Venture Capital

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  • Entrepreneurs: The Hidden Costs of Angel Investors

    Allen Morgan
    15 Mar 2015 | 1:03 pm
    Entrepreneurs should be aware of two costs of taking money from angel investors (there are obvious benefits to consider, too). Administrative Overhead (Time Sink):  investor relations, for investors of all stripes, takes time by the CEO (but is very important).  So, large numbers of angel investors can be a huge time sink for the CEO of a start-up (the highest number in any of my "Sherpa" companies was 37, and managing them was a nightmare).  Most angels understand that, tied with money, time is the most valuable asset a start-up CEO has, so most angels act appropriately.  But,…
  • Why Homejoy Failed … And The Future Of The On-Demand Economy

    Sam Madden
    31 Jul 2015 | 6:00 pm
     On the heels of Homejoy’s failure, the fundamental “on-demand marketplace” model has come into question by investors, the media and even consumers. That questioning is very relevant, as there has been an overload of VC money that has been injected in the on-demand service platform space over the past few years ($4 billion-plus in 2014). Read More
  • Discussion: The Angel Round Table, Tony Lettich
    31 Jul 2015 | 7:33 am
  • Survivors

    Bothsides of the Table
    Mark Suster
    29 Jul 2015 | 7:30 pm
    Failure. To most people it smells. People are afraid of it. It’s like cancer or divorce. When you have it you find you who your true friends are because they’re the ones who double down on helping, on being available, on listening, on understanding. Most people run from failure or disease because they’re hard to handle. Hard to know how to deal with. Awkward. But I am attracted to those who have had severe set-backs in life because it tells you something about the mettle of the person with whom you’re dealing. It reminds me of a famous quote in one of my favorite…
  • LA Tech Series - Everywhere you look, celebrities are entering the tech world
    1 Aug 2015 | 6:00 am
    Everyone from Jessica Alba and Ryan Seacrest to Stephen Curry and Bono are getting in on the actionLast year, in the run up to our Vator Splash LA event, we highlighted one of the most unique things out the tech scene in southern California: its celebrity culture. No other place on Earth has that many famous people concentrated in one tiny area, and entreprenuers have figured out how to leverage that into big checks and a lot of press. Now that we have another event coming up in Los Angeles in October (get your tickets here!) we have decided to check back in with some of those companies and…
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  • Why Homejoy Failed … And The Future Of The On-Demand Economy

    Sam Madden
    31 Jul 2015 | 6:00 pm
     On the heels of Homejoy’s failure, the fundamental “on-demand marketplace” model has come into question by investors, the media and even consumers. That questioning is very relevant, as there has been an overload of VC money that has been injected in the on-demand service platform space over the past few years ($4 billion-plus in 2014). Read More
  • Setting The Right Valuation For A Competitive Series A Round

    Aaron Holiday
    31 Jul 2015 | 5:00 pm
     Founders are often puzzled by how VCs derive valuations for competitive Series A rounds. A competitive Series A round is an equity round where a company generally raises greater than $5 million led by a top-quartile venture capital firm. During these Series A rounds, it is not uncommon for founders to receive multiple term sheets from lead investors at different valuations, and to feel… Read More
  • Why Polyvore’s Jess Lee Sold To Yahoo

    Sarah Buhr
    31 Jul 2015 | 4:20 pm
     Yahoo bought Polyvore in what we’ve heard could be a $60 million deal today. Both Polyvore and Yahoo were mum on those details, but Polyvore co-founder Jess Lee did tell TechCrunch her company will continue to do the same thing as it’s been doing before – now on a larger scale and with more resources from the tech giant run by Marissa Mayer. Read More
  • FarmLogs CEO Jesse Vollmar Will Talk About The AgTech Revolution At Disrupt SF 2015

    Jonathan Shieber
    31 Jul 2015 | 4:00 pm
     The World Bank says that farmers need to produce 50% more food to feed the 9 billion people who will inhabit the earth by 2050. While farmers are facing higher demand, they have fewer resources to work with thanks to a growing water crisis and the availability of arable land. Join us at SF Disrupt 2015 as FarmLogs CEO Jesse Vollmar walks us through tech’s possible solutions. Read More
  • Here’s The Latest Batch Of 500 Startups Companies

    Matthew Lynley
    31 Jul 2015 | 3:30 pm
     500 Startups has unveiled its 14th batch of companies going through its accelerator. While Y Combinator is starting to roll out its own class in an upcoming Demo Day, a new one from 500 Startups is emerging — and increasingly, so is the race to be the earliest to invest in companies. Of course, that means that accelerators like 500 Startups — which has a portfolio of more than… Read More
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    Bothsides of the Table

  • Survivors

    Mark Suster
    29 Jul 2015 | 7:30 pm
    Failure. To most people it smells. People are afraid of it. It’s like cancer or divorce. When you have it you find you who your true friends are because they’re the ones who double down on helping, on being available, on listening, on understanding. Most people run from failure or disease because they’re hard to handle. Hard to know how to deal with. Awkward. But I am attracted to those who have had severe set-backs in life because it tells you something about the mettle of the person with whom you’re dealing. It reminds me of a famous quote in one of my favorite…
  • What You Can Learn from a Scorpion

    Mark Suster
    26 Jul 2015 | 3:30 pm
    The hardest thing about starting a company is that from day one you emerge as this completely vulnerable entity trying its hardest to project success, power, trajectory and inevitability while you secretly know that you’re one knock-out blow from extinction. Think about it: You start with nearly no money, you bring on some co-founders and if they quit it could completely derail your mission, you talk to journalists who if they decide to be cranky can ruin your reputation, you pitch investors who can change your outcomes by giving you cash that enables more forward progress but if they…
  • The Loneliness of Success that Nobody Talks About

    Mark Suster
    19 Jul 2015 | 10:51 am
    Yesterday I saw two biopic films: “Amy” about the life of Jazz sensation Amy Winehouse who died of alcohol poisoning at the age of 27 and “Montage of Heck” about the life of Kurt Cobain, the grunge-rock generational voice who died of an overdose of heroin and valium at the age of … 27. It was a heavy day, for sure. Both films were must watches for artistry. They interweave off-stage lives and conversations with amazing musical performances and they both have amazing editing and cinematography. They are essentially the same story. Each had childhoods with some…
  • How the Hell do I Prioritize Work, Blog & Find Balance?

    Mark Suster
    14 Jul 2015 | 7:46 am
    I noticed this post today from Ezra Galston titled “Dear Brad, Fred & Mark: How The Hell Do You Do It?” The premise is that either I have some magical solutions that allow me to produce a lot of content or I’m super human. tl;dr version courtesy of Tuvia Elbaum which made me laugh so I’m adding it after the fact. As you can see Tuvia asked me this June 25th. I answered. I get asked all the time. I have the same answer. I sit down to get things done. And I finish. .@msuster and here’s the shorter version for those who don’t have time…
  • How Many Angels is the Right Amount for a Startup to Have?

