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Salesforce.com Acquires Buddy Media – Congratulations Mike, Kass and Team!

The news is officialSalesforce is acquiring Buddy Media.

I couldn’t be more excited for Mike and Kass Lazerow, the founders of Buddy Media, and their entire team.  In five short years they built one of the fastest growing SaaS companies on the planet and a brand that is recognized around the world (validated every time I hear someone in another category or country say “we’re the Buddy Media of ____”).

The best part about being a venture capitalist is getting to work with great entrepreneurs.  Without going into lengthy detail, I can only say that since our first investment in 2010, my experience with Mike, Kass and the team has been the absolute pinnacle of that concept – simply amazing.  They care deeply about their employees, their customers, their partners and their investors.  In a nutshell, what you read is true – Mike and Kass are the real deal, and Buddy is a GREAT company.  I am truly proud to have been an investor and a board member.

For more on the acquisition, see Mike’s blog post here.  It comes from the heart, and provides some terrific background on his thinking and the excitement he has to work with Marc Benioff and help lead Salesforce’s efforts to dominate the marketing cloud.  And for those of you who care about the personal side of entrepreneurship, you should also watch Mike’s video – words can’t really describe it here.

The Partners of GGV feel incredibly fortunate to have been a part of the Buddy team, and are excited to see what Mike, Kass, Jeff, Susan, Patrick and the broader team go on to accomplish as part of Salesforce!

The IPO is Back. So is M&A.

The NVCA has new data out about Q4 and full year 2010 IPO and M&A data for venture backed companies.  Good news for entrepreneurs and VC’s – the IPO is back (which, in turn, helps create a healthy M&A market).  A few highlights:

– Q4 IPO volume – driven largely by Chinese IPO’s – was at its highest level since 2000 (32 total, 17 from China backed by US firms)

– Full year venture-backed IPO volume was at its highest level since 2004, with 72 total

– There were more than 400 venture-backed M&A exits – the highest level since 1985

A positive M&A market for entrepreneurs and VC’s is directly related to a positive IPO market.  When great companies can stick to their plan and raise public capital, it forces large buyers to move a bit more aggressively to acquire their preferred acquisition targets (buy now at $100M vs. wait a few years and pay several times more).  It also can help drive up prices for the best companies, providing more highly valued comps and giving entrepreneurs/CEO’s/investors the confidence to say no at lower prices.

My next post will be on what we learned about the “new model” for IPOs, both from the market at large as well as our experience helping 6 of our portfolio companies go public in 2010.

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