The VC Lottery

Bessemer Venture Partners are one of the oldest VC firms in the valley, and undoubtedly receive a very significant proportion of the business plans that are passed down the road south of San Francisco.

If you’ve lived through trying to raise venture capital – successfully or otherwise – you will enjoy reading this page from Bessemer’s website. The investments that Bessemer didn’t make, but probably should have.

For example:

“Stamps? Coins? Comic books? You’ve GOT to be kidding,” thought Cowan. “No-brainer pass.”



Cowan’s college friend rented her garage to Sergey and Larry for their first year. In 1999 and 2000 she tried to introduce Cowan to “these two really smart Stanford students writing a search engine”. Students? A new search engine? In the most important moment ever for Bessemer’s anti-portfolio, Cowan asked her, “How can I get out of this house without going anywhere near your garage?”

One Comment

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