Venture Capital

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  • Why Metrics Get Worse With Scale

    Seeing Both Sides
    bussgang
    9 Feb 2015 | 3:20 am
    Conventional wisdom suggests that the most important metrics for a startup - such as unit economics, cost of acquisition, lifetime value, churn rates - typically get better with time. I hear this asserted frequently by entrepreneurs who confidently project their businesses with increasingly improving metrics as they scale into the future. The topic of scaling startups is one that I enjoy thinking, living and writing about (most recently, Scaling the Chasm).  In the class I teach at Harvard Business School, the first module of the course is dedicated to examining startups when they are…
  • The Art of the Business Model

    Guy Kawasaki
    Guy Kawasaki
    24 Feb 2015 | 3:03 pm
    A good business model forces you to answer two simple questions: “Who has your money in their pockets?” And “How are you going to get it into your pocket?” These questions may lack subtlety, but making money isn’t a subtle process. More elegantly stated, the first question involves identifying your customer and the need that she feels. The second question creates a sales mechanism to ensure that your revenues exceed your costs. You’ll tweak your business model constantly–in fact, it’s scary if you don’t change your model or do some major tweaking along the way. Here are some…
  • Mobile security co Zimperium raises $12m

    Start ups
    26 Feb 2015 | 3:15 pm
    The round was led by Australian telecom company Telstra and included Zimperium's Japanese distributor TOYO.
  • NSA Bullk Telephony Metadata Program Reupped Until Parts Of The Patriot Act Potentially Sunset

    TechCrunch
    Alex Wilhelm
    27 Feb 2015 | 3:29 pm
     In a post on its official Tumblr, the United States’ Office of the Director of National Intelligence noted that it sought and received a reauthorization of its telephony metadata program, authorized under Section 215 of the Patriot Act. The reauthorization lasts until June 1, 2015. Read More
  • TheFunded.com Discussion: How about Making Offerings Overseas to Non Residents?

    TheFunded.com
    27 Feb 2015 | 9:04 am
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    TechCrunch

  • NSA Bullk Telephony Metadata Program Reupped Until Parts Of The Patriot Act Potentially Sunset

    Alex Wilhelm
    27 Feb 2015 | 3:29 pm
     In a post on its official Tumblr, the United States’ Office of the Director of National Intelligence noted that it sought and received a reauthorization of its telephony metadata program, authorized under Section 215 of the Patriot Act. The reauthorization lasts until June 1, 2015. Read More
  • Uber Database Breach Exposed Information Of 50,000 Drivers, Company Confirms

    Colleen Taylor
    27 Feb 2015 | 3:06 pm
     Uber announced today that its database was breached by an unauthorized third party last year. The company confirmed the breach in a company blog post published this afternoon, authored by Uber’s managing counsel of data private Katherine Tassi. The breach, which occurred on May 13 2014, revealed the names and license plate numbers of approximately 50,000 drivers across various states.… Read More
  • Startup Lessons From My Screenwriter Life, Part 2: Movie Sets

    Dave McLaughlin
    27 Feb 2015 | 3:00 pm
     This is the second post in a two-part series on the lessons I learned as a filmmaker that have value in my life as a startup founder and CEO at Vsnap. In the first post, I covered stuff that comes up before you go into production. In this post, I will discuss how a few of my lessons learned on sets apply to startup life. Read More
  • CrunchWeek: Net Neutrality Passes, Pebble Time, Growing Potrepreneurship

    Sarah Buhr,Alex Wilhelm,Kyle Russell
    27 Feb 2015 | 2:48 pm
     It’s the end of another week in tech and what a week it’s been! The FCC passed new net neutrality regulations and then the Internet exploded. First it was about the net neutrality news, then we quickly turned our attention to some llamas, and soon after that everyone divided over the color of a dress (do we even deserve net neutrality?). In any case, this week, Sarah Buhr, Alex… Read More
  • With A $60M Revenue Run Rate, ClassPass May Be The Next Uber

    Jordan Crook
    27 Feb 2015 | 2:29 pm
     TechCrunch has secured financial information about ClassPass, the TechStars-backed startup that offers unlimited access to various fitness classes for a flat monthly fee. As it stands now, our sources report that ClassPass is tracking to a $60 million revenue run rate for 2015, a run rate that has doubled in the past three months. Last week alone, the company brought in $1.5 million and this… Read More
 
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    Both Sides of the Table

  • Some Career Advice for Aspiring Tech CEOs

    Mark Suster
    23 Feb 2015 | 11:19 pm
    A shortened, better edited and with nicer pictures version of this post first appeared on TechCrunch. But if you want it in it’s full V1 glory read on … You’ve never been a CEO but might like to be one some day. But how? Nobody sees you as a CEO since you’ve never been one? I wrote this conundrum and the need to take charge of how the market define your skills in my much-read blog post on “personal branding.”  If you don’t create the message about yourself, the market will. And if you want to be a CEO one day you need the messaging to reflect that.
  • Here Are the Details About Upfront Ventures’ Newest EIR – @Chamillionaire

    Mark Suster
    22 Feb 2015 | 10:08 pm
    Five-and-a-half years ago I first met Chamillionaire at a tech conference in LA. I saw him on stage at the event talking about how he used social media to engage audiences. This was 2009 and his understanding of audience engagement was far beyond anything I was hearing from most people at that time. I reached out after the event to learn more. We started hanging out a bit and discussing technology and entrepreneurship. What Cham rarely tells people – he’s both private and humble – is that he started making some small co-investments with me in tech firms starting with Maker…
  • Be Careful About Being a Meddling Startup CEO

    Mark Suster
    16 Feb 2015 | 7:25 pm
    I recently wrote a post talking about how some VCs meddle in operating company decisions or some executive teams are too reliant on VCs to jump in and make hard calls for them. Fred Wilson also wrote on a similar topic in his usual more succinct manner, with a great quote being: “One thing I know for sure is that those who advise and invest in startups cannot and should not meddle in the day to day decision making. It’s harmful and hurtful to the startup and those that lead it. So operating at a higher level, helping to set the framework for decision making and then sitting down and…
  • Taking My Hat Off to @Shervin and His Hyperloop Ambitions

    Mark Suster
    12 Feb 2015 | 11:19 pm
    Shervin Pishevar. Many of the articles I’ve read about him over the last several years have a listing of his biggest successes – mostly Uber – and a tinge of cynicism about his close connections with celebrities or self promotion. Not this one. I’m going to write a pure admiration piece. A “hats off” (see what I did there?) story about big bets and equally grand huevos. And also a “thank you.” I first met Shervin (does he need a last name?) in 2009. We attended a fbFund demo day (which I rarely do but it was put on by my long-time buddy Dave…
  • It’s Sofa King More Effective to Pick up the Phone

    Mark Suster
    10 Feb 2015 | 8:38 pm
    Phone calls. Millennials are allergic to them. I have this conversation Sofa King often that I’m sure each reader who has met me will think I’m talking specifically about you. I’m not. Well, I am. But not only you. Email is efficient.  You can crank out asynchronous thoughts, orders, questions, commands and comments. I email often. I always follow important emails with a call. There is a reason. Phone calls are effective. You can convey meaning and emotion. You can listen for responses. You can detect how your messages are received and pick up sarcasm, skepticism, anger,…
 
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    VatorNews.tv

  • Funding Roundup - Funding roundup - week ending 2/27/15

    27 Feb 2015 | 9:15 am
    Iotera, Knowmail, Getable, Xero, Twenty20, Metamarkets, Leankor, Branch Metrics, Silent Circle, Seed stage Iotera, a real-time GPS tracking device that can be used to track a whole host of things, raised a $1 million round of seed funding round led by ZenShin Capital Partners and joined by Crunchfund, Startup Capital Ventures, String Ventures, EarlyMarket and Rubicon Venture Capital. E-mail management service Knowmail raised  a $1.2 million seed funding round led by Plus Ventures, 2B Angels, AfterDox and INE Ventures.  Leankor, a workplace collaboration…
  • Amazon files patent for on-demand 3D printing

    27 Feb 2015 | 8:57 am
    Amazon would have trucks ready to print out items at a moment's notice, ready for deliveryIf Amazon had its way, the company would have drones buzzing overhead at all hours of the day, ready to deliver your packages whenever you needed them. The FAA has had other ideas about that, namely that that maybe should never actually happen, so Amazon has been forced to be creative and come up with other ways to get goods to its customers in a timely fashion. Here's one I can tell you I honestly never thought of: on-demand 3D printing. But that is exactly what Amazon has in mind, according to…
  • Luminate Health's Splash Health 2015 winning pitch

    27 Feb 2015 | 8:52 am
    Check out Luminate Health's presentation on stage and the judges' feedbackAt Vator Splash Health, Luminate Health  took home the gold. Here's the video of Siddharth Sinha, Luminate co-founder and CEO, giving the winning presentation. Luminate Health provides labs and healthcare providers with a first-of-its-kind, digital platform for their patients to access and understand their lab results. The company is a SaaS provider, and is partnering with commercial, specialty, and hospital labs across the US. Luminate Health is also helping these labs satisfy a major new federal rule from HHS,…
  • Aereo auctions off tech, but nets a mere $2 million

