About

WHAT WE DO

137 Ventures is a leading provider of customized liquidity solutions to founders, investors, and early employees of growth-stage private technology companies.

We structure transactions to align our interests with those of shareholders and their companies, while simultaneously offering market leading risk-adjusted returns to our investors. In addition to personalized liquidity solutions, 137 Ventures also participates in primary direct equity financing rounds. Founded in 2011, we have raised four funds and have more than $850M in assets under management.

Benefits to our approach:

Trusted Partner

137 is a trusted partner with a robust venture capital network

More Upside

Defer tax payments and retain more equity upside compared to a conventional secondary sale

Compliant Transactions

Abide by all company transfer restrictions and stockholders keep voting rights

No 409A Impact

Avoid transactions that cause a re-pricing of the company’s 409A valuation

Aside from investing in private technology companies, 137 Ventures also leverages its expertise and extensive networks to support entrepreneurs/founders by providing guidance and introductions to vetted professional service providers commonly sought by entrepreneurs, including: corporate attorneys, trust and estate attorneys, private wealth managers, banking relationships including mortgage providers, real estate brokers, insurers, and fellow venture capital firms.

WHAT WE LOOK FOR

GROWTH-STAGE COMPANIES

137 Ventures invests in growth-stage private technology companies.

Growth-stage companies are characterized by product market fit at scale, high-growth, and a repeatable sales process.

PRODUCT MARKET FIT AT SCALE

$10’s of millions in annual revenue up to more than $1 billion

HIGH-GROWTH

>50% growth per year expected over next 3 – 5 years

REPEATABLE SALES PROCESS

Diversified customer base generating predictable revenue stream and unit economics

DURABLE BUSINESS MODELS

137 Ventures is sector agnostic and focuses on investing in companies with durable business model dynamics that strengthen with scale.

Examples of desired business model dynamics include positive feedback loops such as network effects, economies of scale, and information asymmetries.

NETWORK EFFECTS

Product or service becomes more valuable to existing customers with increased scale

ECONOMIES OF SCALE

Cost structure of product or service decreases as scale increases

INFORMATION ASYMMETRIES

Data collected from existing customers makes product more valuable to new customers

What Is 137

Name Explained

Founding partner Justin Fishner-Wolfson’s grandfather, Haney Fishner, had a seat on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) until 1991. During his tenure, his annunciator number was 137. The annunciator board and its corresponding numbers were used to page members of the exchange and conduct business. In the early 1900s, the over 24 miles of wiring for its annunciator board was one of the most notable features of the NYSE. In 1980, the board was disassembled and replaced by a computerized display system.

137 is a prime number, and further, it also has some unique prime characteristics. 137 is a twin prime, which is when a prime number differs from another prime number by two. Except for the pair (2, 3), this is the smallest possible difference between two primes. 137 and 139 are a twin prime pair. Further, 137 is also a Chen prime. In 1966, a Chinese mathematician, Chen Jingrun, proved that every sufficiently large even number can be written as the sum of a prime and a semi prime (the product of two primes). A prime number p is a Chen prime if p + 2 is either a prime or a product of two primes. 137 satisfies Chen’s theorem, because 137+2=139, which is also prime.

In physics, the inverse of 137 approximates the fine structure constant, which represents the probability that an electron will absorb a photon. Since the early 1900’s, physicists have thought that 137 might be at the heart of a Grand Unified Theory (GUT), which could relate the theories of electromagnetism, quantum mechanics and gravity, but physicists have yet to find any link between the 137 and any other physical law in the universe. It was expected that such an important equation would generate an important number, like one or pi, but this was not the case. 137 is usually denoted by α, which in investment terms has its own significance as the excess return above a benchmark index.

When a vinculum is added, 137 becomes 1337, l33t or leet, also known as eleet or leetspeak. 1337 is an alternative alphabet that is used primarily online. It uses various combinations of ASCII characters to replace letters. Leetspeak was first used by hackers in the 1980s as a way to prevent websites and news groups from being found by simple keyword searches. It was also used to show status on a bulletin board system (BBS). Since then, it’s become popular in online games to suggest that its user is a skilled hacker (h4x0r).