Angel investor makes a Mint

From right to left: Dave McClure with Rob Hayes and Mark Goines at TechCrunch50, courtesy of Dave McClure

At 5-foot-8, Dave McClure calls himself “one of the smallest” venture capitalists in Silicon Valley, either “by height or by wallet size”.  But he was walking tall after Intuit announced it was buying Mint.com recently for $170 million.

That means McClure, who invested $25,000 in Mint two years ago as part of a Series A funding round, is in line for a healthy payout. At the time McClure was actually on Mint’s payroll as a consultant, but was so impressed with the startup’s founder, Aaron Patzer, that he took the money they were paying him and “turned it right back around and wrote them a check.”

Mint is the first big win for McClure out of the many companies he’s invested in since cashing out from his part in PayPal’s $1.5 billion sale to eBay. “I’ve been doing angel investing for almost five years now and this is the first full exit I’ve had,” said McClure, who first found out about the deal in a 4 a.m. email from Patzer.

A few hours later McClure was hi-fiving fellow investors Rob Hayes (First Round Capital), Mark Goines and Jeff Clavier (SoftTech VC) at the TechCrunch50 conference in San Francisco, where McClure said they were all walking around “with big-ass smiles on our faces.”

VIDEO: New class of startup aims for quick revenues

peHub‘s Dan Primack spoke with Reuters about a new kind of startup that’s designed to develop an idea and then be snapped up by a larger company.

As Primack explains, these startups differ from the traditional sort in that they tend to be interested in creating targeted web services or applications rather than conventional companies with longer-term growth ambitions.

“The hope for these companies isn’t to create the next Google or the next Cisco, the goal is to create a little application that Google or Cisco or Facebook or Twitter wants and then will purchase,” he explains.