    27 Feb 2015 | 12:00 am
    The company's patents and portfolio are bought by TiVo and RPX Corp.Poor Aereo. The end is finally here, but no before the company suffered one final indignity. The company, which declared bankruptcy in November, received permission from a bankruptcy judge to auction off its technology, after it struck a deal with broadcasters over the sale process. It expected to net at least $4 million, or maybe as much $31.2 million. How much did it get? A measly $2 million, according to a report from Bloomberg. That is half of the low end of what it wanted. The two big winners…
  • Google Invests $75 Million in Solar energy

    26 Feb 2015 | 2:43 pm
    Google and SolarCity partner to help homeowners reduce solar costsGoogle continues to widen its portfolio of investment in renewable energy, as the tech giant announced Thursday that it partnered with SolarCity to create a new $75 million fund, through which the company will buy and own solar-panel generators on the roofs of several thousand U.S. homes. There will be no upfront cost to the homeowners. Google also committed $300 million to the new fund making it its largest renewable energy investment to date, but this isn't the first time that Google has invested in residential…
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    VentureBeat

  • Google launches a dashboard to update developers on the status of Cloud Platform services

    Jordan Novet
    27 Feb 2015 | 2:06 pm
    Gaming execs: Join 180 select leaders from King, Glu, Rovio, Unity, Facebook, and more to plan your path to global domination in 2015. GamesBeat Summit is invite-only -- apply here. Ticket prices increase on March 6 Pacific! Google today formally announced the existence of a status dashboard for several of its cloud infrastructure services in the Google Cloud Platform. The dashboard first showed up online last year in “experimental” mode, but now that designation has been dropped. Google does still consider it to be in beta, though. If you’d like to updates on issues…
  • GameStop continues diversifying by picking up 163 RadioShack locations to sell phones

    Jeff Grubb
    27 Feb 2015 | 12:45 pm
    Gaming execs: Join 180 select leaders from King, Glu, Rovio, Unity, Facebook and much more to plan your path to global domination in 2015. GamesBeat Summit is invite-only -- apply here. Ticket prices increase to $1,500 on Friday, March 6, at 5 pm PST. GameStop doesn’t just sell games. It also owns and operates hundreds of Spring Mobile stores that deal in AT&T-branded phones. Today, that part of the retailer’s business is expanding. As RadioShack closes, GameStop has stepped in to pick up the leases for 163 locations (via Wall Street Journal). The world’s largest…
  • A handy scale for understanding what pageviews actually mean

    Gregory Ferenstein
    27 Feb 2015 | 11:15 am
    Gaming execs: Join 180 select leaders from King, Glu, Rovio, Unity, Facebook and much more to plan your path to global domination in 2015. GamesBeat Summit is invite-only -- apply here. What does it actually mean for a news post to get 1 million views? Other than the raw number, how many viewers does an article need to get to influence the national discussion? In the news and broadcast industry, we often toss around viewer numbers as a metric for success, but we never attach it to meaningful interpretation. Below, I’ve come with a handy scale to help readers sort through the…
  • Facebook explains when employees can access your account without your password

    Emil Protalinski
    27 Feb 2015 | 10:57 am
    Gaming execs: Join 180 select leaders from King, Glu, Rovio, Unity, Facebook and much more to plan your path to global domination in 2015. GamesBeat Summit is invite-only -- apply here. Earlier this week, Paavo Siljamäki, director at the record label Anjunabeats, told a very interesting story about an interaction with a Facebook engineer logging into his account without entering his account credentials. We got in touch with Facebook to learn when exactly the company’s employees can perform such actions. Here is Siljamäki’s account of what happened: In short, Siljamäki says…
  • Google ditches concrete for flexible structures in new HQ proposal

    Ruth Reader
    27 Feb 2015 | 10:16 am
    Gaming execs: Join 180 select leaders from King, Glu, Rovio, Unity, Facebook and much more to plan your path to global domination in 2015. GamesBeat Summit is invite-only -- apply here. Google just released a proposal for its new Mountain View headquarters, and it looks like the future. The company is submitting redevelop plans for four sites to the Mountain View City Council today. Mock-ups of the proposed changes feature “lightweight block-like structures” with translucent canopies that can expand and change depending on the needs of Google’s teams. The company…
 
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    AVC » VC & Technology

  • Building Enterprise Networks Top Down

    Fred Wilson
    22 Feb 2015 | 6:53 am
    Most people that are in the VC and startup sector know that USV likes to invest in networks. And most of the networks we invest in are consumer facing networks of people. Peer to peer services, if you will. The list is long and full of brand name consumer networks. So it would be understandable if people assumed that we do not invest in the enterprise sector. That, however, would be a wrong assumption. We’ve been looking for enterprise networks to invest in since we got started and we are finding more and more in recent years. There is a particular type of enterprise network that we…
  • Reblog: VC Cliché of the Week

    Fred Wilson
    19 Feb 2015 | 6:27 am
    Back in the early days of this blog I had a series called VC Cliche Of The Week. I’m not sure how long I ran it but I did eventually run out of material and phased it out. In continuation of yesterday’s good vibes and with yet another shoutout to Bliss, here’s a reblog of one from March 2006: ————————————————— The father of this weekly series, the guy who taught me at least half of the cliches I know, is a guy named Bliss McCrum. He and his partner Milt Pappas taught me the…
  • The 40% Rule

    Fred Wilson
    10 Feb 2015 | 6:02 am
    I was catching up on Brad Feld’s blog this morning and saw that he had posted about the “40% rule” for SAAS companies. I was at the same board meeting as Brad and came away similarly impressed by the simplicity of the rule and the logic behind it. Here’s the 40% rule and it is aimed at SAAS companies: Your annual revenue growth rate + your operating margin should equal 40% So, if you are growing 100% year over year, you can lose money at a rate of 60% of your revenues If you are growing 40% year over year, you should be breaking even If you are growing 20% year over…
  • The Carlota Perez Framework

    Fred Wilson
    8 Feb 2015 | 9:36 am
    I was reading William’s post on the potential crash in the Bitcoin sector this morning and I thought of Carlota Perez. Longtime readers of this blog will know that I am a huge fan of Carlota’s work, her research around technology revolutions and financial capital, and her book about all of that. In 2011, I got to interview her on stage at the Web 2.0 expo, which was one of the highlights of my career. For those that are not familiar with Carlota’s work, she studied all of the major technological revolutions since the industrial revolution and how they were impacted by and…
  • Community Ownership Of Internet Applications and Services

    Fred Wilson
    27 Jan 2015 | 5:19 am
    I kicked off the second topic of the week discussion on usv.com today with a post about community ownership of Internet applications and services. If you want to read the post and/or join the discussion, go here and do that. Here’s a teaser to get you interested in doing that: With more and more web and mobile applications deriving their value mostly or completely from their user base (Facebook, Twitter, eBay, Etsy, Reddit, Kickstarter, Uber, etc, etc), there is a growing sense that the community could or should have some real ownership in these businesses. I go on to explain a bit…
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    Xconomy

  • Pixel Velocity Expands in IoT With $10M From Draper Triangle

    Sarah Schmid
    27 Feb 2015 | 11:10 am
    Sarah Schmid Earlier this month, venture capital firm Draper Triangle announced an investment of $10 million in Ann Arbor’s Pixel Velocity, with plans to quickly grow the company to take advantage of the rise of cloud technologies and Internet of Things applications. Jonathan Murray, Draper Triangle’s Michigan-based managing director, has taken a seat on Pixel Velocity’s board as part of the deal. Even though Pixel Velocity has been around for 14 years, Murray says it came onto Draper’s radar about nine months ago. What appealed to Pittsburgh-based Draper is the direction Pixel…
  • Cancer Agency Leaders in Houston, $111M in Grants Awarded

    Angela Shah
    27 Feb 2015 | 10:38 am
    Angela Shah Leaders of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas stopped by the Texas Medical Center in Houston yesterday at a “Meet CPRIT” event to update the city’s biotech community on the agency’s efforts. CPRIT recently announced its latest slate of awards, a total of $111.4 million in research and commercialization grants, which come at a time when Texas lawmakers are scrutinizing taxpayer-funded programs aimed at boosting young companies. For example, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has said he wants to abolish the Texas Emerging Technology fund. Four product development…
  • With FDA Nod, Nonprofit Drug Firm Launches New IUD—And New Model

    Alex Lash
    27 Feb 2015 | 9:38 am
    Alex Lash An unusual women’s health biopharma with a very unusual strategy has passed its first big test. The FDA said today that Medicines360 can bring a contraceptive to market. That’s not the unusual part, and neither is the product. It’s an intrauterine device, and IUDs have been around for a century in one form or another. What’s unusual is that San Francisco-based Medicines360 is a nonprofit. There have been other nonprofit biotech companies. But Medicines360 wants to sustain itself through product sales, not donations, and the FDA decision opens the door to that…
  • RIP Leaf: Heartland Halts Payment-Tech Provider in Consolidation

    Curt Woodward
    27 Feb 2015 | 8:54 am
    Curt Woodward Restaurant checkout-tech provider Leaf, which has been a unit of payments processing company Heartland Payment Systems since 2014, is being shuttered as Heartland looks for a new direction in the fast-changing world of retail payments. Heartland announced the shift as part of its quarterly earnings earlier this month. The Princeton, NJ-based company said it was acquiring two more point-of-sale providers, Dinerware and pcAmerica, and putting them into a newly formed unit called Heartland Commerce. Dinerware and pcAmerica are already working on their own cloud-based order and…
  • Quietyme Seeks Success with Sensors that Shush Sounds in Hospitals

