Here’s a look at the past week’s scoops, opinions and analysis from the peHUB blogging team.
We kicked off the week with some officially horrifying VC deal data. In better news, peHUB learned that Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen and former Opsware exec Ben Horowitz are hoping to raise around $250 million for their debut venture capital fund.
A VC-backed company filed a lawsuit against its backers, which includes Battery Ventures and Index Ventures. Further, the founders of Broadcom are being tried for fraud. In other lawsuit news, Pink Floyd is suing Terra Firma.
Also, Marc Cuban backed an SMS messaging platform company, Kevin Macdonald has joined Morgenthaler, Kleiner Perkins is benefitting from Swine Flu, Evite continues its war against Socializr, startup Zango has closed shop, and a hemp startup called Living Harvest Foods is looking for money. Another new venture capital firm entered the world: Step5 Ventures. Call me old timey, but I prefer firms with surnames or real words in their titles. (Then again, the name “peHUB” doesn’t exactly follow that sentiment.)
Connie is ready to send Lou Dobbs to space, Alastair has some regional VC numbers on an unlikely VC state: Michigan, and Joanna has the scoop on SecondMarket, which officially launched its Private Company Marketplace last week. Alex reports that VC networking is back, and he’s not talking about schmoozing over wine and swapping business cards. In honor of Earth Day, we looked at Cleantech numbers.
On the buyouts side, the top story continued to be New York’s state pension fund scandal. Dan wrote that it’s time for public pension funds to track fund flow. We followed the ups and downs of the story, including Quadrangle’s LP vote and New York’s decision to ban placement agents. Here’s a list of our posts from last week:
- Quadrangle Group Heads Into A Save Situation
- NY Comptroller Bans Placement Agents
- Specific Details of NY’s Placement Agent Ban
- Bad Day For Placement Agents: Citi, William Blair Close Their Doors
- Dear Comptroller DiNapoli: Thanks for Trying, But…
- In Defense of Placement Agents: “We Aren’t Unlike Bankers Doing IPOs”
- So A Pension Fund Walks Into A Bar…
- More Details On Quadrangle’s Key Man Terms – But After Monday, Does It Matter?
- Random NY Kickback Scandal Ramblings
- NY Kickback Scandal Spreading Like A Virus: CalPERS, CalSTRS Involved
- New York City Votes To End Quadrangle Investment Period
- Quadrangle Wins LP Vote, Can Continue Investing
In addition to the NY pension fund scandal, we looked at the exit drought, naming the last time each of the mega-fund LPs have seen a distribution. Speaking of mega-funds TPG won the distinction of largest buyout fund. But that doesn’t mean best.
Last week, we broke the news that Sun Capital would use money from its latest fund to prop up a prior fund. We posted all the details including shareholder reaction and fund writedowns.
Meanwhile, I attended a secondaries conference and reported back that the Secondary-Palooza is still waiting on the “Palooza”. I also learned some ways secondaries can bring liquidity to cash-constrained fully invested funds. Lastly, I posted quotes of the day, regarding why secondaries are so popular right now (and should they be?) and what are the two drugs secondary managers have been feeding their investors.
That same day Harbourvest closed a secondary fund. Dan spoke with Brett Gordon of the firm.
The Weekly Downgrade Wrap-Up had two bankruptcies, one technical upgrade and a Chrysler.
Our Vox Populi contributors provided lots of conversation fodder. Adeo Ressi asked, “If Common Stock Is Worthless, What Does That Mean for Entrepreneurship?” Robert Morrill write that the Window of Opportunity to Transfer Asset Appreciation Free of Gift and Estate Taxes may not be open forever. Charley Polachi wrote that the untouchables are back. Denise Palmieri explored the “coulda-woulda-shoulda” excuse.
And of course, First Read and Second Opinion covered plenty of ground, including eBay’s overzealous bankers, M&A pricing psychology, “green shoots,” Linken CEO CEO’s three rules of investing, the return of Merger Mondays, KKR rejecting PPIP, the Madoff Movie, how economists ruined business schools, surprising fact about the state of our country’s infrastructure, Tim Geithner’s baptism of fire, and why North Dakota is the new Delaware.