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DoveBid – Profile

August 18, 2004

HQ: Foster City, Ca
Founded: 1937!
Management: A family business – Ross Dove is Chairman and CEO and Kirk Dove, his younger brother – is President, COO and Director. Their grandfather founded the company. Kirk takes responsibility for bringing the magic of the Internet to an old-line business.
dovebid photo.bmp
Brothers Ross and Kirk Dove, inexplicably flanking a ping-pong ball
Investors: Company raised $22M in July 2004 from Catterton Partners, Ford, Fremont Ventures, GE Equity, Mayfield, Softbank Capital Partners, Texas Pacific Group. Only 9 months earlier, the company had raised Series AA of $28M, $15M of which was a credit facility. In total, the company has raised over $180M in the past three years. During the 90’s boom, Dovebid acquired 17 companies in less than two years, filed for an IPO (which was later withdrawn in May 2001), and started losing money in search of frenetic growth to please its VCs.
Business Model: B2B Auction house that in the past few years has hooked up Webcasts to expand bidder base globally. The company has historically done well in bust times, selling real-estate assets during the savings-and-loan debacle, Enron office equipment after its bankruptcy, and assets during the dot-com flameout, including WebVan’s trucks and distribution equipment. Company competes well against the likes of eBay by useing agents to spin through rolodexes to recruit prospective buyers to specific auctions.
Competitors: eBay, Henry Butcher International
Dirt: The company has been profitable again since 2001 and has revenues in the hundreds of millions of dollars. DoveBid is pursuing two growth strategies: one is to grow globally in places like Asia that have not typically embraced the auction business and the other is to convince companies to use auctions for profitable sales, rather than just for firesales and bankruptcies. Both of these approaches will be tough to pull off. However, the company is well-positioned against eBay and may be a good acquisition candidate as eBay’s outlook flattens.


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