Menlo Sees Threefold Return from PowerReviews Sale

Bazaarvoice this morning completed its acquisition of rival PowerReviews in a $168.2 million transaction that creates a powerful social commerce company focused on product reviews. One investor to benefit is Menlo Ventures, which says it logged a 3x return on its investment.

Bazaarvoice Strikes PowerReviews Deal

Listed, Texas-based software company Bazaarvoice will spend about $150 million in a deal to acquire PowerReviews, consisting of $31 million and stock and options considerations. PowerReviews is a California-based social commerce company. PowerReviews investors include Menlo Ventures, Four Rivers Group, Woodside Fund, Draper Richards and Tenaya Group. PRESS RELEASE: Bazaarvoice, Inc. Signs Definitive Agreement to […]

Travora Media Adds Nile Project to its Offerings

Travora Media, a travel media information company has acquired The Nile Project, a San Francisco-based company with a portfolio of three websites: NileGuide, 10Best, and Localyte and mobile apps focused on providing local expertise to travelers. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Headquartered in New York City, Travora has received funding from Rho Ventures, […]

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Bill Draper and “Pitch” Johnson Look Back On Simpler Times

As two of the venture industry’s founders, they were a hit Wednesday night in the showroom of Tesla Motors, where Johnson received the first annual Innovation Catalyst Award from the VC Taskforce and a standing ovation from around 100 VCs.

But the most entertaining part of the evening was a long speech by Bill Draper, age 81, on how he and Johnson, who met working at Inland Steel in Indiana in the 1950s and are still best friends, borrowed $75,000 each from their families and started Draper and Johnson — one of the first venture capital firms in Silicon Valley — in 1962, when “venture capital” was a word that most people had never heard.

“We drove into the orchards — we’d each leased a Pontiac — and knocked on doors. We said, ‘We’d like to talk to the president,’” Draper said. “If it had a sign that said ‘lemon distributor’ we avoided it, but if it looked like something electronic, we’d give it a shot.

“We’d say, ‘We’re in the venture capital business,’ and they’d say, ‘What’s that?’

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