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One of the oldest venture capital firms, Greylock Partners makes way for more late stage investments
Greylock XIII originally closed at $575 million in November 2009.
The firm also announced the formation of Greylock Growth, a fund focused on late-stage companies in both the consumer and enterprise Internet spaces. Businesses funded by Greylock Growth will typically receive investments sized between $25 and $200 million, intended to keep them in the “winner’s circle,” according to partner David Sze.
On the complete opposite side of the investment timeline, Greylock also manages the Discovery Fund, which has completed 20 seed stage investments since launching in September 2010. The Discovery Fund, which is managed by LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, competes with angels to fund companies at the earliest stage. In tandem with Greylock XIII and Greylock Growth, the Discovery Fund rounds out the firm's commitment to investment opportunities at all stages of a business' development.
Here are some of the most recent additions to Greylock’s portfolio:
- 1000memories is a free website for family and friends to commemorate the life of a loved one with stories, pictures, videos and audio. Two weeks ago, the company raised $2.5 million in a Series A round led by Greylock, along with several notable angels, including Flickr co-founder Caterina Fake, Ron Conway, Keith Rabois, Mike Maples, Paul Buchheit, Chris Sacca, Ben Ling, Aydin Senkut, and others. Greylock partner David Thacker joined the startup's board.
- One Kings Lane is a private shopping site for premium home décor and designers perhaps best known for being founded by Susan Feldman and Alison Pincus, wife of Zynga CEO Mark Pincus. A little over two weeks ago, the startup raised $23 million in Series B financing, co-led by existing investor Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Greylock as a new investor. Greylock partner James Slavet joined the board of directors as an observer.
- The biggest and most recent contribution from Greylock, however, must be its participation in the $950 million round for daily deals site Groupon. The venture capital round was recorded as one of the largest for a startup in history, and Greylock was sure not to miss the opportunity.
Now it’s time for returns. At least two of those companies, LinkedIn and Pandora, are set to go public this year and Greylock owns 16 percent and 14 percent of each, respectively. Facebook is also widely expected to see its own IPO sometime in the next two years and, since Greylock was such an early investor, the returns from that offering will undoubtedly be the envy of many a VC firm.
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Airbnb.com is the “Ebay of space.” The online marketplace allows anyone from private residents to commercial properties to rent out their extra space. The reputation-based site allows for user reviews, verification, and online transactions, for which Airbnb takes a commission. As of June, 2009, the San Francisco-based company has listings in over 1062 cities in 76 countries.
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Pandora, the leading internet radio service, gives people music they love
anytime, anywhere, through a wide variety of connected devices: laptop and
desktop computers, smartphones, connected BluRay players, connected TVs,
etc. Personalized stations launch instantly with the input of a single “seed” –
a favorite artist, song or genre. The Music Genome Project®, a deeply
detailed, hand-built musical taxonomy, powers the personalization or
Pandora. Using this musicological “DNA” and constant listener feedback
Pandora crafts personalized stations from the more than 800,000 songs that
have been analyzed since the project began in January 2000.
More than 75 million people throughout the United States listen to
personalized radio stations for free on Pandora through their PCs, mobile
phones and devices such as the iPad, and connected in-house devices
ranging from TVs to set-top boxes to Blu-Ray players. Mobile technology has
been a significant factor in the growth and popularity of Pandora, starting
with the introduction of the Apple app store for the iPhone in the summer of
2008. Pandora instantly became one of the most top downloaded apps and
today, according to Nielsen, is one of the top five most popular apps across
all smartphone platforms.
Pandora is free, simple and, thanks to connectivity, available everywhere
consumers are – at the office, at home, in the car and all points in between.
In 2009 the Company announced that Pandora would be incorporated into
the dashboard in Ford cars via SYNC technology; GM has already followed in
announcing plans to integrate Pandora into its vehicles and Mercedes-Benz
introduced their Media Interface Plus device that works with the
free Pandora iPhone app to provide direct control of Pandora from in-dash
stereo controls. This was all great news for the millions of Pandora listeners
who had been plugging their smartphones into car dashboards to listen to
personalized stations while driving. More than 50 percent of radio listening
happens in the car, making it a crucial arena for Pandora.
Today tens of millions of people have a deeply personal connection with
Pandora based on the delight of personalized radio listening and discovery.
These highly engaged listeners reinforce the value Pandora provides to: 1)
musicians, who have found in Pandora a level playing field on which their
music has a greater chance of being played than ever before; 2) advertisers,
who benefit from the multi-platform reach of Pandora, as well as its best
practices in targeting consumers for specific campaigns; 3) the music
industry, which has found in Pandora a highly effective distribution channel;
and 4) automobile and consumer electronics device manufacturers, who have
noted that incorporating Pandora into their product makes it more valuable
Pandora continues to focus on its business in the United States. The radio
arena has never been hotter, thanks to technology that enables radio to be
personalized to the individual and more accessible than ever before. Right
now millions of people listen to Pandora in the United States and we hope
someday to bring Pandora to billions of people around the world.
• 2000 – Tim Westergren’s Music Genome Project begins.
• 2005 – Pandora launches on the web.
• 2008 – Pandora app becomes one of the most consistently downloaded
apps in the Apple store.
• 2009 – Ford announces Pandora will be incorporated into car
dashboard. Alpine and Pioneer begin selling aftermarket radios that
connect to consumers’ iPhones and puts the control and command of
Pandora into the car dashboard.
• 2010 – Pandora is present on more than 200 connected consumer
electronics devices ranging from smartphones to TVs to set-top boxes
to Blu-ray players and is able to stream visual, audio, and interactive
advertising to computers, smartphones, iPads, and in-home connected
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Greylock partners with entrepreneurs to help them build market-leading businesses. Over the past 45 years the firm has worked with hundreds of companies, 150 of which have gone on to IPOs and 100 of which have gone on to profitable M&A events. Such companies include Ascend Communications, CheckFree, CipherTrust, Constant Contact, Continental Cable, Decru, Data Domain, DoubleClick, Farecast, Internet Security Systems, Ikanos, Legato, Media Metrix, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Openwave, Open Market, OutlookSoft, Polyserve, Red Hat, RightNow Technologies, Success Factors, Sun Edison, Tellabs, Trilogy and Wily Technology. Current Greylock portfolio companies include Cloudera, Data Robotics, Facebook, Imperva, LinkedIn, Palo Alto Networks, Pandora, Picarro, Redfin, Workday and ZipCar. For more information about Greylock Partners, visit our Web site (www.greylock.com) or blog (www.greylockvc.com) or follow us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/greylock) or Twitter (@GreylockVC).