Venture capitalists are known for bankrolling biotech, medical device, software and Internet companies.
But it was a consumer products company which took home the top honor at the Evergreen Venture Capital Association’s annual dinner. Pacific Bioscience Labs, the maker of the Clarisonic skin cleansing device, was chosen as the “Deal of the Year.”
It was a late entry, since the company’s acquisition by L’Oréal USA was announced just last month. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but we’ve heard that it marked a good outcome for the more than 225 angel investors and other shareholders. The 10-year-old company employs more than 300, and posted revenue of $105 million last year.
It also was the second big win for founder David Giuliani who previously sold electronic toothbrush maker SoniCare.
“Being part of the fabulous Northwest venture investment-entrepreneurial community, it gives me a great deal of pride and motivation and inspiration for those of us who work hard everyday to make our ventures go,” Giuliani said in remarks last night. “We should feel really good about being part of a community that is so responsive and interested and supportive.”
He also thanked his wife, Patricia, and added that the Northwest is a great place to live, work and “practice the great American skill of entrepreneurialism.”
Alliance of Angels Chairman Dan Rosen noted at last night’s event how Giuliani presented the deal to the Seattle angel group, and quickly achieved an oversubscribed round in a matter of days. Other backers of the company included Seattle’s WRF Capital.
In order to qualify for the award, companies must have angel or venture capital backers from Washington state who are members of the EVCA. That disqualified companies such as PopCap Games, the Seattle game maker that sold to Electronic Arts for as much as $1.3 billion earlier this year.
PopCap raised cash late in its history from Meritech Capital, which is based in California.