Archive for the ‘VCs’ Category

The Money Flows in the Collaborative Economy


Exchange Money Conversion to Foreign Currency

A series of significant monetary events have occurred.

In prior posts, I’ve covered the investment leaders by frequency and looked at funding in a category of 200 startups.  I found that 37% had been funded, with some receiving very large cash injections.  In the recent past, there have been some significant material events in the Collaborative Economy, including the following:

  • Avis secures a place in the ecosystem by buying Zipcar.  Zipcar to Avis for $491 million, January 2013.  To expand and defend mobility-as-a-service, Avis snaps up Zipcar.
  • PayPal spends $800 million on mobile payments player.  On Friday, PayPal bought Braintree for $800 million. This startup provides the mobile payments power for Uber, Airbnb, and other sharing startups.

A quick tally shows that funding-wise, that’s $444m (not including other startups, and additional Uber funding) and acquisition-wise, that’s $1.291b, not including the unknown Topcoder purchase. So why are big companies like Google, eBay and top investors like Andreessen and Menlo Ventures putting into this market?  Here’s a simple logic flow that helps to understand why this market matters to them.

Logic flow on why investors and tech companies are betting big on this market:

  1. They have ample technology.  These well-funded sharing startups, like Airbnb and Uber, leverage cheap, but powerful, technologies like Facebook Connect and Apple and Google hardware and mobile apps platforms.
  2. They’re efficient.  Using these startups, people are getting what they need from each other, often at a local level – rather than getting those things from corporations.
  3. They’re scalable.  Since these startups match idle inventory to buyers and renters at a local level, it means their operating costs are lower than traditional corporations, as there’s no overhead or inventory to manage.  These are scalable, two-sided marketplaces with low operating margins
  4. They shift power.  This, of course, spells disruption to inefficient institutions like corporations who pay no attention to this growing trend by which individuals are getting products, services, time and space from each other.

This means, the crowd is becoming like a company.  Airbnb is a hotel, Uber is transportation, Lending Club is a bank, Cookening is a restaurant, Yerdle is a retailer, Lockitron is a warehouse, Postmates is supply chain, and social networks are marketing.  Savvy investors and big tech companies are paying close attention to this market, injecting resources and acquiring en masse.  Corporations must pay attention, as many of these startups are directly aimed at better serving market needs – often unintentionally disrupting corporations.  The more successful they are at meeting market needs, the wider the disruption of corporate businesses will become.

Photo used with creative commons attribution by Epsos


Meet the Investors of the Collaborative Economy


100 Dollar Bills
Update:  The sample for the 200 startups was collected in February 2013, and does not, therefore, include a few startups that have since been launched.  I’ve  added a fourth graph at end of the article showing some additional Angel investors who have supports startups not in the original sampling.

As part of my ongoing research as an Industry Analyst on the Collaborative Economy (read all the posts), I have talked about market driversthe market challengescorporations who have jumped in, provided a list of startups, and published a definitive report called The Collaborative Economy.  I will now help you to better understand the funding aspect of this growing movement.  We obtained a list of 200 startups (appropriately using a Taskrabbit, I might add) in order to get our initial sample.  I recently published an infographic helping to reveal the patterns in this sample.  Now I want to expose some additional data about the force that funds this space.

Key Findings from the Collaborative Economy Funding:

