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When Facebook’s first lockup expired, insiders rushed for the exits.The company’s first investor, Peter Thiel, cashed out. Early venture investor Accel Partners handed over its shares to its own investors. Cofounder Dustin Moskovitz is still unloading pieces of his position.
So, yesterday, when Yelp, another post-IPO Web company reached a lockup expiration, lots of short sellers thought its stock would decline too.
It did not. In fact, it finished up 22% on the day.
The reason? Yelp’s insiders did not sell yesterday.
Fortune has learned that venture capital backers like Bessemer Venture Partners, Benchmark Capital, DAG Ventures and Elevation Partners opted to neither sell nor distribute any Yelp shares today, despite having the opportunity to do so.
A source familiar with the situation also says that CEO Jeremy Stoppelman (founder & CEO) and board member Max Levchin also held onto their entire positions, but I have not yet been able to get secondary confirmation.
Yelp insiders may still sell, but the fact that they did not as soon as they could certainly weakens the argument some of us made that Facebook’s insider selling was not a negative signal for the company.
(We still maintain that Thiel, in particular, should not be a guide for anyone hoping to successful navigate the public markets.)
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