SecondMarket Q3 Private Market Results: Soundin’ Kinda Tertiary, Dawg

The startup built to help normal folks like you and me  (who happen to have $1M laying around and/or made over $200K in the last two years) can trade in private companies like Facebook and Twitter has released their third quarter private market results for 2011! What does SecondMarket have behind Door Number Q3! (UPDATED)


Q1: SecondMarket reports $115.4M in transactions, a 52% quarter-on-quarter increase, 152 percent over the six months prior. Bloomberg puts them on track to move over $1B through the company in 2011.

Q2: SecondMarket posts a total of $268M in 2011 so far. Not too close to that $1B in 2011, but the good news is that they now report their 1Q as having been $156M instead of the originally reported $115.4M. How’d they lose track of the $40.6M? Beats us! While touting their totals, they fail to put the full Q2 take at the top: $112M, a 32.2% quarter-on-quarter increase a 28.2% decrease in trading volume, not quite the 52% meteoric growth their Q1 report clocked in—but they touted their 75% year-over-year.

And today?

Q3: $167M in transactions, putting them year-to-date at $435M. This leaves them a solid three months to cover a pithy $565M and meet that $1B in 2011 mark. Math!

They’re touting a 75% year-to-year uptick, which you’ll notice they also did in Q2, but they are not touting—take a guess—their 9.4% quarter-to-quarter increase 49% quarter-to-quarter increase in trading volume. But there’s something missing from this, because:

SecondMarket’s quarter-to-quarter trading volume is dropping like a ball in a Mets outfielder’s glove is still only up 7% from Q1, which is not entirely like a fly ball in CitiField, but isn’t exactly a double, either. That’s a 49% quarter-to-quarter increase on a quarter in which they were down 28.2%. That may have something to do with falling short on their much-hyped potential to broker Facebook shares.

Also, earlier this month:

SecondMarket exceeded the 75,000 participant mark, with more than 7,000 individuals and institutions signing up in the third quarter. This represents nearly a 10% increase quarter-on-quarter and 333% increase since Q3 2010.

That sounds nice! But means nothing. Why?

Because you don’t need to have a million dollars to sign up for it. You can be as broke as us and put SecondMarket companies on your “Watch List!” [Kind of like signing up on foursquare just to avoid people you hate, by “friending” them and not checking in anywhere.]

Speaking of foursquare, elsewhere in their Q3 report, we learn that foursquare and Gilt Groupe remain in the most watched companies on SecondMarket, though their positions on that list (#5 and #9, respectively) are unchanged. In the “Rising Stars” section, New York-based Turntable.FM saw a 500% uptick in “Watchers.” Also on that list are Jetsetter, KickStarter, and ZocDoc: all New York companies!

This would be nice if that number mattered in the least.

500%! 66 Watchers! That means that Turntable.FM started out with 11 Watchers in Q2, and picked up 55 “Watchers” in those three months. Meanwhile, ZocDoc climbed a sad 142% to 63 Watchers, which means they picked up 37 Watchers from Q2. The difference in SecondMarket’s “Rising Stars” are 18 people clicking the “Watch” button, which warrants the question: WHO WILL WATCH THE WATCHERS?

In short:

  • SecondMarket’s Q3 results look downright tertiary compared with their Q1 boasts.
  • They’re going to fall short of the $1B in trading volume Bloomberg pegged them hitting in 2011 at the beginning of the year.
  • The statistics about “Watchers” mean very little.
  • But hey, have you heard about this Turntable.FM thing?
  • Finally, if Facebook would stop being such bummers and let SecondMarket move their stock, life would be way cooler.

Also, they’d be sued by people who don’t really understand their role in trading on secondary markets a lot less. Which helps.

CORRECTION: Our math originally reflected the Q1 report released by SecondMarket in May; we missed the footnote on their Q2 report correcting their first quarter’s results by $40.6M. So it looks like TechCrunch’s math was right, even if they didn’t report the loss in the second quarter, which takes some of the shine off of Q3. Finally, Bloomberg were the ones to put SecondMarket on track for $1B in 2011. We regret the error. SecondMarket Q3 Private Market Results: Soundin’ Kinda Tertiary, Dawg