  • Heavy Funding Has Spurred this Market Forward.  Across the 200 startups, I have found that 37% had been funded, with startups receiving an average of $29 million in funding.  The 200 had received over $2 billion in total funding, which is a very high amount for a largely undeveloped, pioneer market.  Interviews with several of the Venture Capitalists in this space indicated that they favor two-sided marketplaces which scale and have low inventory costs.  They are basically transaction machines akin to eBay or Netflix.
  • A Few Startups Received Exceptionally Large Funding Amounts.  Not all startups are equal.  Some have received far more funding than others.  These giants include players like AirBnb which received about $120 million; Lyft, which recently raised around $60 million; and Uber, securing over $57 million.  Most startups have not yet obtained such large funding amounts, although, as this market heats up, it will find additional funding opportunities.
  • SV Angel and Benchmark Funded Most Frequently.  San Francisco and Silicon Valley-based firms funded these firms most frequently, which coincides with the high concentration of Collaborative Economy startups in the SOMA district of the city.  In particular, SV Angel and Benchmark were the highest frequency funders, followed by Incubator/Accelerator 500 startups Andressen and Floodgate, which are located in the Silicon Valley and San Francisco area.
  • Market Has Received Early Stage Funding.  Of the total funding of the nearly 80 startups, most are in an early stage, with the most dominant being Seed round, followed by ‘A’ round. The other category includes non-disclosed personal loans, bootstrapped self loans, and the ambiguously termed ‘Venture Round,’ which could be construed to mean a variety of things.  This early market funding, which started to emerge about 3 years ago, matches the funding levels being shown.
  • Individual Investors Include Hollywood Stars and Internet Veterans.  Early stage funding often includes celebrity investors who want to get in on the action, angel investors, and a “friends and family” round of other successful entrepreneurs.  Ashton Kutcher has invested in 5 startups in this market, and seasoned internet exec, Keith Rabois, is reported to have individual investments in many startups in this market.  We should assume there are other personal loans and investments made that were not apparent in our public searches.

Graphics: Key Investors in the Collaborative Economy:
After segmenting the data, we comprised these graphs, based off frequency patterns per startup.

Screen Shot 2013-07-11 at 1.26.16 PM

Screen Shot 2013-07-11 at 1.33.54 PM

Screen Shot 2013-07-11 at 1.33.07 PM
Above: Individual investors are based off an updated sample size in Feb 2013, while data is accurate, it did not include new startups that were added to this market.

Screen Shot 2013-07-14 at 8.13.39 PM
Above, On July 14th, I’ve added the following graph, which includes new investors not in the original sample size, collected in Feb. In all cases these graphs are correct, but they represent different sample sizes. New investors include Mike Walsh and Shervin Pishevar, who take the lead, in terms of frequency.

Methodology and Data Notations

See the full data sample was from 200 startups in the Collaborative Economy.  Read the infographic to obtain a summary.  Special thanks to the Collaborative Consumption crew, as many of the names were obtained from their site.  Of the 37% who’d been funded, we mined public records ranging from Crunchbase, startup website, investor website, Wikipedia, news sources, and press releases to obtain data.  We don’t believe this list is complete, but it is a representative sample of funding from easily obtained public sources.

We included the term “venture round” is an ambiguous term which can be used in a variety of ways, in the ‘other’ category, as it’s used both in early stage and later stage funding rounds. Obtaining the exact amount of how much each firm or individual invested is next to impossible, so obtaining frequency, and estimating per round helps to determine a relatively reliable figure. Compounding this complexity, multiple investors are often involved in each round, making specific dollar amounts even more difficult to determine.  This information should not be used for official financial advice or guidance, but only for entertainment purposes only.

If you liked this post, see all my coverage and data on the VC market.  Photos used under Creative Commons, by Philip Taylor.

Meet the Investors of Social Networks and Social Media


Which VC invested the most frequently in Silicon Valley Social Networks? Surprise! They’re from NY! This is part of my continue industry analysis of the changing digital space (see all posts tagged VC), but probing which investors are most active –and are bellwethers for finding future growth companies.

NY Union Square Ventures Invested Most Frequently in Consumer Social Networks

Ever wonder who’s behind the backing of some of the fastest growing technology companies? To find out, I created tables and collected public data to list out the specific investors of each of the major social networks, and social media sites, and conducted frequency analysis of the investors to find out. This is part of my continued coverage of investors in the social business space, read the rest of my posts, analysis, and insights to this important group in our industry. One caveat, I’m not a financial analyst, I’m an industry analyst, and this data shouldn’t be considered for investment purposes.

Financial investment data of these social networking companies seems like it’s easy to get, but it’s very unstructured.    The data was all over the web, it was hard to find a single repository of information, common sources were press releases, wikipedia, CrunchBase, and corporate web pages.  It’s difficult to tell the specific amount each VC put into a shared investment round, even probing through the S-1 filings would not yield the specifics of each investor.