    Mark Suster
    7 Jul 2015 | 7:46 pm
    If you follow the Twittersphere you may have noticed several people weighing in on this recent piece by Mike Isaac of the NY Times, asking “How Many Angels is Too Many?” I found myself nodding through all of it with quotes like, “Seed investing is the status symbol of Silicon Valley,” said Sam Altman I myself coined the term ENIFA (everyone now is a fucking angel) in 2011 but it didn’t stick as well as the term Unicorn did. Ah, well. I was trying to cheekily suggest that it was the new status symbol. Sam is more succinct and well-stated than I and I’m guessing…
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  • LA Tech Series - Everywhere you look, celebrities are entering the tech world

    1 Aug 2015 | 6:00 am
    Everyone from Jessica Alba and Ryan Seacrest to Stephen Curry and Bono are getting in on the actionLast year, in the run up to our Vator Splash LA event, we highlighted one of the most unique things out the tech scene in southern California: its celebrity culture. No other place on Earth has that many famous people concentrated in one tiny area, and entreprenuers have figured out how to leverage that into big checks and a lot of press. Now that we have another event coming up in Los Angeles in October (get your tickets here!) we have decided to check back in with some of those companies and…
  • Daily Funding Roundup - Daily funding roundup - July 31, 2015

    31 Jul 2015 | 5:25 pm
    Light landed $25M; Iwoca secured $20M; Fuisz Media closed $10MCarSpring, a London, UK-based online marketplace for pre-owned cars, raised $3.3 million in Series B funding. The company intends to use the funds for expansion throughout Europe, starting in Germany.Led by Peter Baumgart and Maximilian Vollenbroich, CarSpring provides a peer-to-peer innovative platform for people to buy and sell pre-owned cars, matching potential customers with vendors. Users can choose to buy a car from a hand-picked selection or to sell their used car in two steps. All cars are checked, test-driven by…
  • Meet the VCs - Meet Ben Ling, investment partner at Khosla Ventures

    31 Jul 2015 | 8:00 am
    Ben Ling worked at Google, YouTube and Facebook before joining Khosla in 2013There has been a big debate over the last few years over whether the Series A crunch is real or not. What everyone can agree on, though, is that there are definitely more seed and early stage funds now than ever before, and more people willing to give more and more money to young companies looking to make it big. But just who are these funds and venture capitalists that run them? What kind of investments do they like making, and how do they see themselves in the VC landscape? We've  highlighting members of the…
  • How does AOL make money?

    31 Jul 2015 | 6:00 am
    AOL, which was just bought by Verizon for $4.4B, makes its money as a video advertising platformAOL has had a strange life as a company. In the mid-90s, it was THE Internet service provider. Everyone was connecting to the Internet with their service... until they weren't. As high speed Internet became more widely available, suddenly AOL and its dial-up service became antiquated. That coincided with its purchase of Time Warner in 2000 for $164 billion in order to combine AOL's online services with Time Warner's media and cable assets, and create a media conglomerate. The purchase was…
  • Bitcoin investments are on the rise, surpass all of 2014

    31 Jul 2015 | 12:02 am
    Investors don't seem scared by Bitcoin's price fluctuation, with more investments as the price drops(Updated with comment from CB Insight) Anecdotally, at least, Bitcoin seems to still be a space that investors either don't understand, or don't fullytrust yet. There's no doubt that this is changing, but it doesn't seem like the mindset it altering that quickly. The data, however, shows something else. Bitcoin investments are up in 2015. Way up. So much, in fact,that the first six months of this year have already outpaced all of 2014, according to data out from CBInsights on…
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  • Robots won’t fully catch on until they can see and touch like we do

    Cecile Schmollgruber, Stereolabs
    1 Aug 2015 | 6:00 am
    GUEST: There’s no doubt we have the Silver Screen to thank for much of today’s lightning fast progress in automation and artificial intelligence. No kid gets through childhood without dreaming about having their own robot friend like in Star Wars or Forbidden Planet. Today, machines can do everything from processing trillions of consumer purchases simultaneously to suggesting places to eat based on where we take our phones. But digital applications are useful only insofar as they represent something in the real world, like an exchanged good or service. What keeps us doing thousands of…
  • 3 reasons natural-language tech has more potential than you think

    Ben Cheung, Genee
    31 Jul 2015 | 5:00 pm
    GUEST: With the announcement of funding for AI-driven DigitalGenius last month, artificial intelligence, and particularly Natural Language Processing (NLP), have been making headlines recently. Customer service powered by NLP? Computers conversing with humans and actually guiding them through the sales funnel? It all sounds a little futuristic and scary, right? But the fact is, many of us are already using NLP every day — both Siri and Google Now are NLP-driven. As exciting as DigitalGenius is, however, it only hints at the extent of NLP’s capabilities. Before we get into the…
  • It’s time for marketers to adapt to vertical videos

    Kevin Johnson, Fusion360
    31 Jul 2015 | 4:00 pm
    GUEST: Vertical videos. Chances are that you’ve missed out on this ongoing debate over whether or not to incorporate vertical videos into marketing efforts, but with Snapchat ramping up its promotion of the format, it seems the haters are on the way out. Numerous publications have speculated that other big-name platforms will soon implement vertical video in an effort to better appeal to their mobile users, creating a major impact on the industry at large. With these changes on the way, it’s clear that brands and marketers need to prepare for the new opportunities and challenges this…
  • Boston’s best CMO fired from HubSpot: allegedly tried to obtain Dan Lyons’ tell-all book

    John Koetsier
    31 Jul 2015 | 3:55 pm
    Two months ago we surveyed over 2,000 Boston marketers for our CMO-only conference in Boston, looking for the best local chief marketing officer. HubSpot’s Mike Volpe won hands down. Above: Mike VolpeImage Credit: LinkedIn This week, however, he was fired for allegedly having tried to obtain a copy of former employee Dan Lyons’ upcoming tell-all book about his two years with the Boston tech company. Dan Lyons, of course, is a journalist and editor, a writer for HBO’s wickedly funny “Silicon Valley” show, and might be best known for his Fake Steve Jobs blog.
  • Y Combinator-backed Shotput helps fulfill product orders at a price that works for startups

    Ken Yeung
    31 Jul 2015 | 3:10 pm
    Did you know that there are nearly 90,000 successfully funded projects on Kickstarter? Each of these projects has reached out to the public, raised the capital they needed, and achieved their dreams — well almost. The next thing that each of these companies will have to do is make sure the promised product gets shipped out on time. But that can get pretty expensive, especially with the current choices companies face. Shotput thinks it has a better solution, and not for the crowdfunding market either. This Y Combinator-backed company wants to help small- to medium-sized businesses with…
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    AVC » VC & Technology

  • Go East Young Man (or Woman)

    Fred Wilson
    28 Jul 2015 | 3:42 am
    Here’s a fun post by Henry Ward, founder and CEO of our portfolio company eShares, about raising money last year. From Henry’s post: We were 0 for 21 with Silicon Valley VCs. I never got close. Most of the big firms wouldn’t even meet. A few had an associate do a Skype call even though we were 20 minutes away. After 21 meetings in SV, I took a Hail Mary trip to the east coast and met with 3 funds. All 3 invested. Thank god Henry came east. We are hugely excited about the company he’s building. Henry also makes some great observations about the fundraising process. I like…
  • Anxious Investors

    Fred Wilson
    26 Jul 2015 | 3:40 am
    Anxiety is something all investors feel at one point or another. Investing is a mix of greed and fear. When things aren’t going great, anxiety sets in. In public equity when you get nervous about a stock, you can usually sell the position and move on. In private equity, you are stuck with the investment. So anxiety sets in. Entrepreneurs might mis-diagnose anxiety as something else. If your investors are all of a sudden meddling in the business, you might be seeing anxiety. If your investors are asking for endless amounts of data, you might be seeing anxiety. If your board meetings…
  • A discussion about creating startup hubs

    Fred Wilson
    22 Jul 2015 | 2:57 am
    Andrew Ross Sorkin and I talked about creating startup hubs yesterday at the New York Times’ Cities For Tomorrow conference. It’s about 20 mins.
  • The No Hands Syndrome

    Fred Wilson
    19 Jul 2015 | 4:16 am
    Last week I saw this tweet from Dan Primack who covers the VC sector for Fortune: At VC breakfast (90 attendees), I asked how many would invest in Bitcoin startup (not general blockchain). Zero hands. #FortuneTech — Dan Primack (@danprimack) July 14, 2015 I replied to it and I also mentioned it in a comment thread here at AVC recently. Here’s what I can’t reconcile. Bitcoin/Blockchain is one of the fastest growing sectors in startupland. Here’s a chart from VC Tom Tunguz‘ blog. I know that measuring something using y/y growth rates can be misleading because of…
  • Video Of The Week: Nick’s Shift Conference Talk