    Michael Davidson
    27 Feb 2015 | 6:33 am
    Michael Davidson Noisy neighbors can be a problem, whether you’re in an apartment building or a hotel room. But if you’re in a hospital, they’re more than a nuisance—they can be a health risk. Quietyme, a Madison, WI, startup, is looking to fix that. The startup makes sensors that can monitor noise levels, along with temperature, light, and humidity. It also makes software that analyzes the noise to determine its source and provide information about how to minimize it. While Quietyme’s software and sensors could be useful in several different settings, co-founder and CEO John…
 
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    VentureWoods

  • The Billion Dollar Startup Club

    Alok Mittal
    19 Feb 2015 | 7:44 pm
    The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones VentureSource are tracking venture-backed private companies valued at $1 billion or more. See how the club has expanded since the project began in January 2014 and select companies to learn more about each.
  • Accelerating Time to Market Cap for Internet/Mobile Companies

    Alok Mittal
    15 Jan 2015 | 6:26 pm
    Must read analysis by Playbigger for Internet/Mobile entrepreneurs. Summary at beginning to report,
  • Metrics for Early-stage Mobile Apps

    Alok Mittal
    12 Jan 2015 | 5:45 am
    Have been talking to many “mobile app” entrepreneurs of late, and one question I get consistently is around how they should think about metrics for mobile apps, to gauge early traction, and with an eye on first round of investors. Here are some thoughts. In my view, valuable mobile apps fall in two zones – apps which will have tens of millions of users over time, but might not have a short term monetization model; and those which would have fewer users but strong anticipated monetization (think few hundred rupees per active user – a million monthly actives and Rs…
  • How to effectively use the Rs 10,000 crore allotted for entrepreneurship

    Alok Mittal
    27 Oct 2014 | 9:04 pm
    I wrote this Op-Ed piece in Economic Times on how the government can effectively use funds allocated to entrepreneurship fund-of-funds. Key points: Leverage the funds to generate private participation and hence enhance the size of the pool Leverage capacity that exists in corporations, microfinance institutions and the like Emphasize under-served areas that align with national priorities, such as job creation, manufacturing, defense, social sectors etc. Promote geographical and social inclusion to ensure a balanced growth Comments welcome!
  • Back to the future

    Alok Mittal
    9 Jul 2014 | 10:01 pm
    Last few months have been full of uncertainty and choice. It is rare that life provides us with an opportunity to step back and ask ourselves the all important questions of what makes us happy, and what do we really want to do with ourselves. It is even more rare that it simultaneously provides us with the right context to help us answer those questions. Over past few months, I was offered both, due to circumstances ranging from tragic to serendipitous on personal and professional front. I am glad to share with my friends that my instincts have led me towards attempting to do another startup,…
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    Seeing Both Sides

  • Why Metrics Get Worse With Scale

    bussgang
    9 Feb 2015 | 3:20 am
    Conventional wisdom suggests that the most important metrics for a startup - such as unit economics, cost of acquisition, lifetime value, churn rates - typically get better with time. I hear this asserted frequently by entrepreneurs who confidently project their businesses with increasingly improving metrics as they scale into the future. The topic of scaling startups is one that I enjoy thinking, living and writing about (most recently, Scaling the Chasm).  In the class I teach at Harvard Business School, the first module of the course is dedicated to examining startups when they are…
  • Scaling the Chasm

    bussgang
    13 Jan 2015 | 3:11 pm
    One of my favorite business books of all time is Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey Moore. It is a classic. My boss and mentor from Open Market, Gary Eichhorn, made the entire management team read it in the 1990s to hammer home its important lessons as we stumbled through the chasm on our way to scaling from zero to nearly $100 million in revenue in a few years. I have been thinking about the challenges of crossing the chasm - that is, taking a cutting-edge product and selling it successfully to the mainstream, not just early adopters who are more tolerant of less complete solutions - and the…
  • What a Wonderful Year! Happy Holidays

    bussgang
    30 Dec 2014 | 5:33 am
    http://www.flybridge.com/newyear2014/ FlyBridge Infographic 2014
  • The Outsiders

    bussgang
    1 Dec 2014 | 7:25 am
    One of my favorite childhood books was SE Hinton's The Outsiders.  For whatever reason, I always related to this tough group of teenagers who felt like societal outcasts just because they were born on the wrong side of town. I was reminded of the book the other day when attending the Unconference.  The Unconference is a Boston-based technology conference put on by the MassTLC that has no agenda.  Instead, the agenda is created dynamically the day of the conference by the attendees.  Sessions are created on the fly, led by whoever wants to lead a session. At many conferences, there is…
  • Entrepreneurs Are Crazy

    bussgang
    3 Nov 2014 | 3:31 am
    Becoming an entrepreneur is illogical.  If you were to calculate the expected value (i.e., the probability-weighted average of all possible outcomes) of being an entrepreneur as compared to living the safe life of a traditional executive, it wouldn't even be close.  On a purely rational, probablistic basis, the math for entrepreneurship doesn't add up. Despite this, entrepreneurship is on the rise.  For those of us who live in that world, we know that entrepreneurship is about passion more than rational thinking.  It inspires those who are crazy enough to believe that they can…
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    PE Hub Blog

  • Genstar Capital-backed ERT to acquire PHT Corp

    Iris Dorbian
    27 Feb 2015 | 11:52 am
    EResearch Technology Inc, a portfolio company of Genstar Capital, has agreed to buy PHT Corp. No financial terms were disclosed. Jefferies LLC and Cain Brothers & Co. advised ERT on the transaction while Crosstree Capital Partners Inc was financial advisor to PHT. Headquartered in Boston, PHT helps collect patient-driven data via smartphones, tablets and the web. PRESS RELEASE SAN FRANCISCO, February 27, 2015 – Genstar Capital, a leading middle market private equity firm that focuses on investments in targeted segments of the healthcare, software, industrial technology, and financial…
  • Private equity ‘walks on eggshells’ as funds eye Brazil hospitals-Reuters

    Reuters News
    27 Feb 2015 | 11:30 am
    (Reuters) – Brazilian hospitals and health clinics are drawing strong interest from global buyout firms after the government recently decided to allow foreign ownership of those facilities, although the suitors may find only a few promising targets. Private equity tops a list of potential investors in a sector that represents 10 percent of Brazil’s gross domestic product and shows promise of growth but is hobbled by aging infrastructure, a dearth of qualified staff and rising costs. Since 2007, the number of hospital beds fell by 9 percent while the base of insurance policyholders…
  • Fashion retailer Nasty Gal scores $16 mln Series C

    Iris Dorbian
    27 Feb 2015 | 11:05 am
    Los Angeles-based fashion retailer Nasty Gal has raised $16 million in Series C funding. Ron Johnson, CEO of Enjoy, led the round. In addition to the funding, Johnson, a former CEO of JC Penney, has been appointed to Nasty Gal’s board. PRESS RELEASE LOS ANGELES, February 27, 2015​— Nasty Gal, the millennial fashion and style authority, announced today that the company has closed $16 million in series C funding to support the company’s growth. The round was led by Ron Johnson, CEO of Enjoy and former Apple and Target executive, who also joined the company’s board. With…
  • Mexico’s Televisa says Univision could go public in 12-18 months-Reuters

    Iris Dorbian
    27 Feb 2015 | 8:40 am
    (Reuters) – An executive from Mexico’s Grupo Televisa on Friday said U.S. media company Univision could list shares within the next 12-18 months. Univision, which distributes Televisa content in the United States, is owned by a consortium of private equity groups and Televisa, which invested $1.2 billion in 2010. The Televisa executive was speaking on the company’s fourth-quarter conference call.
  • PE-backed Safe Fleet Investments completes Elkhart Brass acquisition

    Iris Dorbian
    27 Feb 2015 | 8:33 am
    Safe Fleet Investments LLC, a portfolio company of The Sterling Group, has closed its buy of Elkhart Brass. No financial terms were disclosed. Based in Elkhart, Indiana, Elkhart Brass is a maker of fire fighting and fire protection equipment. PRESS RELEASE HOUSTON, Feb. 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — The Sterling Group, a private equity firm based in Houston, Texas, announced that its portfolio company, Safe Fleet Investments LLC, has completed the acquisition of Elkhart Brass. Safe Fleet is the market leader in providing safety solutions for fleet vehicles. The company designs and…
 
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    Technosailor.com

  • The Internet is About to Become WAY Faster

    Aaron Brazell
    20 Feb 2015 | 8:08 am
    Earlier this week, the big news in the tech space surrounded the completion of the HTTP/2 Spec. Gibberish, gibberish, gibberish. What does this mean for the internet? The short version is: it’s about to become way faster. Faster is extremely important if you want to make money from traffic to your site. Or, you know, if […]
  • Public Enemy Number 1 for A Small Development Shop

    Aaron Brazell
    10 Feb 2015 | 8:35 am
    Net-30, Net-45, Net-60. If you've been working as a freelancer or run your own development shop, you're familiar with these terms. They are the terms that many businesses leverage for paying invoices. They exist because of Accounts Payable.
  • Weekly Blog Post Challenge

