August 16, 2012
DiNapoli: Investment in New York-Based Buddy Media Yields Fifteen-Fold Return
The sale of the social media marketing company Buddy Media to Salesforce.com generated an estimated $41.2 million net return from an initial investment of $2.7 million, nearly 15 times the original investment, for the New York State Common Retirement Fund (Fund), New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced today. The sale, announced on Monday, was for approximately $750 million.
"The Common Retirement Fund invested in a winner with Buddy Media," DiNapoli said. "This sale is a stellar example of how the Fund's In-State Private Equity Program generates strong returns for the pension fund while growing New York businesses."
In April 2008, the Fund made a $1.8 million co-investment in New York City-based Buddy Media through its investment manager Softbank Capital. A second investment totaling approximately $1.0 million was made by September 2010. The Fund was the first institutional investor to provide funding in Buddy Media following its initial round of angel and seed commitments.
Buddy Media operates a social media marketing platform that allows major consumer brands to connect with customers on Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Twitter and other sites. The company was founded in 2007 and has approximately 300 employees in New York.
"Having the Common Retirement Fund as our exclusive Limited Partner for the Softbank NY Fund gave us the resources to make this investment in Buddy Media possible," said Jordan Levy, partner at Softbank Capital. "The fantastic outcome of our investment in Michael Lazerow and Buddy Media is validation that we can both build great companies right here in New York and deliver great returns to the pension fund."