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Bain, other Boston VCs, gain in $3.3b Jet.com sale to Wal-Mart

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Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s $3.3 billion acquisition of the e-commerce startup Jet.com will deliver quick profits to a group of investment firms, including the Boston area's Bain Capital Ventures, General Catalyst Partners, and Fidelity Investments.

The deal, announced Monday, is aimed at giving retail giant Wal-Mart a way to compete with Amazon.com for online sales. Jet.com charges consumers an annual fee and says it provides access to low prices in return.

The Hoboken, N.J.-based company had raised nearly $600 million in venture funding in less than two years. It rose in value at lightning speed, as investors lined up behind a company that was looking to take on Amazon. By some estimates, the company was valued at more than $1 billion last fall.

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Bain Capital Ventures was an early backer of Jet.com and has a seat on the board. Fidelity, which has invested in a number of high-profile venture-backed companies on behalf of its investment customers, led a later funding round.

At General Catalyst, the Cambridge-based venture firm where Governor Charlie Baker worked before he was elected, veteran Joel Cutler ran the Jet.com investment.

Jet.com was founded by Marc Lore, who previously started Diapers.com. The parent company, Quidsi, was sold to Amazon for $545 million in 2011.

Other investors include Accel Partners of Silicon Valey, New Enterprise Associates of Chevy Chase, Md., and Alibaba Capital Partners, an arm of the Chinese retailer.


Beth Healy can be reached at beth.healy@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @HealyBeth.