Time Line

JanuaryBrad Feld and Jason Mendelson of Foundry Group launch AskTheVC.com, which lets entrepreneurs get answers on everything from appropriate deal terms to board structure to making a presentation.

BA Venture Partners uses a stapled secondary to spinout from its parent company, becoming Scale Venture Partners. It is a strategy created by placement agent Probitas Partners, and would be used later in the year by BCE Capital (now Summerhill Venture Partners).

Writer Scott Kirsner returns to Boston from Silicon Valley, and begins a series of pieces questioning why Route 128 is losing out to Sand Hill Road. It sparks debate that continues today, plus a cottage industry of Boston-area VC events hosted by Kirsner.

Terry Garnett decides not to move from San Francisco to London, but Garnett & Helfrich Capital will spend the rest of 2007 trying to survive after a string of personnel defections.

Sand Hill Slave goes offline. Was she fired? Was she made to disappear?

Tim Draper goes over his time allotment at the Wharton Private Equity Conference, so that he can finish that Don Henley song, “Risk Master,” he won at an auction. Subsequent speaker Steve Schwartzman is not amused.

Mike Moritz remains atop the Forbes Midas List.

LinkedIn raises Series C funding at a reported $250 million valuation. By year end, the company is rumored to be on the block with a sale price in excess of $1 billion.

Venture capitalists form working group on director accountability and board effectiveness. Will release two white papers in 2007, and gain more influence as additional firms sign onto the basic tenants.

Sex toy maker JimmyJane hits up venture firms to invest in its $2.5 million Series C round after pulling in $1.1 million a month earlier from individuals, including VCs Tim Draper and Phil Schlein. None of the firms bites.


The former team of Mellon Ventures reforms as a middle-market buyout firm.

Diversa Corp. buys VC-backed Celunol Corp. for $175 million. It’s one of the few cleantech exits in a year chock full of cleantech deals.

Index Ventures closes its fourth fund with €350 million. That figure will look at lot more impressive by year-end, as the U.S. dollar continues to fall.

ComVentures sells portfolio company FilmLoop to another portfolio company in what is termed a “fire sale.” FilmLoop execs cry foul to TechCrunch, saying the company was still viable. ComVentures also gets entangled in a bizarre legal spat with Sequoia Capital over alleged violations of Sequoia’s website design copyrights.

Pacific Corporate Group splits into two separate entities to try to stem the outflow of personnel. It doesn’t really work.


VCs sell MovieBeam to Movie Gallery, which will soon file for bankruptcy protection.

The carried interest tax debate begins, as law firms send out client notes that Congress may attempt to change the tax treatment of carried interest from capital gains to ordinary income. A bill is introduced over the summer, but is ultimately punted in December.

ClearWire prices a $600 million IPO, after having raised around $1.2 billion in total VC funding (no, that’s not a typo).

Redpoint Ventures raises the $250 million Omega fund, designed to focus on more established companies. It’s part of a burgeoning “growth equity” binge that also will bite firms such as North Bridge Venture Partners.

Microsoft buys VC-backed TellMe Networks for an amount reportedly in excess of $800 million.

MissionPoint Capital Partners of Norwalk, Conn., raises the year’s largest dedicated cleantech fund, holding a final close on $335.5 million for both VC and PE deals.

Jamdat Mobile CEO Mitch Lasky joins Benchmark Capital as a partner, as part of a year in which most of the big VC hires involved former operators.

Amp’d Mobile raises $107 million in Series E funding, in what will be its final round of VC funding before filing for bankruptcy protection in July. Altogether the company burned through around $360 million.

CardioNet Inc., a San Diego-based provider of wireless mobile cardiac outpatient monitoring solutions, raises $110 million in fifth-round funding. It is tied for the year’s third-largest round, and the company will later file for a $150 million IPO.

White House pulls plug on Red Planet Capital, a VC fund affiliated with NASA.


Russian natural gas giant Gazprom announces plans to form a $100 million VC fund for energy technology companies.

Curt Schilling and his video game startup troll for funding. Everyone takes the meeting. No one invests.

