The timing is interesting, since Kopelman, Managing Partner of Conshohocken-based VC firm First Round Capital, joined GSI Commerce's board in early February, less than two months before the deal was announced yesterday.
Kopelman, of course, goes back a long way with eBay. He sold his Half.com internet retailing startup to eBay in a deal valued at slightly over $300 million in 2000, staying on with eBay for awhile before leaving to return to entrepreneurial pursuits.
After he started First Round Capital, it was an early backer of StumbleUpon, which was acquired for some reason (nobody ever understood the fit) by eBay in 2007 for $75 million. It did not fare well under eBay, and was sold back to the founders and other investors in 2009 at a much lower price. StumbleUpon has since experience a resurgence, and First Round has recently invested again in it.
No way of knowing at this time what role Kopelman may have played either as an advisor or facilitator in eBay's acquisition of GSI Commerce, but he certainly knows the territory and the art of the deal.