There was plenty of information about how much funding each startup received, but it wasn’t broken down by VC group.   This analysis is based of the public available data on investment funding of the following consumer social networks: Facebook, Groupon, Foursquare, Gowalla, Twitter, Zynga, LivingSocial, LinkedIn, Branch, Pinterest, Digg, Reddit, Instagram, Tumblr, Yelp, WordPress (Automattic), and Snapchat. Of these players, only a few had public available data that they’ve been funded. Then, we segmented the investments by individual round, then looked for pattern analysis on which VC firm had invested the most frequently.  Here’s the findings:

Variations on Investments Segments VC Strategies

  • Early Stage Funding Modest. Research found there were over 120 distinct investors, which includes about 50 individual investors or angels.  Among them, most investment rounds in A-X had multiple investors in each round.  A handful of angel and seed rounds had individual investors.   Seed round amount across the 17 startups was a mere $3m, yet the sum of the angel rounds grew to $863m, a big chunk of that amount is Reid Hoffmans multi million dollar investment into Zynga, which in some categories can be considered to be as large as some C or D rounds.
  • Later Stage Funding Balloons. Across this category of 17 social networks, the largest rounds of funding were within C and D, each over 1 billion. A Rounds across these startups were a sum of $85m, followed by B Rounds of $620m, C Rounds of $1,2b, D Rounds $1,7b, then a tapering off as E of $452m F of $376m and G Rounds of $110m.  As usual the later rounds had institutional investors, banks, and larger VC firms.  The amorphous term “venture round” (a sum of $2.5b) in this space was often a late stage growth round, which, in my opinion, was used to bolster valuation before a startups material event.
  • NY Union Square Ventures Leads the Way, Frequency Wise.  While this doesn’t account for total size of investments, we found that NY based Union Square Ventures invested in many deals, and had up to 14 investments in social networks over the past years. Like most rounds, they were involved in multi-investor deals, and frequently was involved in majority of A and B rounds.   This investor, placed many investments a early A, then came back for B through C after they saw traction.


Data: Frequency of VC firms who invested in consumer social networks
1. Union Square Ventures invested in 14 distinct investments:
Partial investor in Foursquare, Angel Round ($1.35M)
Partial investor in Foursquare, B Round ($20M)
Partial investor in Foursquare, C Round ($50M)
Partial investor in Twitter, A Round ($5M)
Partial investor in Twitter, B Round ($15M)
Partial investor in Twitter, C Round ($35M)
Partial investor in Zynga, A Round ($10M)
Partial investor in Zynga, A Round ($5.03M)
Partial investor in Zynga, B Round ($25M)
Partial investor in Tumblr, A Round ($750K)
Partial investor in Tumblr, B Round ($4.5M)
Partial investor in Tumblr, C Round ($5M)
Partial investor in Tumblr, D Round ($30M)
Partial investor in Tumblr, Venture Round ($85M)

2. Greylock Partners invested in 10 distinct investments
Partial investor in Facebook, B Round ($27.5M)
Partial investor in Groupon, D Round ($950M)
Partial investor in Gowalla, B Round ($8.29M)
Partial investor in LinkedIn, B Round ($10M)
Partial investor in LinkedIn, D Round ($53M)
Partial investor in Digg, A Round ($2.8M)
Partial investor in Digg, B Round ($8.5M)
Partial investor in Digg, C Round ($28.7M)
Partial investor in Instagram, B Round ($50M)
Partial investor in Tumblr, Venture Round ($85M)

3. Spark Capital invested in 9 distinct investments
Partial investor in Foursquare, C Round ($50M)
Partial investor in Twitter, B Round ($15M)
Partial investor in Twitter, C Round ($35M)
Partial investor in Twitter, D Round ($100M)
Partial investor in Tumblr, A Round ($750K)
Partial investor in Tumblr, B Round ($4.5M)
Partial investor in Tumblr, C Round ($5M)
Partial investor in Tumblr, D Round ($30M)
Partial investor in Tumblr, Venture Round ($85M)

