Ebay acquires StumbleUpon for $75M (Venture Beat)
While there was some speculation as to the reasons why eBay made this deal, the capital network shows some indirect ties between StumbleUpon and eBay. This is noted in the below relational map of eBay (as investor and company) and StumbleUpon:
Relational Map for eBay/StumbleUpon. Notes: There are two capital paths between eBay and StumbleUpon: (1) eBay as an investor (orange oval): eBay as investor in Feedster –> Josh Kopelman (Board Advisor to Feedster) –> StumbleUpon (Kopelman as Board Member); (2) eBay as a company (green box): Benchmark Capital (eBay investor) ties to Ram Shriram (via Friendster), Mitch Kapor (via Linden Lab), & Ron Conway (via OpenTable & oDesk) as angel investors in StumbleUpon; and Bob Kagle (Benchmark) board interlock tie to Ram Shriram (via Friendster) as angel investor in StumbleUpon. (Source: LinkSV.com)
MySpace to buy Photobucket? (Venture Beat)
The apparent acquisition of Photobucket by MySpace for $250M has some precedence from a venture capital perspective. By examining the capital map combining MySpace with Photobucket I found a former tie between the two. Realize that each only has one main investor: Trinity Ventures (Photobucket) and HP (MySpace). By filtering in inactive company ties, one connection emerged between HP and Trinity: Speedera Networks. Speedera Networks (total capital raised in 4 rounds = $53.3M) was acquired by Akamai Technologies for $130M in 2005 - Trinity and HP were among 10 of the investors in Speedera. Thus, HP and Trinity have had a previous acquisition experience together, albeit they were on the same side of the table on the deal. This relationship is shown in the below map (pendants dropped), followed by a map including pendants = current and former board and management team members for Photobucket and MySpace (Source: LinkSV.com).
Zazzle zooms in Alexa Rankings: The Top Alexa Mover and Shaker for the week moved up from 4,028 to 760 (granted, Alexa is only one measure). Zazzle personalizes t-shirts, coffee mugs, stamps, etc. The movement is in no doubt due to a big ad campaign, but they are nevertheless generating some pageview interest. Here is Zazzle’s Relational map:
Zazzle Relational Map. Notes: (1) Zazzle is funded by KPCB and Sherpalo (their only 2 investors); (2) John Doerr and Ram Shriram sit on the board (their only 2 outside board members); (3) Zazzle has capital relations with Google, Tellme, and Podshow (it is a full Kleiner-Sherpalo sibling); and (4) Zazzle and Google are the only two companies that have both Doerr and Shriram on their current board.
Cisco buys NeoPath, a network storage company (Venture Beat)
NeoPath Relational Map (Pendants dropped, Inactive companies included). Notes: (1) Cisco was an investor in NeoPath; (2) Cisco relational investment ties to August Capital = BroadLogic & Ubicom; (3) All of the active companies are private; (4) Only 1 inactive acquired company = Caw Networks; and (5) Cisco relational investment tie to Bill Joy (Caw).
VC Ratings @ thedeal.com reports on the company The Funded, which offers ratings for VC Firms. A blurb on the post that drew my attention:
While the news and opinion in this blog hopefully provide readers with a sense of which VCs are doing well (and badly) and why, there is little quantitative analysis that would provide statistical-backed insight into not just which firms are doing good work, but which individual partners adds value to those around them.
I believe that our Relational Capital Index would be a good metric along these lines. The main idea here is the quantification of network relations based on the strategic value of VC firm connections. More to come: (1) we plan on publishing our rankings of Silicon Valley Investment and People (Board) Relational Capital; (2) we will incorporate network metrics as an optional advanced feature on LinkSViewer. For those who want to learn more, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cisco acquries WebEx for $2.9 billion (Venture Beat)
People Map for WebEx/Cisco/Tibco (Direct ties only). Notes: (1) Vivek Ranadive (Tibco CEO) is a board advisor to WebEx; (2) Cisco invested in Tibco; and (3) Tibco invested in WebEx.
Joshua Jaffe of thedeal.com found/applied a LinkSViewer map to illustrate Tellme Network relations (cool, this how I envision our tool being used). He posed an interesting supposition on his VCRatings blog:
What also comes through by analyzing TellMe’s network is that another capital-thirsty Kleiner Perkins and Benchmark portfolio company, Good Technology, also found a buyer a few months ago. A pattern, perhaps? I’m not sure, but other co-investments by the pair include Infinera, which has filed for an IPO, and Friendster, which is huge in the Philippines.
I got to thinking, what other Silicon Valley deals were Kleiner Perkins and Benchmark involved in? For this I examined their combined Company Map (Company filter = Active + Inactive companies; Investor Filter = 3 Types unchecked; orange and red links hidden):
Benchmark/Kleiner Company Map - This cluster indicates their active and inactive company co-investments. Note how 11/15 (including Tellme Networks) were acquired, 3 are public, and only 1 (Friendster) is private. What is most interesting is that 14/15 of their co-investments have resulted in exits (some more successful than others).
This map helps validates Joshua’s initial supposition, that Kleiner Perkins and Benchmark have been co-investors on their share of acquisitions. And given the recent leverage of Friendster (round funding on 8/06, patent grants, and users in the Philippines), this is likely to be a perfect 15/15 in the Valley. If I were a company looking for funding, this connection would in all probability guarantee some form of exit (and to be fair 20% went IPO). There must be something about the Kleiner/Benchmark connection…
Registered LinkSViewer users are encouraged to explore interesting maps for key connections. Let us know if you find a cool map using the ”email this map” feature to email@example.com and drop us a comment briefly describing your map/issue. We can help you post it to your blog, you can guest post it to our blog, or we will post it and give you props (if you like). Happy mapping!
As noted in an earlier post on Benchmark Capital, Tellme Networks was rumored to be seeking a buyer. Google is apparently seriously interested - to the tune of $800M. I decided to map Google and Tellme together to see if there are any relational capital ties between them. First, the Investment Map of the common investors between Google and Tellme:
Tellme/Google Investment Map (Common investors only). Both Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Sherpalo Ventures invested in both companies. Note a similar co-investment relationship with PodShow and Zazzle. Sherpalo has only 8 Silicon Valley company investments (according to the LinkSV database), and half of them are with Kleiner Perkins. Next, the Board Map…
Taleo buys job applicant management company, JobFlash (Venture Beat)
Taleo links to JobFlash via Five9. Note the key gatekeepers connecting the network: David Samuel (Mosaic); David Welsh (Partech); Mitchell Kertzman (Hummer Windblad); Mark Bertelsen (WSGR).
Cisco’s love affair for Web 2.0 continues, buys Tribe assets (Venture Beat)
Cisco connects to Tribe via Mayfield: 5 out of 8 of their SV co-invested companies have been acquired.
The titles get even cornier…recalling my college days writing punny space-constrained headlines as a sports page copy editor at the UCLA Daily Bruin (burning whatever “free” time I had as an EE). This post refers to Cisco’s recent acquisition of XML gateway technology company Reactivity for $135M. I decided to map the two together. I performed a LinkSViewer Quick Search for Cisco, Reactivity. From the Results page, I clicked on Cisco as an Investor and Reactivity as a Company. Then I displayed their relational map, filtered out private companies, and dropped pendants for the below Relational Map:
Cavium Networks recently filed for IPO status. What does its investment network look like? I mapped its Investment Relational Map, included inactive companies in the Company Filter, and Added Capital Information + Number of Total Investors and Investments from the Map Options. The resultant Map is below.