Matt is in London for ten days. Mike is holding the fort in Silicon Valley. Here’s a Monday roundup:
–First, a link to the Google roundtable we’ve been hosting with our affiliate SiliconValley.com. Phew, with this our Google Fast at SiliconBeat is over. We made it through a week intact (sure, we mentioned the company’s name once or twice, but we didn’t inhale — no posts centered on Google).
–Stanford appears to have earned a record payback among university investments in…
start-ups: $336 million, which is the amount the university made from selling its Google stock. Until now, the nation’s highest-grossing invention was DNA cloning technology, which spawned the biotech industry and made $225 million royalties, split between Stanford and the University of California — before the patent expired in 1997.
–Dan Gillmor, our former colleague, and famed Silicon Valley tech columnist, writes what he thinks a buyout of Knight Ridder will mean for readers of the company’s newspapers, including the San Jose Mercury News. Not good. And gee, Gillmor is now an investor, though is furtive on details. Conflicts of interest! Dan, pray tell.
–RSS Investors, the fund that made a splash earlier this year when it launched with a micro focus on investing in the so-called “RSS” space, has made its first investment — in Portland, Oregon’s Attensa. It joined other investors to pump $9 million into the RSS-aggregation software platform company. VentureWire has story; subscription required. Here’s Techcrunch’s profile on Attensa from a few months ago.
–Barely a month ago, Silicon Valley’s networking giant Cisco announced it would invest $1 billion into India. So now Silicon Valley’s chip giant Intel announces — guess what — it will invest $1 billion into India. Cash will flow over five years into tech companies and to expand its local operation there. Btw, here is our colleague John Boudreau’s portrait of Bangalore, and there’s some interesting other links and graphics here (see right-hand links; free registration).
–Big bear of an investment: Sunnyvale fiber-optics system components company Big Bear Networks has sold most of its assets to publicly traded Finisar Corp. for $1.9 million, a minute fraction of Big Bear’s total funding of about $81 million, according to VentureWire (sub required). The failed investment shows how dangerous it is to invest in a futuristic technology. Big Bear was indeed thinking big — making 40 gigabit transponders, which really are for the next generation of telecom networks. We’ve barely made it to 10 gigabits. Investors Oak, Austin, Menlo, Accel, Sequoia and Agilent all feeling the pain.
–Here’s a belated link to our Mercury News piece taking a deeper look at how PodShow, the podcasting company backed by prominent Silicon Valley venture capitalists, is doing.