startup visits one of the many venture capital firms along Sand Hill Road. But [US] venture capital comes with strings attached. The new investors want a seat on the board, a say in decision-making, and the ability to be the first in line to sell their shares in an IPO or other “liquidity events.”
Zuckerberg was uninterested in sharing decision-making and instructed his moneymen that he would not offer board seats to new investors.
...in 2007, when U.S. investment firms were retrenching, Facebook looked overseas and raised money from Hong Kong industrialist Li Ka-shing and German Internet entrepreneurs the Samwer Brothers. Those investors wanted a piece of the action but, unlike their U.S. counterparts, didn’t care about having a hand on the wheel.
There's no lack of moneys in Italy. There are, instead a bit few exits...
Interestingly enough, though, I am not aware of Venture Capital money coming this way. Even if -instead- investment in real-estate, farming/wineries, distribution companies and even manufacturing units and their brands are not unheard of.
Makes me wonder...
Also makes me wonder if we are getting close to be "drowning in a tsunami of sharing" [CNN], but that's for another post.