Has South Park Finally Become a New Sand Hill Road?
April 13, 2015 - Picnic Time
Come June, Redpoint Ventures will be opening a new bureau in a still tiny enclave of South Park in San Francisco. The organisation is a latest in a prolonged line of try firms to make a pierce here, substantiating an central participation in a city along with their strange locations in Silicon Valley.
In a final dual years, a vast cube of investors have finished adult within a one retard radius of any other in South Park, with 8 firms now staking out domain in a tiny ancestral neighborhood.
Nikhil Basu Trivedi, an financier during Shasta Ventures, strolled past a old-fashioned homes that line South Park, pointing out buildings that try collateral firms have recently taken over. “That tiny residence used to be a bicycle shop,” he said. “Now, it’s Norwest [Venture Partners’] offices.”
A tiny over down he gestured to a hollowed-out building underneath construction, where Redpoint will shortly be. He ticked off others on his fingers: “True Ventures was initial to South Park, years ago. We changed next them Sep 2013. Kleiner [Perkins] came 6 or 9 months later. A later-stage organisation called Founders Circle is in a building too.”
The firms he named aren’t a usually ones — Google Ventures set adult emporium in South Park in Jan 2014 and Accel Partners and SoftTech VC have offices reduction than a retard away.
With a further of Redpoint, there is no doubt now that South Park has morphed entirely into a new Sand Hill Road.
“It’s Sand Hill, though with travel art and improved burritos,” combined Redpoint’s Ryan Sarver. “There are good attributes of Sand Hill, though it’s insular and isolated, there [are] no people using into any other — you go to a office, we have a assembly and you’re done.”
For a uninitiated, Sand Hill Road is a entrance in Menlo Park, Calif., where for decades scarcely all a vital try investment firms have resided. Since Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers initial arrived in a 1970s, it’s where many vital tech companies have been pitched and funded.
For those perplexing to make it in tech, Sand Hill Road is some-more than usually a place — it has become the pitch of guarantee and possibility, where dreams go to take moody or die in treks by a suburban bureau complexes.
It still continues to be a investment mecca — Kleiner, Andreessen Horowitz, DFJ and dozens of others are still ensconced there. But, in new years, many firms have also set adult outposts in San Francisco, as income follows a talent and startup appetite shifts north. That has been a transparent trend recently, as consumer association founders and a engineers who work for them preference a hipper enclaves of a city over a stodgy suburbs of a South Bay.
While VC firms have located elsewhere in a city — Benchmark has staked out a vast bureau in a mid-Market Street area, along with Greylock Partners — they have selected South Park overwhelmingly.
South Park crêperie The Butler and The Chef owner Joel Martin has watched a area change from his roost as a internal business owner. “South Park is like being inside a theater,” he said. “[The VCs] usually wish to have a mark with a cold kids.”
If that’s a case, nothing of a investors we interviewed would acknowledge to it, all observant they didn’t pierce nearby one another on purpose. “It’s been serendipitous,” pronounced Google Ventures’ M.G. Siegler.
What they do acknowledge is a need for speed. With extreme foe over a best startup deals, try capitalists need to be tighten to a people they’re wooing. “We don’t trust so most in a big, grave meetings as we do a frequent, some-more infrequent updates and encounters,” pronounced Jon Callaghan, a partner during True Ventures. “That done South Park a good choice for us.”
Apparently, founders and investors can strike into any other casually on a sidewalk, in line during a booze bar/grocery store Small Foods, or during Caffe Centro. “Sometimes we have people over and we go lay on one of those cruise tables in South Park,” pronounced Norwest’s handling partner Jeff Crowe. “Or I’ll travel by and see other VCs out there, and I’ll stop and discuss with them.”
Sean Flynn, handling partner during Shasta Ventures, remembers a identical extemporaneous confront assisting him tighten a understanding on recruiting a senior-level worker to a portfolio company.
On Sand Hill Road, a usually place for random encounters was a Rosewood — a hotel busy by a abounding and powerful. “I would be during a Rosewood maybe once each quarter,” Flynn said. “But we travel out onto a streets of San Francisco each day.”
It isn’t a initial time in South Park’s story that a grassy knoll and available plcae captivated a rich and powerful. The neighborhood, one of San Francisco’s first-ever parks, was built in a 1800s as a private area for a city’s high-fliers. According to papers from a San Francisco Parks and Recreation Department, “established in 1852, South Park was creatively recognised as a London-style city garden, ringed with upscale residences.”
The area was home to boat captains and senators, unfamiliar consuls and justices of a state Supreme Court, “widows” and even a male whose contention simply review “Grain King.”
But a movers and shakers of a city didn’t stay in South Park forever. The 1906 trembler decimated a strange mansions, and a city eventually rebuilt a area as a churned residential-industrial space where operative category Japanese and Filipino merchants lived. It wouldn’t attract a courtesy of upperclass residents again until a late 1990s, when a early dot-com entrepreneurs detected South Park’s open lofts, available structures for tiny five-person startups.
These days, genuine estate prices here have skyrocketed during an even aloft rate than a rest of San Francisco. Connie Chung, a Vanguard realtor focused on a neighborhood, pronounced that a normal 1,200-square-foot loft in South Park rents during $4,500 a month, compared to $2,000 a month in 2011. “Some of a prices are absurd and sky-high and don’t make any sense,” Chung said.
While VCs can feet that bill, not everybody else can do a same. Although South Park is traditionally a startup breakwater — it’s where both Instagram and Twitter were initial headquartered — it might not stay that approach for long.
“The VCs are cannibalizing their possess startups,” pronounced John Milinovich, a CEO of South Park-based URX.