    Fred Wilson
    11 Jul 2015 | 4:19 am
    About a month ago my colleague Nick Grossman traveled to Split Croatia to attend and speak at The Shift Conference. He gave a talk about The Cycles Of Domination and Disruption. It’s a ~25min talk and it’s really good. So here it is:
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  • HiveLend Seeks to Connect Beekeepers and Farmers Online

    Sarah Schmid
    31 Jul 2015 | 12:17 pm
    We’re firmly in the era of the Uberization of Everything, and even the slow-to-digitize agricultural industry is getting in on the trend. HiveLend, the Ann Arbor, MI-based startup that won Ann Arbor SPARK’s Best of Bootcamp honors in May, is seeking to help mitigate the ravages of colony collapse disorder (CCD) by connecting farmers and beekeepers through Web-based software. Nicholas Zajciw founded the company after he dabbled in beekeeping and saw an opportunity. He wanted to raise a little extra cash by renting out his hives, but cold-calling farmers and attending beekeeping club…
  • Smartwatch Maker Olio Raises $10M: ‘No Need For Cellphones On Wrists’

    Bernadette Tansey
    31 Jul 2015 | 12:15 pm
    At first glance, the story of veteran technology product design expert Steve Jacobs could be told as a version of “David and Goliath.” But in this case, it’s a bit more like “David and Two Goliaths.” With his startup smartwatch company, San Francisco-based Olio Devices, Jacobs is clearly challenging tech heavyweight Apple, whose long-anticipated Apple Watch made its debut in March. But Olio, launched only this year, is also taking on another entrenched foe—the luxury watch industry that glitters with Swiss brands like TAG Heuer and Frederique Constant. Both these high-end…
  • Advocates for STEAM Gather at Tumblr, Talk Need to Reach More Kids

    João-Pierre S. Ruth
    31 Jul 2015 | 9:04 am
    The prosperity of New York, and frankly the country, rests on the commitment to train more kids for careers yet to be invented. That was a key takeaway from Thursday night’s #STEAMFWD panel at Tumblr headquarters in New York. Advocates for education in science, technology, engineering, art, and math discussed the need for dedicated efforts to teach a broader swath of the population, especially urban youths, such skills. The panel was a follow-up to an all-day workshop held last Saturday for high school students. On the panel were Michael Wiggins, director of education for the Urban Arts…
  • East Coast Biotech Roundup: Regeneron, Synergy, Foundation & More

    Ben Fidler
    31 Jul 2015 | 6:09 am
    Biotech was in recovery mode this week. After Biogen’s (NASDAQ: BIIB) disappointing quarterly results send the sector’s indices downward, investors looked to other industry stalwarts, like Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ: GILD), to right the ship (Gilead succeeded, as Alex Lash writes here). On the East Coast, a couple of New York biotechs helped the cause. Those details and more below. —Tarrytown, NY-based Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: REGN) and Sanofi have been working together for several years on immunology and cholesterol drugs. (The FDA approved one such drug, alirocumab…
  • WITS(MD) Raises $1.6M to Securely Share Medical Images on Smartphones

    Jeff Engel
    30 Jul 2015 | 2:50 pm
    The smartphone is starting to play a bigger role in healthcare. Doctors are using mobile devices for everything from accessing electronic health records to communicating with patients to taking photos of patients’ ailments. The trouble with that last one, says WITS(MD) CEO K. Thomas Pickard, is that taking medical images with a smartphone creates two problems: sensitive health information could be exposed if the phone gets lost or stolen, and there’s no official documentation of the doctor taking the photo. Pickard’s company created software, called ImageMover, to solve both of those…
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    Venture Capital Access Online: Website Updates

  • VCPro Database 2015 ***NEW Edition***

    7 Jul 2015 | 5:00 pm
    2015 Mid-Year Edition Now Available! VCPro Database 2015 (18th Edition) is a downloadable venture capital and private equity directory with complete profiles of over 5,300 venture capital firms worldwide. Compiled by a veteran VC researcher, VCPro Venture Capital Database is available in both Windows and Macintosh formats. (Updated for 2015) Features: >> Profiles of over 5,360 venture capital and private equity firms >> Searchable by all the data fields including contact information (company name and executive names) and investment criteria (stage, geographic, industry preferences, and types…
  • Sample Venture Capital Pitch

    22 Apr 2015 | 5:00 pm
    This is a PowerPoint presentation for firms that are looking to begin pitching for angel investment or venture capital. Whether it be venture capitalists, angels or strategic investors, the pitch must follow certain criteria within certain time constraints. This presentation was developed over the course of over 50 pitches to venture capital institutions and angel investors all over the country.  This investment pitch raised over $9 million in venture financing for my company and is used as a template in my consulting practice for other startup companies seeking to raise capital. Click the…
  • Buyouts Chicago

    22 Apr 2015 | 5:00 pm
    Buyouts Chicago June 23-24, 2015 Click the above link to view this event.
  • Sample Private Placement Memorandum

    22 Apr 2015 | 5:00 pm
    A Private Placement is an extremely complex document. The primary purpose of a PPM is to give the entrepreneur the opportunity to present all potential risks to the investor. The PPM protects the entrepreneur in the event that the investment goes sour! That's why it's so important that the private placement memorandum be accurate and complete. Click the above link to learn more.
  • Venture Capital Dollars Invested Exceeds $10 Billion for Fifth Consecutive Quarter, According to the MoneyTree Report

    16 Apr 2015 | 5:00 pm
    WASHINGTON, DC, April 17, 2015-- Venture capitalists invested $13.4 billion in 1,020 deals in the first quarter of 2015, according to the MoneyTree™ Report from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA), based on data provided by Thomson Reuters. Quarterly venture capital (VC) investment declined 10 percent in terms of dollars and 8 percent in the number of deals, compared to the fourth quarter when $14.9 billion was invested in 1,103 deals. The first quarter is the fifth consecutive quarter of more than $10 billion of venture capital invested in a…
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    PE Hub Blog

  • Heavenly deals in City of Angels–VCJ regional report

    Tom Stein
    31 Jul 2015 | 1:06 pm
    Richard Wolpert is a prominent angel investor who, over the years, has backed a series of successful Silicon Valley startups, including Kongregate, acquired for about $40 million by GameStop, and, purchased by Groupon. But earlier this year, Wolpert came to a decision. Going forward, he will only invest in Los Angeles-based startups. It’s quite a commitment, considering that for the last decade he has invested pretty much anywhere on the West Coast he desired. “One reason is that you can get quality deals in LA at a lower valuation that you can get in Silicon Valley,” he said.
  • Aarin Capital leads Series A round for TripFactory

    Iris Dorbian
    31 Jul 2015 | 9:27 am
    India-based online holiday store has secured an undisclosed amount of Series A funding. Aarin Capital Partners led the round. PRESS RELEASE Today Bengaluru based raised its Series A round led by Aarin Capital Partners (founded by Mohandas Pai and Dr Ranjan Pai). Launched in 2014 by ex-Via founders Vinay Gupta and Amit Aggarwal, TripFactory was self-funded till now. TripFactory is India’s Largest Online Customized Holiday Store, also one of the leading stores of its kind globally. It provides packages curated by tour experts and travel operators that…
  • Pritzker Group acquires PLZ Aeroscience from Olympus Partners

