Industry Ventures was formed in 2000 by Hans Swildens to make seed stage investments in start-up technology companies. Shortly after making our first investments the NASDAQ collapsed and the venture business entered a very difficult liquidity period. In 2001, we pivoted the investment focus to purchase shares in venture backed companies in secondary transactions.
Our first secondary investment was the purchase of shares in Speedera Networks from a publicly traded corporation. Hans helped his brother Eric start Speedera Networks with Rich Day and Ajit Gupta (together the "ERA"). Speedera Networks was acquired by Akamai in 2005. Prior to Speedera, Eric and Hans founded Microline Software after Eric wrote various user interface components of Netscape Navigator 1.0 in 1994. Microline was acquired in 1997 by Neuron Data and the combined company rebranded Blaze Software. Blaze went public in 2000 and was subsequently acquired by Fair Isaac.
A few months after buying part of Speedera, the firm acquired the venture capital division of Electronic Data Systems (EDS). During the period of 2002-2004, the firm acquired over $200 million of invested capital from various sellers of venture capital portfolios including Bowman Capital, Enron Broadband Ventures and Infospace. This investment activity was instrumental in the early formation of the secondary market for venture capital investments.
In 2008, we launched our fund of funds effort with the acquisition of Little Hawk Capital Management. We saw inefficiencies and investment outperformance in small venture capital funds. We have subsequently built a portfolio of over twenty small venture capital funds with leading early stage investors. Today we co-invest alongside these funds in their high-growth businesses.
Over the last decade, the firm evolved from being a pioneer of secondary investments into the leading provider of liquidity for the venture capital market. We manage over $3 billion from institutional investors and operate with one of the largest investment teams in the market.×