Hercules Technology Growth Capital: more information

Has anybody heard of this firm? Apparently, they have two offices (one in the Silicon Valley and the other in Chicago), and are publicly traded on the NASDAQ, so they can't be entirely unknown. Their team seems very industry-specific with regards to prior work experience, with a dearth of standout BB names littering the bios.

To step backwards, how would working at the firm like this (http://www.herculestech.com) after a 2-year analyst stint be valued in stepping towards more recognized buyout firms? Any and all comments are appreciated in advance.

Comments (13)

 
Apr 9, 2008 - 9:26am

Hercules provides venture debt to growing technology companies with more than $5 in revenues and good operating cash flows. The idea behind venture debt is to get financing without giving up equity in the company, which is typical in VC deals. Of course, this debt comes at a very high price given the inherent risks of young technology companies. So usually a growing company's capitalization strategy will always be a mix of venture capital and venture debt. Guys like Hercules are basically in the game of trying to get repaid. Whereas a VC/LBO player will be looking for 30%+ IRRs.

I don't think the skill set gained here can transfer to either venture capital or leveraged buyout funds (and certainly not the latter). The only real "exit" I can think is to work as the CFO of a startup. If you are looking to break into venture capital, that is definately not a bad route to take. We work with them extensively so I know them quite well. They are the best in technology venture debt, no questions asked.

Let me know if you have other questions.

 
Nov 2, 2016 - 2:39pm

currently work here - AMA

edit: my company has a lame social media policy

Move like lions do.
 
Aug 13, 2016 - 12:30am

Item1A:

currently work here - AMA

Changed the name to Hercules Capital in Q1. It's a public BDC that does primarily senior secured structured debt in tech/life sci/clean tech with a "special opportunities" team (mezzanine). MD's are great, mostly from BB IBD, CEO is smart as shit and fun to work for if you're not in his crosshairs. No office in Chicago (it's 1 woman who makes sure we aren't trading public portfolio companies). Offices in Palo Alto and Boston - got 1 guy in NY, 1 in San Diego, and 1 in LA. The teams are specialized, but pretty broad in that life sci does med devices/biopharma/HCIT, and similar broad focus on the tech side too. We are publicly traded, and the only BDC that trades above book value (I think 1.7x NAV right now), and we pay a 9%+ dividend.

I love it because a lot of the companies are pre-revenue or early commercialization, so it's a bit of a different game. We structure our transactions around near term value inflection points and companies' current and future access to capital.

The younger guys have tons of visibility with mgmt, and it's the kind of place where you can reach as high as you want. What I mean by that is you can conduct an analysis and develop an investment thesis on your own, and the MDs really encourage that. We have small deal teams, so you can take a lot of responsibility if you want to.

Good visibility with mgmt teams at prospective companies, and good visibility with VCs. I've heard an MD say it's the best place to work if you're looking for a job. You get decent training in all aspects of transaction execution and working with 3rd party due diligence partners. It's good training for VC, PE, event driven HF, and operating roles, and I've seen ex-employees do all of the above.


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