    Iris Dorbian
    31 Jul 2015 | 9:16 am
    Olympus Partners has sold Chicago-based aerosol product maker PLZ Aeroscience to Pritzker Group Private Capital. No financial terms were disclosed. PRESS RELEASE CHICAGO, July 31, 2015 – Pritzker Group Private Capital today announced it has acquired Chicago-based PLZ Aeroscience, North America’s largest specialty aerosol product manufacturer, from Olympus Partners. Pritzker Group Private Capital is investing alongside the PLZ management team, which will remain a significant shareholder, continue to lead the company and serve on its board of directors. As the North American leader in…
  • Foundry Group raises $225 mln for latest fund

    Iris Dorbian
    31 Jul 2015 | 8:37 am
    Boulder, Colorado-based venture firm Foundry Group has reached its target goal of $225 million for its latest venture fund, according to an SEC filing. In October 2013, the firm closed its fourth fund at $225 million, as previously reported by PE HUB.
  • Integral Ad Science pulls in $67 mln

    Iris Dorbian
    31 Jul 2015 | 7:44 am
    New York City-based Integral Ad Science, a provider of advertising intelligence for digital media buyers and sellers, has secured $27 million in funding. Sapphire Ventures led the round with participation from other investors that included Cross Creek Advisors, August Capital, Pelion Venture Partners and Atlas Venture. Also, Silicon Valley Bank provided $40 million in debt funding to Integral. PRESS RELEASE NEW YORK, NY–(Marketwired – Jul 31, 2015) – Integral Ad Science, the leader in quantifying digital media quality, today announced it has raised $27 million in its latest…
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  • Reddit plans to ‘quarantine’ toxic communities, boost transparency

    Tom Cheredar
    29 Jul 2015 | 10:15 am
    Reddit will soon start treating some of its more controversial communities differently than others, according to newly minted Reddit CEO and co-founder Steve Huffman. Huffman took to the site today to share some updates that will be rolling out over the next few weeks, including a plan to “quarantine” subreddits (aka communities operating within Reddit) that do not comply with the company’s new content policy. These changes are somewhat necessary as major advertisers likely won’t be interested in doing business with Reddit until it puts some distance between those…
  • Interview with Stephen Wolfram on AI and the future

    Byron Reese
    27 Jul 2015 | 1:01 pm
    Few people in the tech world can truly be said to “need no introduction.” Stephen Wolfram is certainly one of them. But while he may not need one, the breadth and magnitude of his accomplishments over the past four decades invite a brief review: Stephen Wolfram is a distinguished scientist, technologist and entrepreneur. He has devoted his career to the development and application of computational thinking. His Mathematica software system, launched in 1988, has been central to technical research and education for more than a generation. His work on basic science—summarized…
  • Turning the lights back on

    Tom Cheredar
    27 Jul 2015 | 1:00 pm
    When Gigaom was purchased after shutting down in March, the new owner, Knowingly founder Byron Reese, did so with the intention of restoring the tech news site to its prior glory. To do that entails building a team of editorial staffers to cover startups and technology business news in a fair, honest, and insightful manner on a consistent basis. The new Gigaom will get there, but it won’t happen overnight. Gigaom is a tech publication that was well known for its insightful staff and stories. That was the publication’s biggest strength, and to get back there again will take some…
  • Acquired by Knowingly Corp

    Christina Berry
    26 May 2015 | 9:39 am
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MAY 22, 2015 Press Contact: Alessandra Wike Knowingly Corp, an Austin-based Internet startup, announced today that it has acquired a portion of the assets of Gigaom. These assets include the website,, as well as the content library. At the helm of Knowingly Corp is tech entrepreneur and author Byron Reese, who describes Gigaom as, “second to none in what it does.” He adds, “We are excited to be a chapter of the Gigaom story and look forward to continuing its mission of ‘humanizing the impact of…
  • About Gigaom

    Gigaom Management
    9 Mar 2015 | 5:57 pm
    *** UPDATE AS OF MAY 26 *** The information below is no longer current. See this post for a current update. A brief note on our company Gigaom recently became unable to pay its creditors in full at this time. As a result, the company is working with its creditors that have rights to all of the company’s assets as their collateral. All operations have ceased. We do not know at this time what the lenders intend to do with the assets or if there will be any future operations using those assets. The company does not currently intend to file bankruptcy. We would like to take a moment and…
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    Feld Thoughts

  • Our 2016 Foundry Group Fund and A Little History

    Brad Feld
    30 Jul 2015 | 4:40 am
    Yesterday we closed our fifth fund, Foundry Venture Capital 2016, L.P. As with all four of our other funds, it’s a $225 million fund. In 2007 we raised our first fund – Foundry Venture Capital 2007. We subsequently raised a $225 million fund in 2010, another one in 2013, and a late stage fund in 2013. Our 2013 fund was originally raised in 2012, but we didn’t start investing it until 2013 so we renamed it 2013. Except for our late stage fund, each of our funds has 30 investments (+/- 2) in it. Each is $225 million. Each is roughly invested 1/3rd into companies in…
  • Unicorns Without The Magic

    Brad Feld
    28 Jul 2015 | 5:42 am
    I got the following email recently, titled “Unicorns Without The Magic.” “With the rise in venture capitalism it’s hard to say the word “start up” and not be offered an abundance of accelerator programmes, free office space, free apartments & a free bible of connections. I myself have felt the pressures of the world of start up wonders & the prospects of investment. Whilst finishing my finals at university, I created my own algorithm for a business model to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage in a digital space. Through this I’m now…
  • Book: Armada

    Brad Feld
    26 Jul 2015 | 4:27 pm
    Ernest Cline’s second book, Armada, is almost as wonderful as his first book, Ready Player One. While plenty of folks on Amazon are giving it mediocre ratings, I think it’s because they don’t understand what Cline really did here. Both books are scifi. Both books are heavily gamer influenced. Each moves fast. However RPO is complicated while Armada is straightforward. And that’s important, since RPO is missing the majority of self-referential human subtext – ala Lost – that Armada is filled with. The DHARMA Initiative has nothing on the Earth Defense…
  • Talking At Startup Grind in Denver on 7/30

    Brad Feld
    25 Jul 2015 | 3:22 pm
    I’m ending a full day in Denver with a talk about the potential invasion by the Europans at Startup Grind from 6pm – 9pm on 7/30 at Galvanize. The post Talking At Startup Grind in Denver on 7/30 appeared first on Feld Thoughts.
  • 1985: Oil Prices Will Go Up Forever

    Brad Feld
    23 Jul 2015 | 9:53 am
    This is not a post about a bubble, real or imagined. It’s a lesson from when I was 20 years old. I showed up at MIT as an eager freshman. I was 17, from Dallas, with a nice pair of cowboy boots and long hair. On my first day, at the freshman picnic, I heard that 50% of us would end up in the bottom half of our class. Fifteen minutes later I was whisked away in a white van to ADP, the fraternity I ended up pledging and living in for four years, next to WILG and across the street from The Mandarin (no longer there), Mary Chung (still there and still awesome), and Toscanini’s (still…
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    deal architect

  • Digital Myopia

    29 Jul 2015 | 8:46 am
    I saw this 1986 photo of Steve Jobs by Doug Menuez. “He is outlining what remains to be converted from analog to digital. Indeed, everything in the world — photos, film, music — that was not already digital by now,...
  • Not your fathers influencer relations

    27 Jul 2015 | 6:44 am
    I was reviewing Duncan Chapple’s latest influence quadrant and thinking how much the analyst relations world has changed since my days at Gartner in the 90s a) Vendor product portfolios have exploded Microsoft needs a “One Microsoft” initiative to bring...
  • A customer-centric voice at SAP

    24 Jul 2015 | 7:21 am
    As I go through final edits of SAP Nation 2.0, I am updating it for its Q2 results. I was pleased to see two interviews with Rob Enslin, SAP's President of Global Customer Operations here and here. He provides some...
  • The Terrifying Sony Hack

