The sixth fund raised by Benchmark Capital was closed in 2008 with $500 million and its fifth was closed in 2004 with $400 million.
Benchmark’s biggest hit was eBay, a little online marketplace that the group injected with $6.7 million in 1997 and one that survived well beyond the bursting of the dot-com-bubble. eBay went public in 1998 and today, over a decade later, boasts a market cap of $37.43 billion--one of the biggest in the technology industry.
The venture capital firm could have another impressive win on its hands with Twitter, which Benchmark invested in for the company’s fall 2009 funding round. In spite of the fact that social sites have yet to really prove they're worth the weight of their server space in gold (unless you’re a social gaming company), Twitter and Facebook have wowed the financial world with their epic valuations.
- Zuora, a subscription billing service, closed a $20 million Series C round with repeat participation from Benchmark. (November 2010)
- Mobile payments startup Boku, which was in acquisition discussions with both Apple and Google, has raised $38 million from several high-profile firms, including Benchmark. (November 2010)
- ResearchGATE, a social network for scientists, raised an undisclosed Series A round with participation from Benchmark partner Matt Cohler. (September 2010)
Benchmark invests in all kinds of companies at various stages of life.
Early-stage investment firm Avalon Ventures also closed a new fund this week, Avalon Ventures IX LP, the firm’s ninth and largest at $200 million. Avalon funds Kaltura, Scoopler and Zynga.