Just three months ago MySpace cofounder and CEO Chris DeWolfe found out he was being abruptly and rudely replaced by Owen Van Natta. So what does the guy who built the biggest site on the Internet from scratch do next? He raises a big pile of money, that’s what.
We’ve confirmed that DeWolfe has been pitching a number of private equity funds to raise up to $100 million for a roll up of an Internet industry vertical. In exchange for confirmation we’ve agreed to keep exactly what that vertical is confidential for now. But at least two funds, both with significantly more than $1 billion to work with, are interested. DeWolfe, as is his style, won’t comment on the fundraising.
It’s not surprising that there is such strong interest. Few executives have been able to grow a company from zero to 1,700 employees and $800 million or so in revenue. In just five years. DeWolfe may be eccentric but he’s also clearly one hell of a business man and entrepreneur. And there is no one in the world with his connections and experience in both the geeky Internet world and flashy Hollywood scene.
Case in point – a couple of funds I called today to see if they’d been pitched yet eagerly asked for an introduction. I suggested they add him as a friend on Facebook.