    21 Jul 2015 | 5:49 am
    Well worth a read this Fortune expose We have devoted 12,000 words in our July 1 issue to an extraordinary story by Peter Elkind on the now infamous cyber­attack against Sony Corp….a chillingly compelling, behind-the-scenes narrative of the events leading...
  • The mainstreaming of Third Party Maintenance

    17 Jul 2015 | 6:39 am
    I first wrote about ERP third party maintenance (support independent of the software publisher) in 2005. Even earlier, I have written about similar offerings like plug-compatible mainframes and specialty auto shops who do better than official dealers. I have noticed...
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  • Unicorns: High Valuation Deals and Structure

    Allen Morgan
    31 Jul 2015 | 1:55 pm
    There are now well over a hundred private tech companies that have announced financings with post-money valuations of over $1B.  Having worked on several of these high-valuation deals over the years, it surprises me that no mention (in anything I read) is ever made of how heavily structured the deals are to protect the investors from downside risk.  At least in the ones about which I know, the Company could sell for 10% of the valuation of the most recent round, and the investors in that round get all their money back, plus some interest-factor-like return (structured as a mandatory,…
  • Entrepreneurs: The Hidden Costs of Angel Investors

    Allen Morgan
    15 Mar 2015 | 1:03 pm
    Entrepreneurs should be aware of two costs of taking money from angel investors (there are obvious benefits to consider, too). Administrative Overhead (Time Sink):  investor relations, for investors of all stripes, takes time by the CEO (but is very important).  So, large numbers of angel investors can be a huge time sink for the CEO of a start-up (the highest number in any of my "Sherpa" companies was 37, and managing them was a nightmare).  Most angels understand that, tied with money, time is the most valuable asset a start-up CEO has, so most angels act appropriately.  But,…
  • 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…
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    Venture Chronicles

  • Crisis Management for Lion Killers

    29 Jul 2015 | 10:18 am
    The story of the Dr. “Lion Slayer” Palmer is all over the internet and people are outraged, for good reason. His dental practice is in limbo and he is in hiding after receiving death threats. Well done Internet… you have already surpassed the attention span of a #hashtag with this one. I am conflicted on this story for many reasons. Big game hunting is deplorable, and there is no justification for it with licenses sold to the ultra-wealthy who are partaking in the experience for the sport of it. If the goal is herd management, have trained naturalists do the killing in a…
  • Tough Doesn’t Quit, Except at Breakfast

    28 Jul 2015 | 9:03 am
    I was at a dinner on Sunday night and seated next to me was retired Admiral Eric Olson, who had a long and distinguished military career. He retired from the Navy in 2011 as the commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command. Interesting man, to say the least, but also incredibly gracious and unassuming. I asked him what qualities he could identify that would be indicators of success as s Navy SEAL. His response was predictable in some ways, unexpected in others. Above all, he said, the SEALs look for problem-solving, intelligence and mental toughness in candidates. I expected to hear this,…
  • Corporate Activism: The Uber Edition

    23 Jul 2015 | 11:56 am
    New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio really stepped in it by picking a fight with Uber. Acting as the puppet for the powerful taxi medallion owners in NYC, who despise Uber, the mayor proposed capping the addition of new Uber cars to 1%. Given the customer growth that Uber has been experiencing in NYC, a 1% increase in drivers would kneecap the company. Uber fought back, which seemed to catch both City Hall and the yellow cab cartel off guard. Anyone who has watched Uber grow will tell you the company redefines the term being aggressive. Making critical arguments that they were creating jobs,…
  • The Coming Robot Invasion in Fast Food

    16 Jul 2015 | 10:14 am
    I was driving up Woodside Road last week and the KFC store had a huge “Hiring!” banner hanging on the front of the outlet. This caught my attention for two reasons. It’s well established that cost of living on the Peninsula is not amenable to the income generated by low skilled, fast food work. It just isn’t and raising the minimum wage or whatever you want to call it isn’t going to make a difference. As a result, few people want to work these jobs. How can you blame them if flipping burgers and banging on a cash register all day isn’t providing an income…
  • Hillary Clinton Attacks Uber, Airbnb

    13 Jul 2015 | 10:10 am
    On the wrong side of history yet again, Hillary Clinton has decided that her road to the White House is tearing down one of the great economic movements of the last decade, the sharing economy.  In an economic speech she is planned to give, Clinton will highlight the stagnating wages of the middle class and points to causes that include Uber and Airbnb. This is mind blowing for two reasons, one is that the bloc of voters that she absolutely has to appeal to is not only benefiting from these services but sees them as a part of their economic portfolio. Secondly, the marketplace for services…
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    Frederic Destin

  • VC Signalling Risk in Seed Rounds

    9 Jul 2015 | 9:24 am
     CB Insights  just published an interesting post about signalling risk i.e. the startup survival risk generated by getting a Tier I VC into the seed round who does not follow their money into the Series A. The data suggests getting no support from a brand name on your next round decreases you overall chance of getting financed (these conditional probabilities are a bit doubtful given the clear correlation between these events). As usual, however, statistics only tell part of the story and hide a more complex reality.     VC's do seeds for a reason It's worth reminding…
  • Pillpack: Adding $50M in funding to bring redesigned pharmacy to all

    3 Jun 2015 | 4:55 am
    There are some people in the world that it is simply a joy to work with, and when good things happened to them you can only feel joy.  TJ Parker and Elliott Cohen are two such people and I'm delighted with the new milestone our company Pillpack has reached.  $50 Million in New Funding  Pillpack just announced a $50M round led by George Zachary (of Twitter and Yammer fame) and Rafael Corrales at CRV with new money from Pravin Vazirani and Tylor Sosin at Menlo Ventures (another awesome duo) and Shervin Pishevar at Sherpa Ventures (with a fashionably minimalist website :-)).
  • Developing London tech clusters beyond Shoreditch: Croydon ?

    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

    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

    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…
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    Mark Peter Davis

  • Book Recommendation: The Contrarian’s Guide To Leadership

    22 Jul 2015 | 6:20 am
    As capital requirements come down in a market, more entrants tend to rush in.  While that tends to provide consumers with a greater set of options, the adverse result is typically an abundance of noise.  This pattern holds true in the news media world. With an overload of bloggers and news outlets it’s impossible to keep up with the deluge of news.  We’re no longer swimming in information, we’re drowning in it.  It’s a good problem (that I think makes for a better world), but a problem nonetheless. The mechanism by which we stay sane is social curation.  Most of us rely on others…
  • Book Recommendation: The Five Dysfunctions Of A Team

    9 Jul 2015 | 8:43 am
    There are usually one or two books on a given business topic that every founder has to read.  While the best sellers will often be books that tell exciting stories, the often overlooked books are those that explain an essential framework and can unlock the true potential of operators. One book that I recommend every founder read is The Five Dysfunctions of a Team.  While it’s a relatively well-known book, it’s not as sexy as some of its counterparts.  Despite that, it’s one of my favorites as it delivers a structured way to evaluate team building. Given how essential team building is…
  • What You Learn About People During Negotiations

    30 Jun 2015 | 10:30 am
    If you know the right techniques you can learn a lot about people during an interview.  You can assess their interests, work styles and pieces of their personality. What you can’t assess, however, is how they operate under times of stress.  Do they break down or rise up?  Further, when they risk losing something, do they rationalize a solution that only suits themself or one that benefits the group? The latter topic is where the rubber meets the road in finding great, long-term collaborators.  Things go wrong in business; it’s how we handle those challenging situations that…
  • Your Team Knows How To Run Your Company