    Aaron Brazell
    4 Feb 2015 | 1:52 pm
    Back in 2004, I, like many other people in the WordPress community began blogging. We didn’t, I don’t think, get into WordPress because we wanted to write code or build a career. We got into it because we wanted to write. Our natural talent and curiosity took over, however, and we began writing code. At […]
  • My process for Photography Production

    Aaron Brazell
    15 Jan 2015 | 10:19 am
    I’ve shared a lot of my photography via social networks – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Flickr. It’s generally unlike other photography that you may see around the web. I generally don’t shoot people, unless the people are part of a greater narrative or scene. Never as the object of focus in the scene. I also […]
  • Depression:What it Means

    Aaron Brazell
    12 Aug 2014 | 1:25 pm
    As everyone has most likely heard now, Robin Williams has died. Police have now come out and said he hung himself. Not too long ago, Phillip Seymour Hoffman overdosed on a cocktail of heroin, cocaine and amphetamine, used to treat ADHD. That overdose resulted in his untimely death. These incidents, naturally, shake our culture to […]
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    Gigaom

  • Proposed Chinese security law could mean tough rules for tech companies

    Jonathan Vanian
    27 Feb 2015 | 12:20 pm
    China apparently wants to one-up the U.S. and the U.K. when it comes to urging technology companies to install security backdoors and break their encrypted documents and user communications in the name of national security. Reuters reported on Friday that a newly proposed Chinese counterterrorism law […] Proposed Chinese security law could mean tough rules for tech companies originally published by Gigaom, © copyright 2015. Continue reading…
  • Huawei leaks its own Android Wear watch early in Barcelona

    Kevin C. Tofel
    27 Feb 2015 | 11:53 am
    Look at the list of Android Wear partners and you won’t see Huawei there. Maybe the list needs an update. And while we’re at it, the folks who manage signage at Barcelona’s airport might want to check their schedule: They have advertisements appearing that show the […] Huawei leaks its own Android Wear watch early in Barcelona originally published by Gigaom, © copyright 2015. Continue reading…
  • Think you’re locked into a mobile OS now? Wait until it runs your car

    Kif Leswing
    27 Feb 2015 | 11:47 am
    Apple’s going to reveal more about the Apple Watch on March 9, but CEO Tim Cook has already started dropping hints during a trip to Europe. The latest tidbit comes from The Telegraph: The Apple Watch will be able to start a car. Which cars? That’s a […] Think you’re locked into a mobile OS now? Wait until it runs your car originally published by Gigaom, © copyright 2015. Continue reading…
  • Connected door knobs are lying to us

    Stacey Higginbotham
    27 Feb 2015 | 11:40 am
    This week’s podcast was all about security and how we can design things to tell us more about how connectivity changes them from mere appliances into networked computers — and all the risks that can bring. John Kestner, a principle with Supermechanical, a design firm that […] Connected door knobs are lying to us originally published by Gigaom, © copyright 2015. Continue reading…
  • Panasonic details plans for Firefox OS TVs

    Janko Roettgers
    27 Feb 2015 | 11:23 am
    Panasonic shared a few more details on its Firefox-OS powered TVs this week, announcing that Firefox OS will be used for six different models in its 2015 line of TV sets. The company still didn’t say when exactly these TVs are going to be available, or […] Panasonic details plans for Firefox OS TVs originally published by Gigaom, © copyright 2015. Continue reading…
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    Feld Thoughts

  • The Magic of OtherInbox

    Brad Feld
    27 Feb 2015 | 12:19 pm
    I get 300+ non-spam emails a day. No matter how diligent I am at unsubscribing from stuff, I still get an endless stream of valid, opt-in email that I want to unsubscribe to. Google takes good care of my spam and they even jumped all over my complaints about their spam filtering, figured out the problem, and fixed it (thanks friends at Google). So, I’m not talking about spam, but all the rest of the stuff that I don’t need to see right away. I’ve tried to use Google’s categories, but it doesn’t really work well for me. Others are emails I never want to see and…
  • Startup Opportunities Book Tour, Presented by Intuit QuickBooks

    Eugene Wan
    26 Feb 2015 | 9:34 am
    Sean Wise, my co-author for my next book, Startup Opportunities, is a professor at Ryerson University in Toronto. When we first started writing this book in late 2013, we knew that we were going to do both a United States tour and a Canadian book tour. We flipped a coin to see which one we’d do first and Canada won. The book is comes out in March (pre-order right now to give me some love) and we’re celebrating that with a Central and Eastern Canadian book tour. Sean and I will also be putting the topics in our book directly to work. At each book tour event, a few idea stage…
  • Some Final Thoughts on the FCC and Title II Ahead of Tomorrow’s Vote on Net Neutrality

    Brad Feld
    25 Feb 2015 | 5:46 am
    Tomorrow, the FCC is expected to vote on a proposal for new rules around Net Neutrality. The vote is likely to be 3-2 in favor of the rules, split along partisan lines (3 democrats, 2 republicans – shocker…). There has been an enormous amount of bombastic rhetoric in the past few months about the issue that has recently become especially politicized in the same way the debate about SOPA/PIPA unfolded. I’ve been very public about being a supporter of net neutrality and the idea that the FCC should put down clear, legally enforceable rules around it. However, every time I…
  • Pantheon for Agencies

    Brad Feld
    19 Feb 2015 | 7:35 am
    When your website crashes on launch day it really sucks. It’s ridiculous to me that that still happens today as a regular course of business. Every time a marketing team works with a web design firm, there is the usual painful and broken handoff between the outside agency and the technical operations of the client which culminate on launch day. So many things have to go right for your launch to be flawless: server configuration, load testing, and deployment. For our portfolio companies, this requires diverting senior DevOps engineers to ensure things go right, which of course comes at the…
  • The Agony and Ecstasy of Selling My First Company

    Brad Feld
    18 Feb 2015 | 7:44 am
    Several years ago, Alex Iskold wrote a great overview of What It Is Like To Sell Your First Company. I thought it was a great description and encourage every entrepreneur who has never been through the sale of a company to read it. Rereading Alex’s post inspired me to write my first person account of selling my first company. I’m sure I’ll get stuff wrong since it was over 21 years ago (I was 27.) But I’ll try to capture the good stuff that I can remember, especially since I know I had absolutely no idea what I was doing and could only rely on verbal conversations with…
 
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    Guy Kawasaki

  • The Art of the Business Model

    Guy Kawasaki
    24 Feb 2015 | 3:03 pm
    A good business model forces you to answer two simple questions: “Who has your money in their pockets?” And “How are you going to get it into your pocket?” These questions may lack subtlety, but making money isn’t a subtle process. More elegantly stated, the first question involves identifying your customer and the need that she feels. The second question creates a sales mechanism to ensure that your revenues exceed your costs. You’ll tweak your business model constantly–in fact, it’s scary if you don’t change your model or do some major tweaking along the way. Here are some…
  • Wanted: Reviews of The Art of the Start 2.0

    Guy Kawasaki
    24 Feb 2015 | 9:51 am
    I’m looking for people to review The Art of the Start 2.0. If you’re interested, please complete this short form: https://alltop.wufoo.com/forms/sign-up-to-review-the-art-of-the-start-20/ Space is limited, so when the spots are gone, they’re gone! Once the application process is completed, readers will be selected and will receive an email with a digital copy via Net Galley of The Art of the Start 2.0 to review. Thank you in advance for your help. Solid book reviews help a book and the author very much. The post Wanted: Reviews of The Art of the Start 2.0 appeared first…
  • The Story of a Million-Dollar Etsy Business

    Guy Kawasaki
    23 Feb 2015 | 2:58 pm
    Interesting story of how Alicia Shaffer sells $1 million of fashion items via her Etsy shop. It’s fantastic that Etsy has created a market like this–democratizing commerce and crafts! http://www.fastcodesign.com/3042352/how-one-knitter-makes-almost-1-million-a-year-on-etsy There is some controversy about whether her products are handcrafted “enough,” but there are marketing lessons to learn from her success, nonetheless! The post The Story of a Million-Dollar Etsy Business appeared first on Guy Kawasaki.
  • My Advice to 22 Year-Olds

    Guy Kawasaki
    22 Feb 2015 | 8:21 am
    As I write this, I’m just past the big 6O. Here’s some advice based on thirty-eight more years of living than you have. I don’t expect you to believe everything I say–when I was twenty-two I wouldn’t listen to someone this old, but maybe some of this will resonate with you: Challenge the known and embrace the unknown. Accepting the known and resisting the unknown is a mistake. You should do exactly the opposite: challenge the known and embrace the unknown. Now is the time to take this kind of risk because you have less to lose and everything to gain. Great things happen…
  • How to Find a Co-Founder

    Guy Kawasaki
    21 Feb 2015 | 8:11 am
    People love the notion of the sole innovator, but this notion is wrong. Successful companies are usually started, and become successful, with the contributions of at least two people. Yin and yang, maker and seller, dreamer and pragmatist — call it what you will. After the fact, people may recognize one founder as the innovator, but it takes a team to make a new venture work. Derek Sivers, the co-founder of CD Baby, said it best: “The first follower is what transforms the lone nut into a leader.” In some instances the first follower is the first customer, but most often the first…
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    deal architect

