The Daily Start-Up: ParAccel Goes It Alone, With Amazon’s Help
Saying it was in no hurry to join several competitors who got acquired, high-performance database vendor ParAccel Inc. has raised a Series E round led by Amazon.com Inc. with current investors all joining. Several of ParAccel’s rivals recently got bought — including Greenplum Inc., Netezza Corp., Vertica Systems Inc. and Aster Data Systems Inc. – but ParAccel’s CEO says the company will remain independent and he hopes to take it public around 2013.
Clarus Therapeutics Inc. officially canceled plans to go public early this month, but its bid to develop the first oral testosterone-replacement product remains alive thanks to an efficient strategy. Clarus has kept its capital needs low by targeting a market, testosterone replacement, in which the requirements for securing U.S. approval are very clear. That gives it an edge over many other biotechs during a tough time — only six U.S. venture-backed biotechnology companies have gone public this year, according to VentureSource.
Also in today’s VentureWire: Motif Investing Inc. is emerging with $6 million in funding from Foundation Capital and Norwest Venture Partners for its alternative to current retail investment opportunities…Ken Elefant, a founding general partner at Opus Capital, has left the firm to join Intel Capital as an investment director…and online real-estate company Zillow Inc. released estimated terms for its planned IPO, setting up a relatively modest debut that would total roughly $45 million.
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Elsewhere around the Web:
EBay is putting its money where it’s mouth is. The company, whose CEO told Dow Jones in May that eBay would look for acquisitions in the mobile-payment space, said today it is buying venture-backed start-up Zong for $240 million in cash. Zong, one of many start-ups trying to address carrier billing as a viable payment for digital goods, raised about $30 million from investors including Matrix Partners, Advent Venture Partners and Newbury Ventures. It’s yet another big acquisition of a company in last year’s FASTech 50, a list of 50 “most promising” start-ups that VentureWire selected for the FASTech conference. Other acquisitions include Milo.com, bought by eBay for $75 million; Heroku, acquired by Salesforce for $212 million; and OpenFeint Inc. acquired by Gree Inc. for $104 million. Others, like Flipboard and Square, have raised significant funding. For this year’s FASTech conference, VentureWire is selecting 50 of the most innnovative start-ups, and is seeking your help–nominations end July 15.
Is Twitter really worth $7 billion, as WSJ reported venture investors may be valuing it at? Venrock’s Marissa Campise sizes up Twitter by taking a look at its potential market value. Michael Kim of Cendana Capital, meanwhile, tells Bloomberg TV that Twitter’s valuation inducates a bubble.
Your start-up isn’t unique and that doesn’t matter, writes RRE Ventures’ Adam Ludwin. It’s all about market intuition, timing and execution–not an entirely unique product, he says.
Then there’s the start-up CEO — George Roberts of OpenView Partners outlines the top three traits of the most successful chiefs.