The Goldman Sachs Group (GS) is one of America’s largest financial services companies. The company provides diversified investment management through its investment banking, wealth management, and private equity divisions. Goldman Sachs services individuals and corporations with a preference for high-net-worth investors and large enterprises. The company's private equity arm is particularly active and—judging by its portfolio—is focused on acquiring some of the most exciting technology, retail, and financing companies in America. In this article, we take a brief look at the company's history as well as four of its notable investments.

Key Takeaways

  • Goldman Sachs regularly participates in venture and banking investment.
  • The firm was part of a $1 billion dollar round of funding for African e-commerce platform Jumia in 2016.
  • Goldman Sachs also contributed to Square's $590.5 million funding.
  • Australia's Judo Bank received a $100 million debt facility from Goldman Sachs in April 2019.
  • Goldman Sachs was part of two rounds of funding for Marqeta: $45 million in June 2018 and $260 million in May 2019. 

Goldman Sachs: A Brief Overview

Goldman Sachs is a multinational investment services company based in New York City. The company, founded in 1869, offers a range of services including asset management, brokerage, and investment management. The company serves both institutional and individual clients, as well as corporations and governments in over 30 different countries around the world.

As of 2019, Goldman Sachs was one of the leading bank globally by assets. It was also one of the largest asset managers worldwide. The company also holds the distinction of being one of the world's most valuable brands.

The company has led or participated in a number of different rounds of fundings for a variety of different companies over the years. Financing on the company's part has included both venture and banking investing.

Jumia

Jumia was founded in 2012 in Lagos, Nigeria, where it is currently based. The company is an e-commerce retailer, logistics service provider—much like Amazon. The company allows local African merchants to join the site to provide their goods and services to consumers. The company was also listed as one of three African unicorns—companies valued at over $1 billion—by CB Insights in 2018.

More than 81,000 African companies do business through Jumia. Some of the company's highlights include:

  • 1.2 billion consumers
  • Operations in 14 different countries
  • More than 700 million visits in 2018

Since November 2014, the company has raised a total of $823.7 million in a total of five rounds of funding, according to Crunchbase. Part of this funding included $326 million it received in 2016 which included a number of different companies including Goldman Sachs.

Considered one of Africa's unicorn companies, Jumia went public on the NYSE in 2019.

Jumia Goes Public

After months of consideration, Jumia decided to issue its initial public offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on Apr. 12, 2019—the first African startup to list on a major exchange. Shares opened at $14.50, with 13.5 million shares offered, raising a total of $196 million.

Jumia's Future?

The company claims plenty of growth potential. That's because, as of May 2020, 60% of Africa’s 1.34 billion people do not have access to the internet. Alphabet’s Google and Facebook hope to extend connectivity to populations in remote and poor areas of Africa. 

Square

Square is a financial services company and mobile payment company based in San Francisco. The company produces software and hardware payments products such as Square Contactless and Chip Reader, Square Stand, Square Register, and Square Magstripe Reader. Since launching in 2009, the company also branched off into the financing industry for small businesses. It also operates Cash App, a person-to-person payments service.

The company's IPO launched in November 2015 when it was valued at around $2.9 billion, according to Fortune. Shares traded at $9 each, with a total of 27 million shares issued on opening day.

Since 2009, Square has raised a total of $590.5 million in financing in nine different rounds of funding. Some of which has come from Goldman Sachs, which participated in the company's Series E-round of financing in October 2014. This round of funding earned Square a total of $150 million.

Judo Bank

Judo Bank is a more recent addition to Goldman Sachs' portfolio. The company provides financing and banking services to small and mid-sized businesses in Australia. Founded in 2016 with seed money from a series of Australian investors, it carried the name Judo Capital. In 2019, the company entered the retail deposit space.

The company's first funding round was in August 2018. Since, then the company has raised $1.5 billion in six founds of funding, according to Crunchbase. In April 2019, Judo secured a $100 million debt facility from Goldman Sachs. In November of 2018, Credit Suisse provided the company a $350 million debt facility, according to Financial Review.

Marqeta

Marqeta is another payment platform company. Based in Oakland, California, it offers technology and a platform for card issuing and processing.

Marqeta has raised a total of $528 million in eight different rounds of funding as of June 2020, according to Crunchbase. Goldman Sachs was part of a $45 million investment round in Marqeta in June 2018 and in another round for $260 million in May 2019.  This latest round of funding gives the company a valuation of around $4.3 billion, as of May 2020. According to Reuters, Goldman Sachs is attempting to offset its poor trading results by adding more retail operations and technology startups to its portfolio.