  • Enterprise Software Churn: Microsoft momentum

    vinnie
    25 Feb 2015 | 9:01 am
    This continues a series about customer moves to reshape their enterprise software landscapes. When I was researching SAP Nation, I was impressed with how many customers are swapping out software, moving to third party maintenance, “ring fencing” the core solution...
  • Big Data Misses: Auto Insurance

    vinnie
    24 Feb 2015 | 7:57 pm
    On New Florence, I have been cataloging impressive use of advanced analytics for a few years now. Nowadays, it is jarring when you see scenarios which do not leverage the deluge of data available at reasonable cost to most enterprises....
  • Throwback S4HANA

    vinnie
    23 Feb 2015 | 2:45 pm
    When SAP launched S4HANA a few weeks ago, an executive emailed me to ask if it reminded me of 2006? 2006 as in the Oracle “Halfway to Fusion” announcement. Today Oracle alum and even some at the company chuckle about...
  • Enterprise Software Churn: UNIT4 in UK local government

    vinnie
    21 Feb 2015 | 10:54 am
    The general presumption in the enterprise software marketplace is customers stay loyal for lifetimes – the more realistic thinking, of course, is they stay loyal for long periods, but not that long. When I was researching SAP Nation, I was...
  • The art of the possible

    vinnie
    18 Feb 2015 | 8:35 am
    The Preface to SAP Nation starts with “I first thought about writing this book five years ago.” In the weeks since the book has come out, I have had a chance to spend a bit more time on my innovation...
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    allensblog

  • Don't Contort Your Org Chart

    Allen Morgan
    3 Feb 2015 | 8:03 pm
    We’ve all seen a “standard” organization chart. It has (1) the CEO at the top, (2) Four to eight Vice-presidents below, each in charge of a business function and reporting to the CEO, (3) Directors in the reporting chain below the Vice-presidents, and (4) a variety of folks with different (and non-standard) titles in the reporting chain below the Directors.  I would claim that this “standard” org chart is actually a good template to follow in organizing a start-up through, say, the first 40 people. I’m not sure if the converse is true, but I can say (without having done a…
  • Weird Political Fact -- Rule by Minority

    Allen Morgan
    13 Jan 2015 | 10:23 am
    With the recent turnover in the U.S. Senate to a Republican majority, I was reminded that just over a year ago, the (then) Democratic majority of the U.S. Senate lowered the vote required to pass a motion for cloture (i.e., an action that cuts off a filibuster).  Previously, it took 60 votes to make this happen; the recent action made a simple majority vote sufficient (except in certain cases, Supreme Court nominees, for example, which retain the 60-vote requirement). In the spirit of "chickens coming home to roost", this got me to thinking: what is the smallest number of people…
  • Entrepreneurs: It's OK to Divulge Your Last-round Post-money Valuation

    Allen Morgan
    18 Dec 2014 | 8:35 am
    [Entrepreneurs: read all the way to the bottom of this post; there are different situations that can look confusingly similar, and it's important to distinguish among them.] Most, smart investors will ask you for the post-money valuation of your last round of financing at the conclusion of your first meeting (indeed, if a VC doesn't ask for it during your initial meeting, it's usually a sign they've already decided to pass).  It's safe to answer the question, and you should do so without hesitation. In fact, I think it's a good idea to offer the information even…
  • Entrepreneurs: Upcoming Events, Gambling & The Schmuck Factor

    Allen Morgan
    17 Dec 2014 | 8:14 am
    Entrepreneurs, here's another surprising subtlety that you might not think of when raising money from venture capitalists:  even with a solid track record of accomplishment over, say, the past year, don't try to raise money too close to an upcoming major milestone, or inflection point, in your business (e.g., big product release, significant new customer agreement, important senior hire). Failure to factor this into your fundraising calendar can hurt. Why? Two main reasons:  (1) to a venture capitalist, it feels too much like gambling, and (2) VC's worry a lot about the…
  • Entrepreneurs: In Times of Stress, Don't Do What Comes Naturally

    Allen Morgan
    15 Dec 2014 | 12:23 pm
    I was lucky.  I got taught this early in my career. Several recent episodes in my "Sherpa" practice, however, have reinforced my belief that this simple lesson should be part of every entrepreneur's early curriculum (and continuing education).  Important for each new crop of founders to learn -- and remember. The Lesson:  In stressful times, over-communicate with all stakeholders in your start-up, even if only about process/status. Or, even if to report "No Change". One's natural tendency is to clam up; after all, stressful times, almost by definition, are…
 
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    Southeast VC

  • Be Proactive to Grow Your Business

    Jason Caplain
    23 Feb 2015 | 11:37 am
    I had coffee with a local service provider last week. I am always up for meeting new people and it was the first time we had met.  Our conversation went really well, but he mentioned he was very disappointed one of our portfolio companies didn't invite him in to pitch when they were selecting someone that offered a similar service.  While I always respect someone that wants to grow their business, I was a little surprised to hear his disappointment. After all, other similar providers have surrounded the company for years and invested a ton of time building up that trusted…
  • Scott Kupor Andreessen Horowitz Speaks with Entrepreneurs at BCVP

    Jason Caplain
    20 Nov 2014 | 7:20 pm
    We invited some local tech founders over to our office Wednesday night to meet Scott Kupor Managing Partner at Andreessen Horowitz. We have been close with Scott since before he joined Andreessen Horowitz. We thought this would be a good chance for folks to have an informal conversation with him in a small group setting while he was in town.  One entreprenuer asked Scott what North Carolina needed to do to improve. Another founder immediately responded that the region needs more capital. It was not a very popular comment but I challenged that. Do we need more capital here? Or do we need…
  • WedPics CEO Shares Investor Email

    Jason Caplain
    9 Sep 2014 | 10:34 am
    I referenced WedPics' CEO/founder Justin Miller in my last blog post. He sends a monthly email to us. His emails serve 2 purposes: 1) Keeps Justin and WedPics top of mind 2) Shows off his continued success as he thinks about his next round Here is the email Justin just sent us and with Justin's permission, I am sharing it here.I like that it is short, easy to read and to the point. This is a good strategy and format to follow.  Although Justin said it was ok, I removed all the numbers from his email.   Hey guys- August was another record breaking month for WedPics, seeing…
  • Fundraising Tips

    Jason Caplain
    9 Sep 2014 | 10:24 am
    Raising capital from investors can be a long, tough and often an incredibly frustrating process. Entrepreneurs often ask us for help (even when we're not in their company). I thought I would share my email I just sent in response to a local entrepreneur with their request for help. My hope is that it helps other entrepreneurs.  Feel free to post here with your other ideas.  My recommendations:   1) Speak with all the local entrepreneurs that have received funding (venture & angel) and see if those CEOs/founders see a connection with the investor(s) that backed…
  • Bull City Venture Partners III, L.P.

    Jason Caplain
    26 Jun 2014 | 12:41 pm
    We are really excited to announce the closing of Bull City Venture Partners III, a $26 million venture capital fund. David and I sincerely appreciate the commitment from all of our LPs and the overwhelming support from the entreprenurial community.  Now, more than ever, we believe there is a big opportunity in front of us. The region we serve has less capital than in the past. However, the level of activity in entrepreneurship has never been stronger. We will continue the same focus we have always had: Great entrepreneurs Southeast and Mid-Atlantic ~70% seed/early; 30% growth Software,…
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    Babbling VC

  • Courting Mike Butcher

    Paul Jozefak
    22 Feb 2015 | 5:13 am
    I wrote a tongue-in-cheek tweet this morning after seeing someone post slides Mike Butcher was presenting at an event. pjozefakWant to get on @TechCrunch? @mikebutcher explains how. http://t.co/wKjOiLPv7n OR pro tip: be smart & say "I'll sponsor your next event!" ;-)22/02/15 10:58 He was discussing how best to get bloggers to write about you and I agree with everything he said. If you want to get written about, heed his advice...he's been at it a while. Yet there's one thing a blogger really can't say without coming across like a dick.  Get to know them! PR and working with the press is…
  • The Bastardisation of the Entrepreneur-in-Residence

    Paul Jozefak
    17 Feb 2015 | 11:36 pm
    I've seen this happening over the years but it seems to have come to a fever pitch in the past year or so.  Ever more people I run across or who apply for positions have held the title of "Entrepreneur-in-Residence".....better known as EIR's. This has become one of the most loaded terms in the startup world. The majority of the folks don't realise that this is one of the most bullshit titles out there now.  Back in the 90's, EIR's showed up in the Valley. Here's the thing though.....these were really entrepreneurs. Usually EIR's were guys who had already exited at least one if not more…
  • A Bit of Berlin in Slovakia

    Paul Jozefak
    29 Nov 2014 | 6:15 am
    This is one hell of a biased post so let me get that out of the way right off the bat. Being that I am from Slovakia and was just there for the Slovak Startup Awards, there is no way that this post could be considered impartial. But so be it.  Having spent the past 2,5 days in Bratislava to attend the awards show as a jury member, I had the opportunity to get around a bit in town...mostly for meetings. Nevertheless, I had some coffee and food at Foxford and Urban. I ate steak at Carnevalle. I had a dinner at Rio and drinks at the Sky Bar. Late night after too much wine we stumbled over to…
  • A Billion Seconds verses A Million Seconds

