Unexpected outcome: Control4 IPO could provide nice return for dormant Seattle VC firm
Jul 22, 2013
July 22, 2013 at 12:31 pm
July 22, 2013 at 12:36 pm
GeekWire Awards: Tickets available now! Frazier Technology Ventures announced four years ago that it would no longer make new investments, and initiate the slow process of winding down operations. But the Seattle VC firm still has some solid portfolio companies, and one of those is getting ready to enter the public markets, potentially creating a windfall for the firm. Control4 Corp., the Salt Lake City, Utah maker of automation technologies for homes, is ramping up for an initial public offering that could raise $64 million and give the money-losing company a valuation of more than $400 million . Frazier Technology Ventures invested in the company early-on, and still owns a 12.3 percent stake. (Set to drop to 9.9 percent after the offering) That means its ownership could be worth close to $50 million at the time of the IPO. Control4 says it plans to offer four million shares between $15 and $17 per share in the IPO, trading on the Nasdaq under the ticker CTRL. Len Jordan
There are other connections to the Seattle area for Control4, which hired former RealNetworks and Bungee Labs exec Martin Plaehn as CEO in October 2011 . (Board member Len Jordan, formerly of Frazier Technology Ventures and now at Madrona Venture Group, also is a former RealNetworks exec). Plaehn currently holds 1.7 percent of the company. Interestingly, this is sometimes how it works in venture capital, which can take years for investments to mature. And Frazier Healthcare Ventures still has a stake in some other hot companies in the Seattle area, namely DocuSign ( #3 on the GeekWire 200 list and a potential IPO candidate) and Socrata (which just raised $18 million ). Frazier Technology Ventures was started in 2000 by Alan Frazier and Dan Rosen, an offshoot of the larger Frazier Healthcare Ventures, which continues to be based in Seattle and is raising a new fund . Frazier Technology Ventures raised a $104 million fund in 2004. And this isn’t the first time that a Seattle VC firm that tossed in the towel saw one of its upstarts go the IPO route. Earlier this year, OVP Venture Partners watched NanoString Technologies go public, though its performance in the public markets has been rather lackluster, now trading just below the $10 offering price. John Cook is GeekWire's co-founder and editor, a veteran reporter and the longest-serving journalist on the Pacific Northwest tech startup beat. Follow him @johnhcook and email email@example.com . GeekWire Awards 2016: The Pacific Northwest's annual startup and technology awards. GeekWire rolls out the red carpet each year at the EMP Museum in Seattle to honor the top innovators, entrepreneurs, startups and do-gooder geeks, as nominated and chosen by the GeekWire community. More than 800 people attend this fun event. Tickets available here .