4. Andreessen Horowitz invested in 8 distinct investments
Partial investor in Groupon, D Round ($950M)
Partial investor in Foursquare, B Round ($20M)
Partial investor in Foursquare, C Round ($50M)
Partial investor in Zynga, B Round ($15.2M)
Partial investor in Pinterest, B Round ($27M)
Partial investor in Pinterest, C Round ($100M)
Partial investor in Pinterest, D Round ($200M)
Partial investor in Instagram, Seed Round ($500K)

5. Bessemer Venture Partners invested in 8 distinct investments
Partial investor in LinkedIn, C Round ($12.8M)
Partial investor in LinkedIn, D Round ($53M)
Partial investor in LinkedIn, E Round ($22.7M)
Partial investor in Pinterest, A Round ($10M)
Partial investor in Pinterest, B Round ($27M)
Partial investor in Pinterest, C Round ($100M)
Partial investor in Pinterest, D Round ($200M)
Partial investor in Yelp, B Round ($5M)

6. SV Angel invested in 8 distinct investments
Partial investor in Facebook, B Round ($27.5M)
Partial investor in Foursquare, Angel Round ($1.35M)
Partial investor in Foursquare, B Round ($20M)
Partial investor in Gowalla, B Round ($8.29M)
Partial investor in Twitter, A Round ($5M)
Partial investor in Zynga, A Round ($10M)
Partial investor in Branch, Seed Round ($2M)
Partial investor in Digg, A Round ($2.8M)

Highlight: Digital Sky Technologies
While not a frequent investor, Russian based DST (I’ve had a dinner with Yuri to hear his strategy), when they did invest, it was large sums, and large amounts, their current investments include:
Lead investor of Facebook $200,000,000
Partial investor of Groupon $950,000,000
Partial  investor of Twitter Round  $400,000,000
Partial Investor of Zynga  $15,200,000

Concluding Remarks: At first, it’s surprising that the most frequent investor of silicon valley social networks is NY based Union Square ventures, but if you look at the pattern, they placed early bets, saw growth, then double and triple downed their investments. While frequency doesn’t account for total fund performance, it demonstrates the specific strategy some VC firms are playing. On the other hand, Russian Based DST places few bets, but when does, places them big and strong, after seeing growth. Both investment strategies are needed for emerging markets, both for initial catalyzing, then followed by acceleration, then increased in valuation. These patterns help to define the market maturity of a space, and you should use them to identify maturity stages in the markets in which you’re acting.


Social Networks by Revenue and Employees, Facebook Stands Above All


Facebook HQ
Above: Facebook’s employees hard at work in the open working conditions

As an Industry Analyst my role is to identify trends, market forecasts and publish my findings in research reports. As such, Industry Analysts are different than Financial Analysts, which I’m not. While I cite where I’ve found the data in the comments, I can’t ascertain the accuracy of some of these sometimes 3rd party data sources. Note that the 2012 revenues are reported at a different time from the employee headcount was likely reported (Q1, 2013) The following is not to be considered for investment purposes.

With that caveat behind us, the following analysis takes into consideration the following consumer and public facing consumer social networks.  To see enterprise class and business social business software vendors, see my additional posts on VCs and investing. While many of these startups did not have public available data, I conduct a breakdown of these startups:

Automattic (WordPress), Branch, Digg, Facebook, Foursquare, Gowalla, Groupon, Instagram, LinkedIn, LivingSocial, Pinterest, Reddit, Snapchat, Tumblr, Twitter, Yelp, and Zynga.  Here’s what I found:

2012 Revenue Per Employee
Comparing both revenue per employee, rate, we found some amazing efficiencies, in particular with Facebook, Zynga, and WordPress. Here’s a data table comparing the 2012 reported revenue over employee headcount, found from online public data.

Company 2012 Reported Revenues Employees Revenue Per Employee
Facebook $5,089,000,000 4,619 $1,101,753
Zynga $1,281,267,000 2,916 $439,391
Twitter $350,000,000 900 $388,888
Automattic (WordPress) $45,000,000 150 $300,000
LinkedIn $972,309,000 3,458 $281,176
Groupon $2,330,000,000 10,000 $233,000
LivingSocial $536,000,000 4,500 $119,111
Yelp $137,600,000 1,214 $113,344
Tumblr $13,000,000 151 $86,092
Foursquare $2,000,000 100 $20,000
Nasdaq 100: See how other companies fare Varies Varies Varies

Update: There are many comments coming in about Foursquare revenue, please see comment section, there is additional insights on fundraising, and their focus.