    Paul Jozefak
    25 Nov 2014 | 12:15 am
    This is more of a fun post but there's a point to it. I was listening to a podcast this morning where Tony Robbins was being interviewed...he's out promoting his new book. I have to admit I bought it based upon the press it's been getting more so than actually being interested in the topic. Nevertheless, he makes an interesting point in the interview....which I'm presuming I'll also see in the book: "Set your goals based on realistic numbers." How long is one million seconds? 11.57 days How long is one billion seconds? 31.67 YEARS!!! Think about that for a moment.....a little less than 11…
  • Email Is Lazy Communication

    Paul Jozefak
    29 Oct 2014 | 2:29 am
    Don't believe in email. No, don't use it at all! It's the easiest Form of communication but also the easiest way to go unnoticed. If at all, you'll be responded to at the receiver's pace and that hardly ever matches yours.  Everyone I work with hears me stress the importance of phone calls. There's nothing better than getting someone on the line. Further, if you don't get them on the phone, find something other than email. Yes, there are better options.  You know what everyone reads? WhatsApp or iMessage/SMS! Why? Because it could be the wife/husband, the kid, a close friend or a…
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    Frederic Destin

  • Developing London tech clusters beyond Shoreditch: Croydon ?

    freddestin
    17 Feb 2015 | 8:47 am
     Here in London we're all very proud of the progress made over the last few years.  Having come back from 4 years in Boston, I have been surprised by the level of maturity that we have achieved and how far we have come.   But London is a city of 9 million and our efforts and mindshare right now are still very much focused around Mayfair, Soho, City and the City Fringes.  The question is: how do we successfully take innovation into Dalston, Hammersmith or even Croydon? London Rising Perhaps the fast and furious progress London has made is best highlighted by the following…
  • Cytokinesis at Atlas Venture: bio and tech take off

    freddestin
    2 Oct 2014 | 3:45 pm
    Atlas Venture announced at his latest annual meeting that the biotech and tech groups were going their own way.  Since I did spend ten years there, let me give you my view on it. Aligned, yet different The two groups had a ton in common.  Both are laser focused on early stage and have espoused a model of being super capital efficient and lean early and supporting hard and fast scaling once companies show promise.   Both groups have been innovating for a few years now in adapting fast to changing market conditions, with biotech showing the way in "asset light" and virtual…
  • Zoopla at seven – how focus and speed drive exceptional outcomes

    freddestin
    19 May 2014 | 5:30 am
     I first invested in Zoopla in July 2007.  At the time, a mere £500,000 to get the company going and back Simon Kain and Alex Chesterman in improving the real estate experience. Last week, almost exactly 7 years after this first investment, Zoopla released its last set of numbers:  40 million monthly visits,  six-months revenues of £38.8 million and a profit margin that is flirting with 50%. As I left the last board meeting, I marvelled about how this management team had taken the business so far and so fast; this is not so much as statement about the top line as a…
  • The Boston Surprise

    freddestin
    10 Apr 2014 | 3:35 am
     Now that I am leaving Boston I can talk about its startup ecosystem in all candor.   When I came over 4 years ago, it was essentially as an act of belief in my partner Jeff and in myself. To be frank, I did not expect much. Talk was of dreary winters and a boring town full of boring VCs with not much happening. For that was the perception of the region from afar. I could not have been more wrong. I am starting to measure the progress that was made in the last four years, too. When Oculus VR was sold recently, I know many people were surprised to hear Boston mentioned in connection…
  • Why Series B is usually the hardest

    freddestin
    31 Mar 2014 | 8:47 am
     Tom Tunguz and Danielle Morrill both came out with data suggesting Series B are hard.  Tom calls it the "hardest round to raise", based on his numbers.  Let me try to address why that is.   Let's assume we're in a B2B SaaS company with a solid technological base.  You started four years ago and you've raised a $1M Seed and a $5M Series A.  You're searching for the best way to scale commercial when Series B comes around the corner, faster than you thought with that $300K burn that crept up on you. Series B is hard for a simple reason: suspension of disbelief…
 
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    Mark Peter Davis

  • Seeking New Partner @Interplay

    MPD
    26 Feb 2015 | 10:30 am
    We’re looking to add our 4th partner at Interplay. It’s been a year since we added our last partner and now it’s time to expand the team again.  We’ve grown a lot over the last year.  We’ve added roughly 10 business lines, hired dozens of folks and built out our operating team.  But we’re nowhere near done building and we want another partner to help. The role of the partner at Interplay will primarily be to serially cofound companies.  We’ve already identified the companies that we’re interested in starting, so the partner doesn’t need to be an “idea” person.  They…
  • New Family Member: Fulton Waters

    MPD
    24 Feb 2015 | 9:45 am
    We’re excited to announce a new addition to the Interplay crew: Fulton Waters. Fulton Waters is a firm that specializes in helping innovative companies with their business development.  Here are three ways in which they usually get involved: Partnerships: Fulton Waters helps companies break into the Fortune 1000 and secure partnerships. Licensing: Whether you want another revenue stream or want to liquidate a failed venture, licensing your technology can be a great option.  Fulton Waters specializes in helping companies monetize their IP. Market Penetration: If you’re an offshore…
  • Why Managers Should Choose Transparency

    MPD
    17 Feb 2015 | 9:05 am
    Some CEOs build companies like Jenga towers.  For those who don’t know Jenga, it’s a game where people manipulate a stack of small wood blocks hoping not to be the person to tip the tower, bringing it crashing down. Jenga-tower-companies aren’t stable.  Layer-by-layer, they’re built with imperfections or fissures that are waiting to crack when a little bit of pressure is applied. There are a few ways that CEOs can weave fissures into each layer of a company.  For example, they can ignore operational issues by throwing excessive resources at problems or they can weave difficult…
  • Seeking: Interplay Director Of Operations

    MPD
    4 Feb 2015 | 6:08 am
    It’s time for us to expand our team again. This time we’re looking for a Director of Operations.  If you’re one of the most responsible people you know, this might be the right job for you. Interplay Ventures, Director of Operations The Director of Operations will play a pivotal role at Interplay working closely with our Managing Partner.  This person will be trained to be a jack-of-all-trades within the organization, learning diverse and broadly applicable business skills.  Our Managing Partner will be actively supporting this person to ensure that they are well trained…
  • The Founder Family Man

    MPD
    26 Jan 2015 | 7:27 am
    According to conventional startup wisdom I’m too old to be an entrepreneur.  Or, at least, I’m in too late of a life stage.  When I started my latest venture I was already married and had a daughter.  Despite all of that, I made it work and am self-employed and fully buried in the throws of launching more companies.  So, how does that work? I think that there are two key arguments that scare off would-be founders with families.  First, there’s the economic argument.  Second, there’s the parenting argument.  Let’s take them one a time. #1: Economic Becoming a founder after…
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    Tech

  • Former RadiumOne CEO making amends

    Sam Colt
    27 Feb 2015 | 3:07 pm
    Former RadiumOne CEO Gurbaksh Chahal made a scheduled court appearance in San Francisco superior court on Friday where a judge commended his "very good" progress completing classes related to domestic violence and battery charges he pled guilty to last year. RadiumOne runs an automated platform for online and mobile ads. Chahal was fired from RadiumOne last year after refusing to resign amid allegations he had beaten his girlfriend. In a blog post last year, Chahal said he pled guilty to two misdemeanors because he didn't want to endure a lengthy trial. "While, I had full intentions of…
  • Twitter has one major advantage over Google and Facebook (TWTR)

    Dave Smith
    27 Feb 2015 | 2:45 pm
    As of November, Twitter had just 60,000 advertisers, which is small fries compared to Google (4 million) and Facebook (2 million). But Twitter has one big advantage: It makes much more money per advertiser than either of those giant internet companies. Based on data from Macquarie Securities and company filings charted for us by BI Intelligence, Twitter’s average revenue per advertiser was just shy of $21,000 last year, roughly three times that of Facebook at $7,000 per advertiser, and well ahead of Google’s $16,000 per advertiser. Macquarie believes Twitter is so effective because it…
  • Stanford's brightest were lining up to get jobs from these startups you've never heard of

    Melia Robinson
    27 Feb 2015 | 2:16 pm
    On Wednesday, hundreds of Stanford students filed into the resource center for a career fair. Presented by the school's Career Development Center, the Startup 101 Entrepreneur Career Expo invites employers from startup companies to promote their organization, collect resumes, and screen potential candidates. Startups have to cough up $500 for a table, though many company representatives tell me it's a worthwhile investment considering the caliber of applicants in one room. We crashed the career fair to see what startups grabbed the most attention of the best college in America's students. See…
  • A data breach may have compromised as many as 50,000 Uber drivers

    Maya Kosoff
    27 Feb 2015 | 2:16 pm
    As many as 50,000 Uber drivers may have had some of their personal information compromised after a data breach last year, Uber announced on its blog on Friday. Katherine Tassi, Uber’s managing counsel of data privacy, said an "unauthorized third party" accessed one of Uber's driver databases on May 13, 2014. Uber discovered the breach four months later on September 17. Tassi says Uber swiftly repaired the vulnerability in the database, which contained the names and driver's license numbers of 50,000 current and former Uber drivers, across multiple states.  On Friday, the company…
  • LEAKED: These may be the first real photos of Samsung's Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge

    Lisa Eadicicco
    27 Feb 2015 | 1:54 pm
    Lewis Hilsenteger of YouTube channel Unbox Therapy claims to have gotten his hands on images of Samsung's newest smartphones just days before they're expected to be announced. The phones look legitimate — we won't know until Samsung holds its press event on March 1 — but the images appear to be the clearest we've seen yet. Hilsenteger didn't say exactly how he got the images, but they're high-resolution photos of fully assembled phones. Previous leaks have shown components that are believed to be part of the device and renderings. Here's what the camera will supposedly look like.
 