MetroPCS prices the year’s largest VC-backed IPO, raising $1.15 billion at an initial market cap of nearly $8 billion. Huge returns for early backers such as Accel Partners, Battery Ventures and M/C Venture Partners.

Q1 investment data is released, showing that VC investing reached its highest level in six years.

In a rare moment of following rather than leading, Kleiner Perkins gets on the ground in China with a dedicated fund, two offices and the former TDF Capital team.

MPM Capital forms a partnership with Reliance Life Sciences of India to help grow India’s life sciences industry.

MayPaul Ferri and Todd Dagres go back to the Redstone Communications well, backing a new Jim Dolce startup called VeriVue.

Joost and JahJah raise money on the same day. The “J” key wears out over at TechMeme.

Tesla Motors raises $45 million in Series D funding. Other electric car companies will raise VC funding in 2007, but only Tesla will demote and then fire its co-founder and CEO.

3i Group closes its Waltham, Mass., office, as part of a continuing move away from early stage investing.

Google invests in bioinformatics startup 23andMe, which just happens to have been co-founded by Sergey Brin’s wife. Other VCs also participate and soon begin hosting trendy “spit parties.”

News Corp. buys VC-backed PhotoBucket. Rupert Murdoch flies in to finish off the negotiations.

JuneJazz Pharmaceuticals goes public, raising $108 million. It continues to represent KKR’s first and only venture capital investment. Spends most of the year below its (already-reduced) IPO price.

Brash Entertainment, a Los Angeles-based publisher of videogames based on movies, raises $400 million in startup funding. But the investors are buyout firms such as ABRY Partners, so MoneyTree doesn’t count it as a venture deal. Yet Jazz Pharma (see above) somehow makes it.

CalPERS unveils $700 million investment program focused on the U.S. health care. Some of this might go to biotech startups, but the real focus seems to be on improving the efficacy of the overall health care market.

Benchmark Capital Europe spins out as an independent entity. Renames itself Balderton Capital, after the street it’s located on. Wins Madison Dearborn Partners award for name with least imagination.

Mike Moritz takes a swipe at Sean Parker from the stage at Sequoia Capital’s annual meeting.

Uber-angel Ron Conway says that “third-rate” VCs are essentially bribing IT entrepreneurs to take their money. Bloggers can’t decide if this is a good or bad development.

British Venture Capital Association fires CEO Peter Linthwaite, as attacks on private equity industry mount.

Ridgelift Ventures closes shop, unable to raise its debut fund.

Carried interest tax bill is introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. Dan Primack writes about nothing else for the next six months.

Battery Ventures closes year’s largest VC fund with $750 million.


Credit begins crunching. VCs yawn.

Bi-coastal law firm wars commence, as Cooley Godward opens shop in Boston and Goodwin Procter opens shop in Silicon Valley.

Q2 investment activity tops its Q1 total, which already had been the highest quarterly tally in six years.

Peter Thiel says Facebook won’t consider going public until 2009, at the earliest.

Bubble-era Business.com gets bought for $345 million by R.H. Donnelley. Benchmark and IVP rejoice.


Union Square Ventures sues private equity firm Union Square Partners (f.k.a. Capital Z Financial Services) for trademark infringement.

PeHUB crunches some numbers and learns that VC funds raised between 2001 and 2007 have a median IRR of -2.6 percent.

Following the purchase of StubHub by eBay for $310 million earlier in the year, founder Eric Baker founds another online ticker reseller and scores $30 million.

SEC proposes rules change whereby Form D filings would be submitted electronically, and publicly available.

Globus Medical raises the year’s second-largest VC round, with $110 million in Series E funding. It seems to be tied with CardioNet, except a regulatory filing reveals that Globus scored an additional $1.65 (yes, one dollar and 65 cents).

VenturePAC gives 56% of its first-half contributions to Democrats, after years of favoring Republicans.

Zayo Bandwidth raises $225 million from firms that include Battery Ventures and Centennial Ventures. But buyout firms are also involved, so once again MoneyTree dubs it a buyout deal.


