Jason Del Rey

Recent Posts by Jason Del Rey

Before Zulily’s IPO, One VC Firm Has Already Cashed In on Startup’s Success


Cash image copyright Julia Ivantsova

Mom-focused e-commerce site Zulily took the wraps off its S-1 filing today. And one of the big winners appears to be
Maveron, the venture capital firm co-founded by Dan Levitan and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz that was one of the flash-sale site’s earliest backers.

Maveron invested a little less than $5 million into Zulily in its Series A and Series B investment rounds, according to the filing. And it already had a payday when it sold a piece of its stake for $32.5 million last year.

That would a nice return on its own. But Maveron still owns a huge piece of the business: 23.6 percent, according to the documents filed today.

With a successful IPO, the venture capital firm could be looking at a return of many multiples of what it has already pulled in.

Zulily CEO Darrell Cavens has also taken money off the table in previous rounds to the tune of nearly $10 million. He still owns 20.9 percent of the company.

One more interesting nugget: In Zulily’s last investment round, Andreessen Horowitz paid about $69 million for seven percent or so of the company, according to the documents.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik