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Boston’s Spark Capital wins big in Tumblr deal

As part of her strategy to revive the brand and bring back younger users, Yahoo’s chief executive, Marissa Mayer, began courting Tumblr founder and chief executive David Karp.
As part of her strategy to revive the brand and bring back younger users, Yahoo’s chief executive, Marissa Mayer, began courting Tumblr founder and chief executive David Karp.Peter Foley and Guy Calaf/Bloomberg News

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Boston’s Spark Capital stands to earn about $180 million from the $1.1 billion sale of the popular blogging site Tumblr Inc. to Yahoo Inc.

The venture capital firm, which was instrumental in the early development of Tumblr and led its first two rounds of funding, had an ownership stake of about 18 percent in the start-up and has invested less than $15 million into the company since it was founded in 2007, according to Todd Dagres, general partner of Spark.

Spark was among at least six firms that invested a total of $125 million in Tumblr, which is based in New York City and has become one of the fastest growing social media sites on the Web, with more than 100 million users.

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