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    DubaiBeat.com

  • Bahrain investors acquired Spanish ceramic firm Fritta

    23 Feb 2015 | 9:20 pm
    Bahrain investment firm Investcorp has acquired the Spanish firm Fritta a producer of intermediates for the ceramic industry. Established in 1973, Fritta produces ceramic frits and glazes, ceramic colors and inkjet inks. It has two frits manufacturing plants in Spain and Vietnam and two glaze mixing units in Italy and Mexico. (In 2014, Fritta is forecast to generate sales and EBITDA of around €100 million and €16 million). Investcorp is listed in the Middle East Investors Directory with the code OR30. More details follows:
  • Dubai Centaur Holdings invested in South African mining firm

    18 Feb 2015 | 2:30 am
    Dubai investment firm Centaur Holdings has announced investing in South African IPC Mining to expand its Nungu coal mine in South Africa. The Nungo mine is 5 km west of Middelburg Town in South Africa. Its coal reserves are located beneath the surface. Centaur Holdings has offices in Dubai, London and Bermuda and is a global investment holding company with interests and investments ranging from asset management, wealth management, private equity, venture capital, mining and agricultural investments. Centaur Holdings is listed in the Middle East Investors Directory with the code FE159. More…
  • DubaiBeat.com an official partner of Citizenship by Investment Conference 2015 in Dubai

    14 Feb 2015 | 2:15 pm
    It is a pleasure for us to announce that DubaiBeat.com is an official partner of the Citizenship by Investment & International Residence Middle East 2015 as its "Regional Private Equity Portal". The summit, which is being held in Dubai 17-18 March 2015, provides an up-to-date overview of the most attractive citizenship by investment and international residence planning options . Find more details about the event on its website. (If for any reason you can not attend, feel free to download our Middle East Investors Directory, now in its sixth year of publication, to get a sense of investors…
  • Dubai investors of Abraaj acquired stake in Turkish mattress maker

    10 Feb 2015 | 9:44 pm
    Dubai-based investment firm Abraaj Group has acquired stake in Turkish mattress maker BRN Sleep Products Established in 2006, BRN Sleep Products exports to over 50 countries. In its domestic market it has 11 company-owned retail stores in Turkey. Dubai's Abraaj Group currently manages $7.5 billion, investing in the growth markets of Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, South Asia, South East Asia, Turkey and Central Asia. Abraaj Group is listed in the Middle East Investors Directory with the code OR01. More details follows:
  • Middle East investors of M1 Group close to buying London's Pepe Jeans

    8 Feb 2015 | 3:58 pm
    M1 Group, a Middle Eastern investment firm based in Lebanon, is emerging as the lead buyer of London's Pepe Jeans fashion firm - Reuters is reporting. The expected deal amount is not yet disclosed, but the seller's expectation was reported around $792 million. Other investment firms in competition to buy the firm were Paris-based private equity firm PAI Partners and Qatar Mayhoola Investments. (Pepe Jeans is majority held by private equity firms Torreal, Arta Capital and L Capital and was launched in London in 1973) M1 Group is listed in the Middle East Investors Directory with the code…
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    Continuations

  • FCC Votes to Keep Internet Access Open for Innovation

    26 Feb 2015 | 11:12 am
    The FCC just ruled to ban fast lanes for internet access. Consumers have already paid with their bills for bandwidth and they understood that cable companies were trying to double dip by also charging content originators for the same bandwidth. Such paid fast lanes would have deeply engrained existing incumbents and made competition and innovation in content and services much more difficult.Huge kudos to all the organizations that worked so diligently to inform individuals and policy makers about this issue. A big thank you also to John Oliver who gave this effort a much needed jolt by…
  • How Much is Enough by Robert and Edward Sidelsky (Book Review)

    25 Feb 2015 | 2:11 pm
    Over vacation I read “How Much is Enough?" by Robert and Edward Sidelsky. I highly recommend the book as it goes after a central question that we should all be asking both individually and collectively.The book starts with an excellent chapter on Keynes's now frequently cited essay on “Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren.” Their basic diagnosis of where Keynes went wrong is that he assumed a separation of needs and wants, expecting our economy to grow rapidly enough to provide for everyone’s needs. And while that did happen, our wants have proven to be…
  • Beware the Post Money Trap

    24 Feb 2015 | 7:15 am
    In the current valuation environment many entrepreneurs seem to believe that only two numbers matter in a financing: the amount of the raise and the dilution. This leads them to buy into the idea that more money for the same dilution is always strictly better. Combined with a lot of money being available from investors this is resulting in Series A rounds of $10 million and more.What could possibly go wrong? The number everyone seems to be forgetting about is the post-money valuation. It is a crucial number though as long as a company is not yet financed to profitability. It determines how…
  • The Crypto Wars Will Have No Winners

    20 Feb 2015 | 6:41 am
    Keeping this short because I am on family vacation but there have been two stories this past week that we should all take note off. First, there was the revelation that the NSA had installed spying software deeply in the firmware of hard drives. Then, details about the breach of SIM card maker Gemalto were published that show how GCHQ and NSA obtained encryption keys for cell phones.Yet we keep insisting that somehow these crypto wars can be won. That somehow we can build a “trusted” computing platform and do so in a non-dystopian fashion. What will it take for people to abandon…
  • Vacation Reading

    12 Feb 2015 | 1:09 pm
    We will be going on family ski vacation, so there will likely be no new posts until week after next. In the meantime though here are the books that I am bringing with me:The Peripheral by William Gibson. I am a huge William Gibson fan in particular Pattern Recognition and of course Neuromancer.Sex at Dawn by Christoher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha. I am about halfway through this fascinating book about the earliest origins of human sexuality and their potential implications for our behaviors today. The book builds a strong case against the standard model that has been used to support the…
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    EZebis

  • Randy Komisar Partner KPCB: Theres Not Enough Women in Venture Capital Today

    pemo
    13 Feb 2015 | 9:00 am
    Randy Komisar, Partner Kleiner Perkins talks about Women Entrepreneurs. There’s not enough women in venture capital today & that’s part of the problem. Venture capital tends to be clubby in the sense that you tend to have confidence & trust & perhaps better communications with people that you feel are more alike than you feel more »
 
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    Openview Labs

  • The One SaaS Metric That Drives All the Rest

    jminton
    27 Feb 2015 | 6:18 am
    If you had to abandon all the others, this is the one SaaS metric worth holding onto. The post The One SaaS Metric That Drives All the Rest appeared first on Openview Labs.
  • The #1 Secret to Channel Success: How to Align Your Goals with Your Partners

    Jonathan Crowe
    27 Feb 2015 | 6:00 am
    HubSpot VP Sales Peter Caputa explains how working together with resellers toward the same common goal has helped make HubSpot’s channel program one of the most successful in the industry. The post The #1 Secret to Channel Success: How to Align Your Goals with Your Partners appeared first on Openview Labs.
  • Social Recruiting Is Something You Can’t Ignore

    jminton
    26 Feb 2015 | 9:00 am
    Avoid social recruiting and you risk alienating the young, top tier talent you’re after. The post Social Recruiting Is Something You Can’t Ignore appeared first on Openview Labs.
  • How to Design a Quiz for B2B Lead Generation

    OpenView Guest
    26 Feb 2015 | 7:00 am
    Looking for a more creative and effective way to engage prospects? This quick-start guide to running online quizzes will have you generating more leads in a snap. The post How to Design a Quiz for B2B Lead Generation appeared first on Openview Labs.
  • A Big Sales Pipeline Isn’t Always Better

    jminton
    25 Feb 2015 | 9:00 am
    What’s the point of a big sales pipeline if it isn’t leading to better deals? The post A Big Sales Pipeline Isn’t Always Better appeared first on Openview Labs.
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    Boston Business News - Local Boston News | Boston Business Journal

  • Nearly half with expiring coverage don't enroll in state health insurance

    Jessica Bartlett
    27 Feb 2015 | 12:00 pm
    More than 200,000 people in temporary state health insurance did not buy insurance through the state, leaving officials to question if those people have obtained health insurance elsewhere or are now uninsured. Approximately 430,000 people were in coverage deemed "transitional" and were placed there due to problems with the state's health insurance marketplace in early 2014. The state subsidized 100,000 of those plans, and paid for 300,000 more only as they utilized services, with all the transitional…
  • Eastern Bank, others seek to put stop to Lynn foreclosure law

    Greg Ryan
    27 Feb 2015 | 11:32 am
    Eastern Bank and several other banks pushed a federal court to prevent the city of Lynn from enforcing an ordinance that requires them to engage in mediation with homeowners prior to foreclosure. The banks, which also include the Country Bank for Savings and Avidia Bank, are seeking a preliminary injunction in their lawsuit against Lynn and the city of Worcester. They argued in a court filing earlier this week that because Massachusetts' highest court recently ruled against a similar statute in…
  • Harvard-based storage startup finds inspiration in 'Doctor Who'