    24 Jun 2015 | 9:20 am
    Being a CEO is a difficult job.  It’s like steering a pirate ship that is so big that you can’t see the water around of you.  Even with a small team, customer feedback and competitive activity is out of sight floating at sea.  The captain’s information is usually limited to updates from people running back and forth from the sides of the boat.  Information is rarely real-time or complete. But in order to properly manage the ship, a captain needs to tend to more than just what’s happening outside of the boat.  A good leader needs to understand the dynamics of the people on the…
  • FlyCleaners: New Interplay Family Member

    17 Jun 2015 | 5:33 am
    Interplay has been actively investing in new companies.  Today we’re excited to announce a recent investment: FlyCleaners. FlyCleaners is an innovative company that has tech-enabled the laundry and dry cleaning business, making it super convenient for customers.  Via their mobile app residents can now click a button to have their clothes picked up and click it again to have their clean clothes returned (the next day). The company is led by two veteran founders:  David Salama and Seth Berkowitz.  Prior to FlyCleaners David ran an innovation lab for S&P and Seth is the founder of…
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  • How to see if your emails are being tracked in Gmail before opening them

    Steven Tweedie
    1 Aug 2015 | 5:22 am
    You might not realize it, but there are now email-tracking tools that make it easy for people to see when you open an email, what you click, and where you're located. "Emails appear no different to your contacts, but you get data when, where, and how a contact interacts with your message," says a cheery video advertising Bananatag, an email-tracking service for Gmail designed for job seekers, advertisers, and those working in public relations. In response, a handy new tool called Ugly Email shows you when your emails in Gmail are being tracked, and it starts working before you click…
  • Facebook's losing one of its revenue streams because everyone is glued to their phones (FB)

    Jillian D'Onfro
    1 Aug 2015 | 5:21 am
    When Facebook reported its Q2 earnings earlier this week, it reported a revenue jump of 39% from a year ago — better than what analysts expected — and  completely crushed it on mobile advertising growth.  But there was one area where Facebook's revenue shrank: Payments. Facebook reeled in only $215 million from payments and other fees this quarter, down from $234 million in Q2 of last year. Moreover, Facebook said that it expects that stream of revenue to continue to continue to dry up as fewer people use the site from their phones.  Nearly…
  • The 12-year relationship of college sweethearts Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan (FB)

    Alyson Shontell and Madeline Stone
    1 Aug 2015 | 12:00 am
    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg just announced that he and his wife, Priscilla Chan, are expecting their first child together. Zuckerberg and Chan are college sweathearts. They tied the knot on May 19, 2012, one day after Facebook's IPO. The wedding was a surprise for all of the guests, who thought they were attending a medical school graduation party for Chan. The couple met in line for the bathroom at a frat party 11 years ago. Now Chan has been dubbed the "first lady" of Facebook, and the pair have been extremely generous with their fortune. Here's a summary of their time together, as…
  • The hacking-related recall at Fiat-Chrysler could spread to other automakers

    David Morgan
    31 Jul 2015 | 8:02 pm
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The cybersecurity issues that led Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV to recall 1.4 million vehicles this month could pose a problem for cars and trucks from other automakers, the top U.S. auto safety regulator said on Friday. Mark Rosekind, who heads the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, said his watchdog agency is trying to determine how many car makers have received radios from the company that supplied Fiat Chrysler. “The supplier didn’t just supply radios to Chrysler but to a lot of other manufacturers," Rosekind told reporters. "A lot of our…
  • Frontback, the once-hot startup that rejected a $40 million Twitter acquisition, is back from the dead

    Biz Carson
    31 Jul 2015 | 6:16 pm
    The selfie app Frontback has found a new partner and narrowly avoided shutting down. The startup announced on July 23 that it only had a few weeks left and was shutting down come August 15.  That shut down is no longer on the calendar, and the app will continue operations, according to an announcement posted Friday on Frontback's site. "We just signed an agreement with a partner who believes as much as we do that there’s something incredible with Frontback. This partner is fully committed to make Frontback an even better place to share your moments, we were impressed by how much…
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  • UAE investment firm Lulu acquired London's Scotland Yard headquarters for $170 million

    28 Jul 2015 | 3:55 am
    LuLu Group, a UAE-based conglomerate active in retail, manufacturing and trade, has acquired the original Scotland Yard headquarters in London for $170 million. According to the Guardian, the original Scotland Yard police station is to be turned into a new five-star luxury London hotel with rooms costing up to £10,000 a night. LuLu Group International is a diversified entity, with interests in retail, imports & exports, trading, shipping, IT, travel and education. To see listing and contact emails of UAE investors similar to Lulu Group, check the Middle East Investors Directory. More details…
  • Qatar investor acquired 10% stake in Spanish retail firm for $1.1 billion

    16 Jul 2015 | 4:07 am
    Qatar investor, Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jaber Al Thani, has acquired a 10 percent stake in Spanish retail firm El Corte Ingles for $1.1 billion. El Corte Ingles had a turnover of some 14 billion euros in 2013 for a net profit of 174 million euros. The food, clothing and household goods retailer, which is not listed, has about 90 stores in Spain and employs 95,000 people. To see a list of investor from the Middle East, see the Directory of Venture Capital and Private Equity from the Middle East. More details follows from AP
  • A consortium of Middle East investors acquired stake in Canadian food firm

    6 Jul 2015 | 9:48 am
    Dubai investment firm Trussbridge led a consortium of Middle East investors to acquire a majority stake in Canadian food firm La Maison Cannelle. Headquartered in Quebec, Canada, La Maison Cannelle was founded in 2005 and is a provider of 80 different types of Gluten-Free products in Canada. The transaction amount is not disclosed. (Dubai-based Trussbridge is founded by Samer Katerji and Rody Yared, two former investment bankers from JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup, to advise and invest in deals across the world). Trussbridge is listed in the Middle East Investors Directory with the code SJU219.
  • Dubai venture capital firm Wamda launched $75 million fund and invested in 3 firms

    17 Jun 2015 | 6:00 am
    Almost four months after raising $55.7 million from 26 limited partners, today Dubai-based Wamda Capital announced launch of its $75 million venture capital fund and investment in 3 firms. Founded by Fadi Ghandour, angel investor and founder of Aramex, the venture capital fund will focus on growth stage financing across the world. (The other fund headed by Mr. Ghandour, Mena Venture Investments, had its focus on seed investments). Among the 26 limited partners, you can see institutions like International Finance Corporation, the Abraaj Group, Crescent Enterprises and Zain Group. Wamda Capital…
  • UAE family offices and consortium invested $11 million in online logistics firm

    10 Jun 2015 | 8:15 am
    Middle East family offices Al Kadi and Al Zamil, UAE investment firm Dhabi Holding and Dubai investment firm Delta Partners, as part of a consortium invested $11 million in the online logistics firm The Fetchr. This series A funding is led by US venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates. The Fetchr's app is tailored for package delivery in places and countries where there are unreliable physical addresses. Fetchr delivers 97 percent of packages same day or overnight, and a return process that picks up within 30 minutes. Al Zamil Family Office is listed in the Middle East Investors…
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  • Solar

    29 Jul 2015 | 5:30 am
    The progress with solar technology has been impressive and is well summarized in the following chart which shows the dramatic decline in the price per wattWhenever someone shows a chart like this there will quickly be people who decry subsidies for solar. The answer of course is that at this point instead of subsidizing solar we should be taxing carbon, which would make solar instantly the preferred technology for homes everywhere.In my personal portfolio (outside of USV) I am very long solar including holding in Solar City and First Solar as well as a private investment in M-Kopa an offgrid…
  • Anxious Investors (the Investor Side)

    27 Jul 2015 | 6:56 am
    Fred had a great post yesterday about why investors in private companies experience more anxiety than those in public ones (can’t sell) together with some spot on recommendations for entrepreneurs on how to deal with anxious investors. I have been an occasionally anxious investor myself. Based on that here are some recommendation for the other side: how to be less anxious as an investor.1. Remind yourself that you have a portfolio whereas the entrepreneur has just his or her company.2. Remember that the entrepreneur faces his or her employees every day and you don’t.3. Consider that the…
  • Work and Privacy: Hanging on to the Old or Inventing the New?

