Battery Ventures Extends Software Streak With FreeWheel, BlueKai

Photograph by C. Flanigan/Getty Images

Marketo employees participate in the Founder Institute’s Silicon Valley Sports League event last year in Palo Alto, California.

Battery Ventures has been on a winning streak with investments in digital-marketing startups, with two of the venture capital firm’s companies — FreeWheel Media and BlueKai — being bought out in two weeks.

After an investment of $20 million, Battery owned 34 percent of advertising-management software company FreeWheel, which Comcast bought for about $375 million last week, according to two people with knowledge of the deal.

The firm, based in Menlo Park, California, was the second-largest shareholder of BlueKai after an investment of $15 million, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the data isn’t public. Oracle is paying $425 million for BlueKai, whose technology helps manage marketing campaigns, the people said, in an acquisition that was announced Feb. 24.

“We are very fortunate things have worked out this way,” Roger Lee, a Battery general partner, said in a phone interview. “We are in a very lucky streak.”

Battery’s other wins last year included Marketo, a cloud-based marketing-software company that has almost tripled in value since its initial public offering in May, and ExactTarget, an e-mail marketing provider that Salesforce.com bought in July for $2.52 billion.

“We have a very good pipeline for the rest of the year,” Lee said.

Deborah Hellinger, a spokeswoman at Oracle, and Steven Restivo, a spokesman at Comcast, declined to comment.

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