Busy as Ever, Technology Crossover Ventures Expands into Europe

Technology Crossover Ventures, the tech-focused, growth-stage venture capital firm based in Palo Alto, is apparently seeing more opportunity across the Atlantic. It just opened a London office that’s being led by John Rosenberg, a GP who joined TCV in 2000 and who has focused on software, Internet, and financial technology companies since.

Rosenberg will be working alongside John Doran, a principal who TCV hired away from the London office of Summit Partners, which Doran joined in 2009. (Interestingly, Doran was also a member of the Irish Davis Cup team for eight years, so if TCV needs to seal any deals over tennis, it has its man.)

TCV primarily buys stakes in private companies, though it occasionally acquires stock in public companies. And while much of what the company does happens off the media’s radar, the 17-year-old firm appears to be as active as ever in both gobbling up and selling shares, given the now hundreds of mostly U.S.-based companies it has backed in it history.

On the selling front, for example, this month, TCV sold millions of shares in the interactive marketing software company ExactTarget, which went public in March. TCV was one of the company’s four largest shareholders. TCV also this month liquidated part of its stake in MarketAxess Holdings, an electronic bond-trading platform that could reportedly be up for sale.

In July, TCV and Summit Partners also sold their their combined 15 percent stake in the 12-year-old, privately held trading firm LiquidNet Holdings, which is facing investigations by the SEC about customer disclosures. According to Dow Jones, the firms had paid $250 million for their stake in 2005, a deal that included an annual return of “around 5%.”  As a result, Summit and TCV were “due to receive just over $350 million” altogether from their investment. (According to a later report, TCV and Summit made their decision to sell their positions in LiquidNet prior to the SEC’s involvement.)

TCV has also done its fair share of shopping. In July, the firm participated in a whopping $76 million funding of JustFab, an El Segundo, Calif.-based company that sells subscriptions to women’s apparel. (Rho Ventures and Matrix Partners co-invested in the round, JustFab’s first.)

TCV also invested $136 million in the Vienna-based Alarm.com in July. The company sells home and business security systems that can be accessed remotely.

And in May, TCV acquired more than 200,000 shares of publicly traded Netflix for roughly $14.5 million.

TCV has a long history with the company. It was among  the biggest shareholders of Netflix when it went public in 2002, investing more than $55 million over four rounds between 1999 and 2001. It has continued to buy up shares of the sometimes beleaguered company, including buying shares on the open market in the summer of 2006.

In 2007, TCV closed on a  $3 billion fund. It remains the largest venture fund ever raised.

In July, Bloomberg reported that the firm, which will plug anywhere from $20 million to $200 million into a company, is now in the market for a fresh $2.5 billion. It will be TCV’s eighth fund.

Photo: Image courtesy of Shutterstock.