    22 Jul 2015 | 5:32 am
    Too many people seem to be having a moment of Schadenfreude in the wake of the Ashley Madison hack – what were “those” people thinking of having an affair (estimates for the overall percentage of married adults having affairs range from 30-60%) or at least of being so “dumb” as to use a service to arrange their affair. But this is just the latest instance of information being disclosed that people thought would be private. Just shortly before it was disclosed that 4.5 million medical records at UCLA have been breached. And then there was the Office of Personnel Management’s…
  • Congestion in New York (and Elsewhere)

    20 Jul 2015 | 8:12 am
    Just last week I wrote that there are legitimate concerns about Uber. Using congestion as the reason to limit the company’s expansion while ordering a study seems wrong and exactly the kind of political move that smacks of corruption. Given that Bill de Blasio received significant support from taxi fleet owners during his campaign it is hard not to believe this. Certainly taking one year to do a study seems like an undue delay.Still congestion is a real issue and adding nearly 20,000 commercial vehicles to New York City streets has the potential to meaningfully contribute to congestion.
  • Debating the Gig Economy: Going Past Industrial Thinking

    14 Jul 2015 | 7:26 am
    Yesterday Hilary Clinton mentioned the “gig economy” in a speech. She saidMeanwhile, many Americans are making extra money renting out a small room, designing websites, selling products they design themselves at home, or even driving their own car. This on-demand, or so-called gig economy is creating exciting economies and unleashing innovation.But it is also raising hard questions about work-place protections and what a good job will look like in the future.This is of course a topic I have been speaking and writing about a lot. Like Fred, I think that this is a discussion we need…
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    VC Deal Lawyer

  • Collective Posts: There’s a Ton of Great Content Out There Right Now

    Chris McDemus
    22 Jul 2015 | 8:31 pm
    I don’t know if it’s the summer, or if there is something in the water, but lately there has been a ton of great content posted.  Whether it’s thought leader material, or whether it’s hard to find data on VC rounds or seed financings, people are really cranking out a huge amount of material.  Here’s a punch-list of articles I’ve come across recently that I found very worthy for one reason or another. For the record, I post, tweet and share articles I find interesting, thought-provoking and edgy even if in the end I may not agree with the premise or…
  • Race Report: 2015 Ironman 70.3 Eagleman (a/k/a the “Convection Oven”)

    Chris McDemus
    4 Jul 2015 | 9:57 pm
    After a few years of doing Sprint and Olympic distance triathlons, I decided 2015 was the year to take my first crack at the half-Ironman distance of 70.3 (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile run). I chose the Ironman 70.3 Eagleman as my race.  This is my race report and review of Eagleman 70.3. I can sum up this race in three words:  hot, hot and hot.  Literally, I would rank this race as the hottest and most humid race (triathlon or otherwise) I’ve ever competed in.  I heard, but cannot confirm, that the heat index towards the middle of the race hovered around 108.  Knowing…
  • The One Piece of Advice I Give All Startups

    Chris McDemus
    10 Jun 2015 | 10:47 am
    If there is one consistent theme that I have seen across all startup and emerging growth companies, it’s the complete disarray found in retaining, managing and storing key company documents.  This isn’t a virus that affects only certain companies, or only young companies for that matter.  I’ve seen this piranha of a problem at every stage of a company’s life cycle, and at small companies and big companies alike.  Early on, entrepreneurs focus on matters geared towards de-risking the business (e.g., concept and product development, product/solution fit,…
  • Empathy: An Invaluable Asset in Startups

    Chris McDemus
    26 Jan 2015 | 12:41 pm
    It’s interesting to me that so many blog posts, books and other media nowadays focus on the hard skills (e.g., selling, coding, etc.) required to build a company, or to otherwise scale a successful startup.  Most companies today have figured out how to hire for hard skills.  Hard skills are readily ascertainable, verifiable by former employers and can, in many cases, be tested as part of the hiring process.  At my firm, we typically require new potential hires to review and markup certain documents that a lawyer practicing in our space would typically encounter.  We are testing hard…
  • Lawyers and Blacklines: A Framework

    Chris McDemus
    18 Dec 2014 | 9:11 pm
    If you’ve raised money, borrowed venture debt, made a sale to a customer or sold your company – or, for that matter, negotiated any agreement whatsoever with a third party – then you’ve already encountered the proverbial “blackline”.  This term refers to an agreement format that reveals (or highlights) modifications to an earlier version (see the picture above for a simple example).  I’ve never seen a first draft that turned out to be the last draft.  Most, if not all, agreement negotiations are going to result in multiple versions and the need to…
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    Openview Labs

  • Creating a Manageable, Measurable PR Program: A 4 Step Plan for Startups

    Erin Rohr
    31 Jul 2015 | 8:05 am
    If you’re an entrepreneur in the early stages of building your company, crafting your PR and marketing strategy needs to come sooner rather than later. Right around the time you’ve hammered out your primary objectives – which might include growing market awareness ahead of a product launch, generating leads for a beta program or courting early-round investors – you should be thinking about how PR and marketing programs can help get you where you need to go. Unfortunately, too many startups jump into haphazard PR activity without a clear understanding of why they’re doing it or how…
  • Why Creativity is the New Must-Have Tech Recruiting Skill

    Carlie Smith
    31 Jul 2015 | 5:00 am
    Forget the startup perks arms race. Tech companies now need to rely on a new set of creative recruiting skills to attract and hire top talent. When LinkedIn released its report “3 Must-Know Talent Acquisition Trends for 2015,” there was one stat in particular that stood out: “Competition is now the number one obstacle US companies face in attracting top talent, outstripping compensation.” It confirms what many of us in the tech world have been experiencing for quite some time — top talent is hard to come by these days, and to say it’s hotly contested would be a…
  • The Economic Impact of Female Entrepreneurs [Infographic]

    Devon McDonald
    30 Jul 2015 | 11:07 am
    In 1999, Babson College’s Diana Project published its seminal report on the state of venture capital investments in female entrepreneurs. This report set out to examine why fewer than 5% of all ventures receiving equity financing had women on their executive teams. While antiquated logic might have left you to quickly surmise that female entrepreneurs were neither prepared nor motivated to found high-potential businesses and as a result, were not good candidates for venture capital investors, the Diana Project report actually found stark evidence to the contrary. Women indeed had the…
  • 6 Tips Every UX Researcher Should Memorize

    Hannah Alvarez
    30 Jul 2015 | 6:12 am
    This post is adapted from UserTesting’s eBook A Complete Guide to UserTesting Your Next Project. When you’re conducting UX research, your goal is to get consistent and reliable feedback on how users naturally interact with a product. You’re looking to find pain points in the user experience, identifying any areas where users become confused. But if your test plan is faulty, then you won’t be able to tell what was actually confusing the participants: the product or the test itself. This is especially true when you’re conducting remote, unmoderated UX research. Since you don’t…
  • How to Build Diverse Teams and Create Inclusive Work Environments

    Carlie Smith
    29 Jul 2015 | 10:06 am
    Diversity is a key issue in business today. Many companies publicly release information on the diversity of their workforce and many more strive to solve for the challenge of hiring more diverse individuals in order to build inclusive work environments. Why? Because diversity matters for business. It’s proven that diverse teams outperform their homogenous counterparts and that highly inclusive teams outperform non-inclusive groups by 80%. Earlier this month, I was honored to participate on a panel that focused on how to build and nurture diverse teams and create inclusive cultures. And…
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    Boston Business News - Local Boston News | Boston Business Journal

