Investors have been trying to guess how the Goldman Sachs (GS) business model will morph, especially as the firm moves away from proprietary trading. Interestingly enough, it looks like a part of the new strategy will be a focus on venture capital deals. Of course, the standout transaction was the investment in Facebook.
But there is another interesting one, which was announced Wednesday: a $70 million minority stake in AppSense.
AppSense is a top player in the red-hot space of user virtualization. Basically, this solves the tough problem of getting information to other devices that go beyond the desktop. Based in Europe, AppSense will now have the capital to get aggressive in the U.S. market.
And the market opportunity is quite lucrative. A study from IDC forecasts that it will go from $1.52 billion in 2010 to $2.5 billion by 2014.
As should be no surprise, AppSense has been growing at a rapid rate. Sales increased 60% last year to about $47 million. There are roughly 4,000 customers.
For Goldman, it is certainly looking for an IPO exit. Although, it will probably not be until three to four years from now. Yet, when it comes to making large returns, it is often necessary to be early.