Zantaz: “The Rest of the Story”

09 Jul
July 9, 2007

For 50 years, radio announcer Paul Harvey was famous for announcing a headline followed by "and now the rest of the story."  Well, the rest of the Autonomy $375-million acquisition of Zantaz story is told by Venture Beat.

Despite the nice sounding $375-million price, Venture Beat reports that "terminally ill founder, William Bankert, will end up with only $650,000 or so from the sale."  The Venture Beat report has details of what it describes as the "company’s board of directors, including ComVentures partner Roland van der Meer, of rigging a fifth round of funding in 2002 to dilute common stockholders."

I met Bankert several years ago.  My impression is that he is a hard working and insightful man that worked hard to build a strong business.  If the story is true, it is a sad tale of what venture capitalists can do to an entrepreneur.  Even if there are a 1000 good stories of what a VC can do, this story will remain with us for years to come as a cautionary tale.

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