Facebook shows highest revenue per employee
As reported by public available data, Automattic, Zynga, Twitter, and Facebook are all making over $300k per employee, with tech salaries often ranging in 100k range, with additional costs, 300k is a benchmark number for revenue per employee that I often look for. For comparison, Facebook is pushing over $1m per employee, compared to Google (50b revenue for 53k reported employees) is about the same, at $946k per employee.  While WordPress team has a modest $45m their internal revenue per employee stands toe to toe with the big dogs.

Overall industry revenues in billions of dollars
Of these consumer social network, only eight had publically available revenue run rates for 2013, on average, they’re forecasting $3.7b. In total, they’re estimating revenues of $8.3b.  Last year, in 2012, ten of the consumer social network sites had publicly available revenues, which amount of $10.7 billion global revenues, averaged across the ten is $1.7b.

Some social networks boast rapid climb in revenues
These startups saw a rapid climb in revenues, on average these companies started in 2006, just seven years ago.  There were some startling accelerations in revenues, with Facebook achieving $5b in revenues in 8 years, reported by 2012 public revenues. While under business model scrutiny and executive change-up, Groupon started in 2008 and achieved $2.3b in revenues in four years reported in 2012.  Even with this acceleration, Facebook is still far behind Google, which boasts revenues of $50b in 13 years since inception.

Not all startups created equal, some have modest revenues
Many companies are no where near the $1b annual mark, in fact, several players are not on a growth trajectory.  Of the lower revenue performers of the group includes: Foursquare, (a low yield of $2m in revenues 2012), Tumblr blogging software ($13m revenues in 2012), and long time Automattic, the makers of WordPress ($45m revenues in 2012).

Industry workforce, over 28k professionals
We can’t look at revenues alone, as these numbers don’t take costs into accounts, and found that LivingSocial employs 4,500, and surprisingly, Groupon employs a whopping 10,000 employees.  All together, across these 17 consumer social networks, they employed 28,177 professionals.   Obviously, this number doesn’t take into account 3rd party software like social media management systems (SMMS) and digital agencies, consultants, and of course, industry analyst firms.

Coming Soon: Who made returns? Meet the VCs and Investors of the Consumer Social Networks

(creative commons usage of image by Jakob Steinschaden)

The Rhythm of The Software Industry Impacts Business Buyers


ice age

Above Photo: Like analyzing the rings on a tree stump,  our natural environment gives us clues on where we’ve been, and where we’re going.

Have you ever noticed a set of patterns in the industry that come in sequence?  A series of startups getting funded, or acquired in rapid sequence?  Or perhaps, a series of software suites that offer you the chance to be a lighthouse early adopter client with all the bells and whistles at a low cost?  For the astute, you may be noticing a natural pattern that our industry goes through, every year. Just as our bodies, the planet, and weather go through natural rhythms and cycles, technology markets also have their own set of cadence and flows. While the below patterns aren’t universal, I’ve observed over the years the software space has it’s own natural rhythm, and I’d like to share my industry observations.

