Matrix Partners Extends Winning Streak with Huge Oculus Sale to FacebookMarch 25, 2014
by Kyle Alspach
For Matrix Partners, a storied venture capital firm whose past investments have included Apple Computer and Netezza, 2014 is shaping up to be one of its best years yet, says general partner Antonio Rodriguez.
January saw the IPO of Care.com and February included the acquisition of The Echo Nest by Spotify, both of them portfolio companies for Matrix. Now comes the news that virtual reality startup Oculus VR, in which Matrix was an early investor, is set to be acquired by Facebook for as much as $2.3 billion.
Rodriguez, who is based out of Matrix’s Cambridge office, led his firm’s two investments into Oculus last year (totaling $18.5 million), and holds a board seat with the company.
The investments, Rodriguez told me Tuesday, stemmed from his focus on “post-PC interfaces,” a space he says he’s been pursuing since joining Matrix in 2010. “I’ve spent a lot of time going around to different parts of the country looking at augmented reality stuff and virtual reality stuff,” Rodriguez said. “For most of the stuff I had seen, it was years away from anything you’d want to use.”
After being introduced to Oculus by a friend, Rodriguez visited the company at its office in Irvine, Calif., while the startup was running its Kickstarter campaign for the Oculus Rift headset in 2012. Another Boston VC firm, Spark Capital, had independently been looking into Oculus.