Elevation Partners — the venture capital firm that boasts Bono, lead singer for the rock band U2, as a partner and Facebook as a portfolio company — has had a string of bad news lately.
Marc Bodnick, co-founding partner, left in January to join social question-and-answer site Quora. Just days later, Managing Director Rajiv Dutta died.
“The partners are heartbroken about the loss of Rajiv, but with his loss and Marc Bodnick leaving, none of the key man provisions have been triggered,” said Paul Kranhold, Elevation Partners spokesman. He declined to comment about the Menlo Park, Calif.-based firm beyond that statement.
However, the investment period for its first and only fund ended last year, according to people familiar with the matter. The capital commitments left will be used for existing portfolio companies, they say.
Other executives have left in the five years since Bono hit the road to help raise the fund. Co-founder John Riccitiello left in 2007 and Kevin Albert, a managing director, left in September. Four co-founders, including Bono, remain at the firm.
And despite an investment of 15% of the fund in venture capital's current hit single, Facebook, returns have not exactly shot off the charts. The Oregon Investment Council, which manages the $54 billion Oregon Public Employees' Retirement Fund, Salem, has so far earned a -0.4% internal rate of return on the $88.5 million invested of its $100 million commitment as of Sept. 30, according to to the council's most recent private equity report.
Thanks to venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers' $52 billion Facebook valuation when it invested about $38 millon on Feb. 14, however, the fund's value has skyrocketed, according to sources.
Right now, Elevation executives are discussing a second fund, but are waiting for those gains to be realized.