  • Winter VC vacations influences market moves.  Strangely, much of this stems from when VCs go on vacation. I’ve been spending more time on Sand Hill road, to understanding how their funding impacts the market years out.  VCs have competency in guiding a company, influencing direction, and brokering a sale. The second half of Dec is often the quiet period from Sand Hill as many a VC takes an extended vacation. During this time, deal flow comes to a crawl, and people spend time with their families.   It’s very difficult for a startup to quickly sell if their investors and board of directors are away.  Brands also prepare their budgets in winter, and ready for purchasing or renewing contracts, causing an influx of resources in software startups.
  • Spring spurs funding and acquisition talks.  In the second and third month of the year, we start to see some checks being written, and I saw two B rounds funded in my own space, and a handful of others. Often, the corp dev leads start the acquisition hunt in spring, and I witness many a CEO and CTO touring up and down highway 101 where the large blue chip software companies are located, in hopes of striking up partnerships or posturing for a sale. Teams from both sides often end up at local events, or even at meetings in my office, so I can see this particular cycle, first-hand.   Buyers of technology are in roll-out mode of their annual plans, and aligning software to their business goals including campaigns, new product launches, or system integration.
  • Summertime focuses on lighthouse customers. A lighthouse customers is an early adopter of a technology that a tech vendor will want to feature in marketing efforts, conferences, and as a customer reference during sales cycles. While last year had a rash of M&A in 2012, we should expect more acquisitions to occur around summer, so the large blue chip software companies can complete their suites, and onboard lighthouse customers. For companies that made mass acquisitions last year, they’re often tearing down the software and rebuilding it in the native software stack, they also onboard lighthouse customers.  This is an opportunity for passion brands to cut deals with software vendors at lower cost, but expect to be amplified and used as a customer testimonial in Fall.
  • Fall vendor conference season fosters solution selling. Solution selling is the practice of combining multiple pieces of software, services, and strategy to offer increased value-add to buyers.   These solution messages are the primary banner being waved as the large software vendors initiate their conferences. Often these conferences feature the newly on boarded lighthouse customers and made their acquisitions they prepare for the culmination event which is to tell a solution-based story on stage at their own conferences. The lighthouse customers from the prior bullet can use this as an opportunity for low-cost marketing as the vendors want them to tell their story, or will reference the good work the customers have completed. Expect this above cycle to continue to repeat.

Buyers of Technology Must Watch Market Nuances. 
So there you have it, VC vacation schedule can actually influence how brands are featured on stage at a large conference in the fall. Buyers of technology must understand the rhythm of the space as it will impact the level of service they will receive and pricing of software and services.  It’s important that buyers also know the relationship of the investors of a vendor they choose as they help to indicate a pattern of a company seeking to go it alone to IPO, or a player seeking to be purchased by a larger player, forcing the brand to consider a suite of services that may not be compatible with their existing stack.  System integrators and digital agency shops must also follow these dance moves, as it will cause rifts in technology integration, which yield both pain, but business opportunities to integrate for brands at a cost.  Brands seeking low-cost marketing by leveraging a vendor to tell their story should cozy up to software suites right after an acquisition, in hopes of being featured on the main stage of the software vendor’s fall conference and webinar series throughout the year.

What patterns and cycles do you see in business that have greater ramifications to business? Leave a comment below, let’s have a dialog.

Thank you Lithium CMO Katy Keim for spurring me to write this. 

Winner Circle: The Social Business VCs Who Achieved Material Events


Kentucky Speedway winners circle

The purpose of this post is to identify investors who have had a material event (IPO or acquisition) in the Social Business Software space. Read my other posts in this series tagged VC.

Our continued research over VCs and investors in the market continues, yesterday, I presented highlights at the Corporate Venturing Innovation conference, and showed the highlights to LPs and Corporate Bankers of who’s making bets –and who’s winning. The following data was also covered in PEHub, and generating interest from entrepreneurs seeking funding. As an Industry Analyst, it’s key that we understand consumer behaviors, business adoption, and startups, but also funding patterns as they influence startup growth or stagnation.

Scope of Research and Methods

  • Definition of Social Business Software: SaaS based software companies that provide social software to corporations to use. Popular names include Jive, Buddy Media, Radian6, Lithium, Hootsuite. This does not include consumer social networks like Facebook and Twitter, a report I’ll publish in near future.
  • VC, Investor, Angel: These are all investors in the Social Business Software spaces. They often receive money from LPs (Limited Partners) who charge them for investing in markets. On average, VC firms have a 1-3% management fee of overall fund they manage, and have a carry of 10-30% of total take of return from a fund.
  • Altimeter conducted analysis of a data set of 55 Social Business Software companies (see list here) in Dec, and has not updated data set to reflect recent funding events, including Sprinklr, Spredfast this week.
  • One caveat that applies to all the following data, we cannot determine specific amount of which VC firm or investor has put into each round of investment. Even within the financial S-1 docs there’s cloudy wording on which firm put in what amount.