  • Uber gets to $50B valuation faster than Facebook did

    Cromwell Schubarth
    31 Jul 2015 | 4:05 pm
    Uber on Friday became the second venture-backed company to hit a valuation of $50 billion, and it did it a year faster than Facebook did. The Wall Street Journal cited unnamed sources who said the San Francisco on-demand transportation company raised $1 billion in new funding that values the company at about $51 billion. Get the free daily TechFlash Silicon Valley newsletter. It did that in just six years since it was founded in 2009, compared to the approximately seven years it took Facebook…
  • Former state official to lead Brookline psychiatric hospital

    Jessica Bartlett
    31 Jul 2015 | 12:34 pm
    The former Department of Mental Health commissioner has been named the head of Bournewood Health Systems, with Marcia Fowler named CEO of the psychiatric hospital. Bournewood, a Brookline-based hospital known for its expertise in psychiatric and substance abuse treatment, has been looking for a new CEO since the late Dr. Nasir Khan unexpectedly died in 2014 after leading the hospital since 1980. “In searching for a new CEO, it was critical that the selected candidate have not only the right qualifications…
  • Bostonians have less credit card debt than most other Americans

    Greg Ryan
    31 Jul 2015 | 12:21 pm
    Good job on those credit card payments, Boston. Only one metropolitan area fared better than Boston in a recent analysis from the website examining credit card debt burden among residents of the 25 largest U.S. cities: California's Bay Area, which includes San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose. It would take the typical working Bay Area resident nine months to pay off his or her credit card balance, determined. To calculate months to pay off credit card balance, the…
  • Parexel to lay off 125 in North Carolina who were recently laid off by GSK

    Jason deBruyn
    31 Jul 2015 | 12:13 pm
    A group of former GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK) employees will receive their second pink slip in less than a year when pharmaceutical research organization Parexel International Corporation (Nasdaq: PRXL) lays off 125 workers in North Carolina's Research Triangle Park. Late last year, GlaxoSmithKline announced a major restructuring that would result in a reduction of 900 positions from the drug maker. The silver lining, however, was that Parexel would hire as many as 500 of those workers as a sort…
  • Report: A quarter of the state's hospitals are operating at a loss

    Jessica Bartlett
    31 Jul 2015 | 11:58 am
    A quarter of the state’s 61 acute care hospitals are operating at a financial loss, according to the most recent data released from the state. The state's Center for Health Information and Analysis, or CHIA, released data tracking the performance so far in fiscal 2015 of each of the 61 hospitals across the state. The data goes up through March 31, which represents the midpoint of the fiscal year for most of the hospitals. The 16 hospitals operating at a loss include academic medical centers,…
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  • Pitch for Health Revive

    1 Aug 2015 | 4:12 am
    Company / App Name: Health Revive Twitter – What does it do? Health Revive is a comprehensive personal health network that empowers consumers with true portability for health information. Why do we need it? Health Revive gives you the ability to track prescriptions and keep all medical records in one place! Manage a […] The post Pitch for Health Revive appeared first on The Startup Pitch.
  • Pitch for Agile Data Solutions

    1 Aug 2015 | 1:10 am
    Company / App Name: Agile Data Solutions Twitter – AgileDS What does it do? An automated, intelligent collection tool that allows you to search every data source. Simultaneously. A review tool so smart it can find every document you need. And even ones you didn’t know you needed. Why do we need it? Start:Review […] The post Pitch for Agile Data Solutions appeared first on The Startup Pitch.
  • Pitch for Kickresume

    31 Jul 2015 | 10:19 pm
    Company / App Name: Kickresume Twitter – @kickresume What does it do? Kickresume helped more than 300 000 people to create well-formatted resume in minutes. Several eye-catching templates, easy-to-use and professional HR support help you to stand out. Why do we need it? Around 80\% of students have no idea how to write their […] The post Pitch for Kickresume appeared first on The Startup Pitch.
  • Wikibon CTO urges caution over 3D XPoint memory tech

    31 Jul 2015 | 9:58 pm
    Intel Corp. and Micron Technology Inc., set the IT worl […]
  • With Some Work, Cortana Could Be Windows 10's Killer Application

    31 Jul 2015 | 8:44 pm
    Although I cringe at the realization, I am an old school computer user. I have been tinkering and messing around with computers since the early days of the Commodore PET and C64. Back in the day, hammering away at command prompts was the norm. And with “newer” machines came things like manually assigning interrupts via jumpers, tweaking QEMM settings, plugging in SRAM cache, and worrying about which slot a particular expansion card was in, among many other annoying quirks.
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    Innovative Advisory Group

  • 10 self directed IRA tips to help real estate investors maximize profits

    Kirk Chisholm
    30 Jul 2015 | 7:20 am
    10 self directed IRA tips to help real estate investors maximize profits     “Self Directed IRAs are one of the best laws the US government has ever passed” Can I invest in real estate with my Self-Directed IRA? “Self Directed IRAs are one of the best laws the US government has ever passed”, an investor once told me. It is hard to argue that point. In 1974, congress passed the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, often referred to as ERISA, enabling US taxpayers to save money for their retirement in a tax deferred manner. The best part of this program (outside of the…
  • Inflation Monitor – July 2015

    Kirk Chisholm
    23 Jul 2015 | 7:05 am
    Inflation Monitor – July 2015 Inflation Monitor Summary - Composite Ranking * The Inflation Equilibrium is a quick summary for the whole data series of the inflation monitor. If you don't like statistics, this is the chart for you.   Inflation Monitor - July 2015 - Introduction I hope you enjoyed your Independence Day. While Greece may not have the same appreciation of our holiday, they had one of their own... A Bank holiday. While the Greek Crisis in Europe seems to be solved??? The greater problem persists. The Greek people voted a resounding "NO" on the terms and the Greek…
  • How Self Directed IRAs Can Help Protect You From Stock Market Crashes and Halted Trading on Exchanges

    Kirk Chisholm
    9 Jul 2015 | 7:23 am
    How Self Directed IRAs Can Help Protect You From Stock Market Crashes and Halted Trading on Exchanges I never attempt to make money on the stock market. I buy on the assumption that they could close the market the next day and not reopen it for five years.   - Warren Buffett If you were paying attention yesterday, then you probably heard that the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) halted trading for 3.5 hours and Chinese stock market continue to crash. So much for Wall Street having a lazy summer. Should you worry about these events? Yes... and No. As of today you should not have much to…
  • Inflation Monitor – June 2015

    Kirk Chisholm
    26 Jun 2015 | 8:15 am
    Inflation Monitor – June 2015 Inflation Monitor Summary - Composite Ranking   * The Inflation Equilibrium is a quick summary for the whole data series of the inflation monitor. If you don't like statistics, this is the chart for you.   Inflation Monitor - June 2015 - Introduction It is officially summer and most markets are becoming more quiet. This is of course excluding the ongoing crisis in Greece. They must love the attention because they have been dragging out this "crisis" since 2011. Everyone involved in this mess (on both sides) has a reason to kick the can down…
  • What You Don’t Know About Renting vs Buying a Home Can Cost You Money

    Kirk Chisholm
    22 Jun 2015 | 7:29 am
    What You Don’t Know About Renting vs Buying a Home Can Cost You Money   "If you rent a home, it is an expense. When you buy a home, it is an expense. If you buy a home and rent it out to a third party, it becomes an investment. A better way to put it is that when you are renting, you rent from a landlord. When you buy a home to live in, you are renting from yourself." This is the third and last post of this series. The first post, Should You Rent or Buy a Home?, examined what factors you should consider when renting vs buying a home. The second post, What is the True Cost of…
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