Venture capital investing isn’t for the faint of heart. Years of big wins are often followed by years of big losses; consistent performance is hard to come by. From March 2013 to March 2014, U.S. venture investors outperformed the S&P 500 by 40 percent, according to Cambridge Associates, which advises institutional investors. Yet over five years, the S&P 500 returned 32 percent more.
But a small group of well-connected individual investors are now viewing certain corners of the rough-and-tumble venture world—namely late-stage deals involving big, private tech companies—as something of a safe haven, according to a number of people who are involved in such deals but insist on anonymity because their shareholdings aren’t public.