VCs are a key component of startups, they provide council, open doors, and can even help with auxiliary functions like recruiting, conferences, and biz dev relationships. Savvy VCs are doing value add beyond the check, and are starting to couple their portfolio together to build larger networks. Knowing which investor has blessed a startup is key, as it demonstrates confidence in the business model, executive team, and product roadmap. Buyers of social business should ask five key questions of startups about their investors. With that said, having investors is not a requirement, as one-third of startups did not take in investment as they can often go it alone.

Winner Circle: Social Business VCs Achieving Material Events
The following lists the startups with exit, and we listed each round of funding and who’s the investors:

Buddy Media (Acquisition)
Buddy Media acquired for an estimated $689M (source), raised a total of

  • $5M WPP Digital
  • $1.5M Roger Ehrenberg, James Altucher, Howard Lindzon, Peter Thiel, Mark Pincus
  • $6.5M SoftBank Capital, Greycroft Partners, European Founders Fund, Ron Conway
  • $23M SoftBank Capital, Greycroft Partners, Institutional Ventures, Bay Partners
  • $54M Institutional Ventures, Bay Partners, GGV Capital, Insight Ventures

CoTweet (Acquisition)
Acquired for apparently $8.1m (source)

  • $1.1M Founders Fund, Baseline Ventures, First Round Capital, Freestyle Capital, SV Angel, Floodgate Fund

Vitrue (Acquisition)
Acquired for an estimated $300M (source)

  • $2.2M General Catalyst Partners
  • $3.8M General Catalyst Partners, Comcast Ventures, Turner Broadcasting,
  • $10M General Catalyst Partners, Comcast Ventures, Dace Ventures
  • $17M General Catalyst Partners, Dace Ventures, Scale Venture Partners, Advent Venture Partners

Wildfire (Acquisition)
WildFire acquired for an estimated $350M, with $100m retention bonus (source)

  • $100K fbFund
  • $4M Summit Partners, Jeff Clavier, Gary Vaynerchuk, 500 Startups, Felicis Ventures
  • $10M Summit Partners

Radian6 (Acquisition)
Acquired for an estimated $326m (source)

  • $4M BDC Venture Capital, Brightspark Ventures, Summerhill Venture Partners
  • $5M BDC Venture Capital, Brightspark Ventures, Summerhill Venture Partners

Jive (IPO)
Market Cap. at $161M; currently at market cap of $994.91M and $15.47 share price as of 2/1/2013

  • $15M Sequoia Capital
  • $12M Sequoia Capital
  • $30M Sequoia Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

BazaarVoice (IPO)
Market Cap. at $114M; currently at market cap of $560.19M and $7.84 share price as of 2/1/2013

  • $4M Austin Ventures, Constantin Partners, First Round Capital
  • $8.8M Austin Ventures, Constantin Partners, First Round Capital, Battery Ventures
  • $7.1M Austin Ventures, Constantin Partners, Battery Ventures

First Round Capital (coincidentally, not from CA, although with SF offices) leads the pack with 2 material events, including investing two rounds in BazaarVoice with a double down. Sequoia bet hard on Jive, and yielded a strong IPO, and Jive posted a strong year with over $104 million in billings for 2011, Austin Ventures continues to be the leader in frequency of bets in social business, but also was involved in BazaarVoice IPO  The following firms had one material event, and invested in one startup, in two rounds:  Austin Ventures, Battery Ventures, Bay Partners, BDC Venture Capital, Brightspark Capital, Comcast Ventures, Constantin Partners, General Catalyst Partners, Greycroft Partners, Institutional Partners, Sequoia, SoftBank, Sommerhill Venture Partners, Summit Partners.  

There’s 20 other folks listed above, including angels that are too numerous to list, but I’ve segmented funding frequency by round on a prior report.  There doesn’t appear to be any clear lucky streak among this investment class, although First Round has also heavily invested in Gigya in later stage rounds, so it would be key to watch their movements as they continue to grow.  This is just a snapshot in time, and while IPO market is unfavorable now, expect most exits to closely tie to M&A this spring, before the large software companies go on their conference tour of a larger suite.  Expect additional M&A to happen this year, although IPOs will be fewer and far between in 2013 in social business software.

Stay tuned for future analysis on VC impacts on consumer social networks.

Photo used under Flickr Creative Commons by Haglundc