Reports emerge that Facebook is looking to raise VC funding at a pre-money valuation of around $1 billion. Just off by a factor of 15.

A Wharton study determines that both VC and buyout firms generate more money on fees than on carry.

Third Rock Ventures, a Boston-based firm focused on early-stage life sciences, closes on debut fund with $378 million.

Oanda Corp. raises $100 million in a round led by NEA. Legg Mason also gets involved, as it has on a number of large-dollar deals in 2007.

VC industry lobbyists try separating themselves from buyout lobbyists, while buyout lobbyists hang onto VC lobbyists like a life raft in the middle of the Pacific.

Former Mobius Venture Capital team closes debut fund as the Foundry Group.

Demand Media, a Santa Monica, Calif.-based domain name aggregator and registrar, raises $100 million in Series D funding.

RealNetworks Inc. agrees to buy VC-backed Game Trust Inc. No one pays much attention, but this deal leads to the self-outing of TheFunded.com founding member Adeo Ressi.

Former Fox Interactive chief Ross Levinsohn teams up with private equity firm General Atlantic, to roll up digital media companies via a platform called Velocity Investment Group. There is also talk that he has an earlier stage agreement with ComVentures.

OctoberMicrosoft announces a $240 million investment in Facebook, in exchange for a 1.6% equity stake, valuing the company at $15 billion. Accel’s $12.7 million Series A investment at $78 million pre-money in April 2005 suddenly looks genius.

Onetime Intel Capital chief John Miner reemerges with a small fund called Altien Investors based in Portland, Ore.

The Boston office of the fund-of-funds team of Standard Life Investments quits en masse.

Presidential donations reports are in, and Barrack Obama leads among VCs, followed by Mitt Romney and Hillary Clinton, respectively.

Enterprise Partners Venture Capital indefinitely suspends fund-raising, and loses nearly half its partnership.

Frozen yogurt chain Pinkberry raises Series A funding. Even basement-living technophiles take notice.

MoneyTree and VentureOne finally begin releasing quarterly data on the same day. No one cares except for journalists.

Hamilton Lane founder Les Brun returns with a new VC-focused fund of funds. Some of the proceeds will be used to kick-start TL Ventures, which has been stalled for years.

Lightspeed Venture Partners distributes Riverbed Technology stock to LPs, but marks it at a price higher than the stock was trading on the day of distribution. Some LPs cry foul and Lightspeed reverses course within a week.


A new record is set for the largest cash purchase of a VC-backed company when Dell agrees to buy SAN solution provider EqualLogic for $1.4 billion.

The record falls two weeks later when GlaxoSmithKline buys VC-backed heart drug company Reliant Pharmaceuticals for $1.65 billion in cash.

Technology Crossover Ventures closes its seventh fund with $3 billion in capital commitments. At this point, though, it’s more of a PIPE and buyout shop than a VC firm—a point it proves later in the month by investing $55 million in TheStreet.com.

Kleiner Perkins becomes a jolly green giant with the addition of Al Gore as a partner. Gore says he’ll donate 100% of his “salary” to the Alliance for Climate Protection. Hypocrisy meter blows a fuse when AP reports that the donation does not include stock options Gore expects to own after companies KP invests in are sold to the public.

House of Representatives passes a bill by Charles Rangel (D-NY) that would tax carried interest at 30% (the rate for ordinary income) instead of the 15% capital gains rate.

NVCA reports that cleantech investing has hit a fever pitch, with U.S. venture firms plowing $2.6 billion into 168 cleantech deals in the first nine months of the year, compared to $1.8 billion in 180 deals for all of 2006.


Spark Capital vows not to put non-compete clauses into the contracts of portfolio company employees. Some other VCs demure.

Senate passes change to Alternative Minimum Tax without going along with House’s plan to pay for the change by boosting the tax on carried interest. Rep. Rangel says he’ll drop his push for a higher tax on carried interest, but vows to bring it up again in 2008.

Dick Kramlich

, co-founder of New Enterprise Associates, rents a three-bedroom apartment in Shanghai, where he says he’ll spend a year sourcing deals and working with NEA’s newly recruited local talent.