Deal Watch: VCs invest 15 million in Jive Software

GNAWING ON A RED VINE, Dave Hersh, who recently negotiated a $15 million venture capital investment in his company, strides through Jive Software’s Portland offices with the confidence of someone who knows he’s got a good thing going.


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GNAWING ON A RED VINE, Dave Hersh, who recently negotiated a $15 million venture capital investment in his company, strides through Jive Software’s Portland offices with the confidence of someone who knows he’s got a good thing going. The cubes he passes are buzzing and even though it’s late in the day, Jive’s 70 or so employees are still working hard: The company’s break room — equipped with a beer tap, ample snacks, bean bag chairs and Xbox console — is empty.

Settling into a comfy leather chair, Hersh explains how the company didn’t actually need to take venture capital. “We’ve done this profitably since day one,” is how he puts it. But earlier this year Jive, which has made handy and popular software tools since its inception in 2001, launched its Clearspace product, and orders doubled in the space of three months. Clearspace unifies all the social software at play in a company — wikis, blogs, online discussions and so on — into one easy-to-manage portal.

“We had more leads than we knew what to do with,” says Hersh. He and the rest of the management team saw that they could either continue to grow at a gentle, profitable pace or they could raise some venture capital, staff up a sales and marketing team and go big. “We said: ‘Let’s sprint.’”

And sprint they did. In a matter of months they had a term sheet from Silicon Valley-based Sequoia Capital. Maybe you’ve heard of some of their investments: Apple, Yahoo!, Google and YouTube, just to name four.

(Did he talk to Oregon VCs? Only conversationally. Jive wanted the software industry expertise that Hersh says just isn’t available among local investors.)

The money puts Jive in a position not only to hire more employees to keep up with demand but also to make what Hersh calls “tuck-in acquisitions” — that is, if Jive comes across a company with a complementary technology, they might just buy them.

Coincident with its capital raising, Jive
is on track to bring in $15 million in revenue this year. Not bad for a company that gives away all its source code. Jive is living proof that a software company can do very well, thanks very much, selling software that
is, if you’re a big enough geek to know what to do with source code, technically available for free.


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30-JulKeggett & Platt (MO)industrial land (WA)$2.6m

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8-AugM&J Wilkow Ltd. (IL)section of Wood Village Town Cnt (Portland)/ GM Realty Advisors$34.9m

10-Augprivate investor (CA)Phoenix Corporate Center (AZ)/ ScanlanKemperBard (Portland)$62.5m

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22-AugDavid and Adrianne HillSt. Clair Apartments (Portland)/ Elma M Niedermeyer trust$3.4m

23-AugUrban Renaissance Group (WA)Sherlock Building (Portland)$9.75m

27-AugBH PropertiesOne-Two Tech. Center (Hillsboro)/ McMorgan & Company$9m

27-AugLIT Industrial Limited Partnership (TX)commercial property (Portland)/ Schnitzer Investment$8.25m

27-AugScanlanKemperBard (Portland)three office buildings (CA)$61.5m

27-AugFRE 407 (CA)Stonesthrow Apt. (Tualatin)/ Tualatin 8-B (AZ)$27.3m
7-AugQ3 ’07US Resort Venture, LLC (West Linn)49 Degrees North Mountain Resort (WA)/Peak Management Group, LLC$45m (equity stake)

7-AugQ1 ’09Western Sierra Mining Corp. (AZ)Pine Creek Mining (OR)$2.6m

9-AugQ3 ’07Vintage Wine Trust (CA)Farmer Road Vineyard (Polk County)$1.27m

10-AugQ3 ’07Sound Publishing (Poulsbo)five newspapers (WA)/Sun NewsND

13-AugQ3 ’07executive leadership team (Portland)ID Branding (Portland)ND

15-AugQ3 ’07Seattle-Northwest Securities (WA)Regional Financial Advisors (Portland)ND

15-AugQ3 ’07Rescue Rooter (TN)/American Residential Srv.Jack Howk plumbing (Portland)ND

17-AugQ3 ‘07Prudential NW Prop. (Portland)/Prudential Real Estate Affl.Your Home Town Realty (Bend)ND

21-AugQ3 ’07TriQuint Semiconductor (Hillsboro)Peak Devices (CO)ND (cash)

22-AugQ3 ’07Aerosonic (FL)Op Technologies (Beaverton)ND (stock)
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16-AugOregon State University (Corvallis)/ Edward Ray, presidentPatrick Stone, former CEO, Fidelity National Info. Solutions (CA)$1.7m (donation)

17-AugJive Software Inc. (Portland)/ Dave Hersh, CEOSequoia Capital$15m (series A)

17-AugMedical Teams Int. (Portland)/Global Relief Alliance/ Bas Vanderzalm, presidentOffice for Foreign Disaster Assistance$1.4m (grant)

20-AugU of O (Eugene)/ Dave Frohnmayer, presidentPhil Knight, founder, Nike (Beaverton)$100m (donation)

23-AugPleuraFlow (Bend)/ Edward Boyle Jr., founderBVC Investor; Cleveland Clinic$1m (seed round)

28-AugPSU (Portland)/ Daniel O. Bernstine, presidentLorry Lokey, founder, Business Wire (CA)$1.5m (donation)

List researched by Mark Druskoff                   ND=Not disclosed

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