20 worst VC investments of all time

InsideCRM has a list of what it says are the twenty worst VC investments of all time. See full details here, but here’s the quick list:

  1. Amp’d Mobile: $360 million raised, ended in bankruptcy.
  2. Procket: $272 million, sold for $89 million.
  3. Webvan: Valued at $1.2 billion, went bankrupt in 2001. Ate through $800 million in venture capital, ended with $830 million in losses.
  4. Caspian Networks: >$300 million in funding, closed doors.
  5. Pets.com: $50 million from Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, Bowman Capital, and Amazon.com Inc., did sock-puppet ads, then crashed.
  6. Optiva: $41.5 million, crashed.
  7. Kozmo.com: $250 million, liquidated.
  8. CueCat: $185 million from investors like The Coca-Cola Co. and General Electric Co., bombed.
  9. DeNovis Inc.: $125 million, closed.
  10. PointCast Inc.: Tens of millions of dollars in venture capital and a $400 million buy offer, then sold for $7 million.
  11. eToys: Backed by VC firms Idealab, Highland Capital Partners and Sequoia Capital, ended in bankruptcy.
  12. AllAdvantage: $135 million in venture capital down the drain.
  13. FastForward: $54 million into the company, bankrupt.
  14. Xoma: This 26-year old company has not earned a profit since its inception in 1981. [Update: This one should be taken off the list. It entered the black for the first time two weeks ago!]
  15. Flooz.com: $50 million, went broke.
  16. Vanguarde Media Inc.: $60 million in VC funding, went under.
  17. Pixelon.com: $16 million not remarkable, but burned through with remarkable style.
  18. Bolt Media Inc.: >$60 million in venture backing, shut down.
  19. DigiScents: $20 million in investment, shut down.
  20. Boo.com: $120 million, went bust.

[Update: Dan Primack has since produced another list, using a different method]

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