    David Harris
    27 Feb 2015 | 11:30 am
    Apple's laptops have their fans, but they are also difficult to upgrade once you've maxed out their hard drive. You can either opt for Apple's cloud storage subscription service, buy an external hard drive or you can toss out your old laptop and buy a new one. TarDisk, a Harvard Innovation Lab-based startup named after the time machine in the show "Doctor Who," has developed a small drive that fits into the SD card slot on the side of any MacBook that expands the laptop's storage capacity. The startup…
  • Trillium Brewing expanding to Canton later this year

    Catherine Carlock
    27 Feb 2015 | 11:09 am
    Boston's Trillium Brewing Co. has plans to open a second brewery by late 2015, this time in Canton. A 16,000-square-foot location at 110 Shawmut Road near University Station will be Trillium Brewing's primary production hub, said a spokesman for Transwestern | RBJ, which brokered the lease deal. "So we're building another brewery," Trillium co-founder Esther Tetreault wrote in a blog post on the brewery's website. "JC and I are so proud, enthusiastic, humbled, and driven to be able to share Trillium…
  • Shake Shack opening Newbury Street, Legacy Place locations in March

    Catherine Carlock
    27 Feb 2015 | 10:51 am
    Shake Shack, the popular burgers, fries and frozen custard chain, will open two Boston locations in the Back Bay and at Legacy Place in Dedham. The Legacy Place location at 950 Providence Highway, Suite 226 opens Sunday at 11 a.m., and the Back Bay location at 234-236 Newbury St. will open Monday at 11:00 a.m. Shake Shack (NYSE: SHAK), which recently filed for an initial public offering, has existing locations in Harvard Square and Chestnut Hill. The new locations will offer location-specific…
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    eWallstreeter

  • High Fidelity Finds Funding For Virtual Worlds

    27 Feb 2015 | 2:02 pm
    San Francisco-based High Fidelity, a developer of open source software for virtual worlds, revealed this week that it has raised $11M in a funding round. The funding was led by Vulcan Capital. High Fidelity is led by Philip Rosedale, who founded Second Life.... (more)
  • John Deorr, legendary VC, on advising Obama, our broken healthcare & how entrepreneurs can fix it

    27 Feb 2015 | 1:24 pm
    John Deorr, legendary VC, on advising Obama, our broken healthcare & how entrepreneurs can fix it The healthcare industry is the largest and most broken part of the American economy with $3 trillion spent annually and $1 trillion of that wasted each year. Today's guest, the legendary... From: This Week In Startups Views: 1 0 ratings Time: 01:00:59 More in Entertainment
  • Lytro Lands $50M, But Chops Staff

    27 Feb 2015 | 12:55 pm
    Mountain View-based Lytro, the developer of camera technology which allows users to refocus pictures, even after they have been taken, has raised $50M in a new funding round---but also severely cut back its staff. The funding came from GSV CApital, along with Allen & Co.... (more)
  • Leonard Nimoy, influencer of the Star Trek generation as Spock, dies at 83

    27 Feb 2015 | 12:36 pm
    Today Leonard Nimoy, the actor best known for his portrayal of Spock on Star Trek, died at age 83. He leaves behind a legacy of a science fiction generation and a swell of fans sad at his passing yet proud … Continue reading →
  • The Magic of OtherInbox

    27 Feb 2015 | 12:19 pm
    I get 300+ non-spam emails a day. No matter how diligent I am at unsubscribing from stuff, I still get an endless stream of valid, opt-in email that I want to unsubscribe to. Google takes good care of my spam and they even jumped all over my complaints about their spam filtering, figured out the problem,... Read more The post The Magic of OtherInbox appeared first on Feld Thoughts.
 
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    VC Experts: The Buzz

  • KKR Financial—Strong Confirmation by Delaware Chancery Court of Its Preference for Business Judgment Review Whenever Possible

    23 Feb 2015 | 4:00 pm
    In KKR Financial Holdings LLC Stockholder Litigation (Oct. 14, 2014), the Delaware Chancery Court has continued its march to the drumbeat of business judgment deference. In a putative class action by shareholders of KKR Financial (KFN), who were claiming breach of fiduciary duty by KFN’s board in having approved a $2.6 billion merger with private equity firm KKR, Chancellor Andre Bouchard found that KKR had not been a controlling stockholder of KFN-- because KKR held less than 1% of KFN’s voting power and had no right to appoint or remove directors or block board actions, even though KKR…
  • IVC-KPMG: Summary of Israeli High-Tech Company Capital Raising Q4/2014

    16 Feb 2015 | 4:00 pm
    2014 Israeli high-tech capital raising hits $3.4 billion – a record high. Key facts: All time high in large deals, above $20 million; Internet companies led capital raising in Q4/2014 with $320 million – 29% of total; VC-backed deals climbed to $845 million in Q4/2014 – the highest amount for a quarter in six years. In 2014, Israeli high-tech capital raising set an all-time record as 688 companies attracted $3.4 billion. The amount was up 46 percent from $2.3 billion raised by 659 companies in 2013.
  • Issues to Consider When Negotiating the Term Sheet: The Series A Round

    9 Feb 2015 | 4:00 pm
    Should there be a no shop, no solicit clause in the term sheet, which will be binding? From the investor's standpoint, this is often a preferred way to proceed. It avoids the contingency that the Company will "shop" the terms offered by, in this case ABC, LLC, with other potential investors and pick the winning number. This is viewed as a problem for investors, because they will be wasting their time and money on a process which they did not realize would be, in effect, an auction.
  • A Fresh Look at Placement Agent Agreements on Behalf of Private Equity and Venture Capital Funds

    2 Feb 2015 | 4:00 pm
    The fund raising process for most of the private equity funds … venture, leveraged buyout, secondary and others … is an arduous business. Alan Patricoff remarked several years ago that after he split from Apax to form Greycroft it took him, a Hall of Fame venture capitalist, three years (as I recall) to reach a final closing on the fund he was sponsoring.
  • IVC-KPMG: Summary of Israeli Venture Capital Fund Raising - 2014

    26 Jan 2015 | 4:00 pm
    2014 VC fund raising reaches $914m - most in 6 years. Key facts: Four VC funds raised more than $100 million each, accounting for 64% of total; Average fund size of $76 million is up 55% from previous year; Only 3 micro-VCs established, compared with 7 in 2013. In 2014, 12 Israeli venture capital funds raised $914 million, the most raised by Israeli venture capital funds in six years. The year's fund raising was up 68 percent from the $544 million raised by 11 VC funds in 2013, and was 18 percent above the 10-year average of $777 million.
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    Innovative Advisory Group

  • Proof That Share Buybacks are a Powerful Strategy for Building Wealth

    Kirk Chisholm
    26 Feb 2015 | 4:19 am
    Proof That Share Buybacks are a Powerful Strategy for Building Wealth The Curious Case of IBM Share Buybacks This is an overlay chart of IBM's stock price and its market cap since 2000. Do you notice anything interesting about this chart? Look closer... The stock price and market cap have performed differently. How can that be? Aren't they the same? While the stock price and market cap are highly correlated, they are not the same. Stock price - The stock price is the listed price based on what buyers and sellers are willing to pay for it. Market (cap) capitalization - The market cap of a…
  • The 2014 Predictions for Investments Summarized in One Picture

    Administrator
    19 Feb 2015 | 4:41 am
    The 2014 Predictions for Investments Summarized in One Picture     Who would have guessed it? Wall Street's 2014 predictions for investments proved to be wrong. 2014 was an interesting year for the global stock and bond markets. A lot of large macro events took place which fundamentally changed the landscape of global macro economics and ultimately the performance of markets across the globe. Read More... For more great content visit Innovative Advisory Group - Innovative Wealth Management.
  • Inflation Monitor – February 2015

    Kirk Chisholm
    14 Feb 2015 | 4:52 am
    Inflation Monitor – February 2015     Inflation Monitor - February 2015 - Introduction It is now February and it is off to a good start with the New England Patriot winning the Super Bowl... Sorry the big game. Even if you were not a fan, it was a great game to watch up until the last play. The win helped warm the city from the cold chill of deflation setting in around the US. It has been a few months since I have started the Inflation Monitor and each of those months has been marked with deflation. I have been saying for the past few years that deflation is in our future…
  • Why Does Deflation Scare the Federal Reserve and Economists Alike?

    Kirk Chisholm
    10 Feb 2015 | 4:41 am
    Why Does Deflation Scare the Federal Reserve and Economists Alike? Nothing to see here. I just got back from the TD Ameritrade 2015 annual conference in San Diego. They always put on a high qualify event. At this event was a luncheon hosted by TD, where keynote speaker, Craig Alexander, Chief Economist at TD Bank spoke about his view of the world. I make a point to listen to him each year at the conference and I am always impressed. He is a very smart and accomplished economist. However this year was a bit different. I am still trying to make sense of it. The majority of Craig’s speech was…
  • Why are Massachusetts Gas Prices so High at the Pump

    Kirk Chisholm
    5 Feb 2015 | 9:20 am
    Why are Massachusetts Gas Prices so High at the Pump   High Gas prices at the pump As I have been watching the price of oil drop over 50% from last summer, I have driven past the local gas stations and wondered... If the price of oil has dropped 50% then why are gas prices not following suit? Most people would naturally jump to the conclusion that it is the greedy gas station owners. However that thesis does not hold up well when you consider that competition between local gas stations drives down the prices to where they are barely making a profit. What is it about gas prices that have…
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