If you’re a partner at Benchmark Capital, you’re having a very good day and celebrating two separate portfolio acquisitions.
That’s sort of like an unassisted triple play in baseball, it just doesn’t happen that often. Maybe that’s why the team looks so darn happy in their website picture. Partner Peter Fenton (labeled Rock Star in photo) led both deals.
The first is Friendfeed, which was acquired by Facebook for an undisclosed sum. Benchmark was the sole venture capital investor in Friendfeed, which raised a $5 million in an early 2008. Benchmark now has stock in Facebook, the hottest IPO prospect in Silicon Valley right now.
The second is the much larger deal – VMWare’s $400+ million acquisition of Springsource, an enterprise and web application development and management startup. Benchmark was the biggest investor in Springsource, which raised a total of $15 million in two rounds of financing prior to the acquisition.
Benchmark still holds the record for (probably) the best venture investment in history – they turned a $6.7 million investment in eBay in 1997 into $5 billion by 1999. Partner Bill Gurley talks about that deal and Benchmark in general in our video interview with him last year.