Accel Partners is making a big talent announcement today, with former Groupon COO and Yahoo exec Rob Solomon joining the firm as a venture partner.
Tag Archives: Venture
Make way for one more big venture fund coming out of Europe, this one with some colorful backers. Oliver and Marc Samwer — founders of the Rocket Internet startup incubator among other things — have teamed up with Fabian Siegel, one of the people behind online food delivery company DeliveryHero, to launch Global Founders Capital, a new €150 million ($ 194 million) fund aimed at any and all startups worldwide — but initially with a focus first on developing markets and e-commerce ventures, according to Siegel.
Editor’s note: Zach Noorani is a former VC and current second-year MBA student at MIT Sloan.
Isn’t it fun to ponder the awesome disruptive power that equity crowdfunding might have over the venture capital industry? The very people who spend their days plotting the disruption of any industry touched by technology are themselves displaced by hordes of technology-enabled angel investors. How ironic.
Editor’s note: Brad Garlinghouse is CEO of YouSendIt, the cloud file collaboration service. He is an avid angel investor in and advisor to several consumer and enterprise tech companies.
The news that electric car company Fisker Automotive could potentially be acquired by Chinese automaker Dongfeng Motor for about $ 425 million reminded me of an article that’s been eating at me for some time.
Editor’s note: Norman Winarsky is the Vice President of Ventures at research and technology development organization SRI International.
What have we learned over more than 65 years of invention and commercialization? There are several specific ways in which our venture processes stand in contrast to what is in vogue today. These are lessons that anyone in the business of innovation should consider.
EMC and Lenovo are expanding the joint LenovoEMC Ltd. venture to include co-branded NAS products for SMBs and the distributed enterprise.
There’s a lot of talk about disruption in the venture capital world. We’ve discussed at length the shift that many VCs are making from simply writing a check to serving as a hands-on, end-to-end service driven by seasoned operators and former founders.
Chicago-based Lightbank, the VC firm started by Groupon seed investors Eric Lefkofsky and Brad Keywell, have a similar approach but with one major difference: the firm’s fund, which is around $ 200 million, is composed of mainly Keywell and Lefkofsky’s personal money, not that of LPs (NEA has put a small amount in the firm, but is not considered an L.P.).
STMicroelectronics may not be a household name, but it’s a name that’s stamped on quite a few gizmos that you and yours have probably handled. Going forward, however, the company is announcing a new “strategic plan” that’ll key in on five growth drivers while waving goodbye to a jointly held venture with ST-Ericsson. Carlo Bozotti, President and CEO of ST, stated the following: “Today we are announcing the new ST, aligned with the new market environment. Based on that, we have made the decision to exit ST-Ericsson after a transition period. We will continue to support ST-Ericsson as their supply-chain partner, advanced process-technology partner and application-processor IP provider.”
From now on, the outfit will focus on MEMS and sensors, smart power, automotive products, microcontrollers, and application processors including digital consumer — clearly, five areas where the tie-up with ST-Ericsson won’t be necessary. Most analysts suggest that the two simply couldn’t find a way to be competitive in the mobile chip business, with larger Asian and US-based rivals eating an increasing share of that pie. Moreover, the venture has been lagging ever since Nokia’s smartphone downfall; as luck would (or wouldn’t, depending on perspective) have it, Nokia was one of ST-Ericsson’s bigger clients. It remains to be seen how many jobs will be lost due to this decision, and which of the remaining chip makers will be swooping in to buy up what’s left.
Hugh Pickens writes writes “With the ‘fiscal cliff’ just weeks away, Chris O’Brien writes that venture capital fundraising in silicon valley is down, the amount invested is down, the number of folks investing in venture capital is down, and the number of VC firms and partners are down. ‘The people I talked to in the industry sounded grim even as they tried to make the case for optimism,’ writes O’Brien. ‘Still, it remains difficult to identify a clear path for turning things around for the battered venture capitalists who make Silicon Valley hum.’ So what’s wrong with the VC industry? The problems are many and complex but they can be boiled down to one thing: Not enough exits. For the size of venture capital being raised and invested, there simply aren’t enough initial public offerings of stock or mergers and acquisitions to generate the returns that funds need. Venture insiders blame the global economic uncertainty. They believe that is part of the reason that giant corporations, which have amassed huge piles of cash, are just sitting on it, rather then using it to acquire startups. ‘The numbers are way down,’ said Ray Rothrock, a partner at Venrock. ‘All these companies with these fantastic balance sheets, and nobody is really buying anything. With all the uncertainty they’re facing with the economy and taxes, buying little companies is way down on their list.’”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
First time accepted submitter damagedbits writes “So it turns out that Me.ga is only part of Kim Dotcom’s resolution for 2013. Even though he’s still facing extradition to the U.S. for alleged piracy, Dotcom has plans to resurrect Pacific Fibre’s failed project to construct a fiber optic cable across the Pacific to the U.S. The new line will bring free high-speed broadband to New Zealanders and double the nation’s Internet bandwidth, setting Dotcom back about $ 400m.”
Some of that funding is based on optimism: “Dotcom plans on getting the majority of his funds by suing Hollywood studios and the US government for their ‘unlawful and political destruction of [Megaupload].’”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
E-commerce is one of the fastest-growing sectors in technology and is poised to get even hotter, with sales expected to double between 2010 and 2015, according to eMarketer. So how can discerning investors find the most promising opportunities? They have to first take off the rose-colored glasses.
The well-known investor behind the likes of Twitter and Foursquare says venture capital funds have gotten too big.
Fred Wilson, managing partner at Union Square Ventures, is a preëminent figure in venture capital. He’s been at it for 25 years: his first big deal was an investment in the Web community GeoCities, which Yahoo bought for about $ 3 billion in 1999. He went on to back startups including Twitter, Zynga, and Foursquare. But from his successful perch, Wilson worries that his industry is in trouble.
Venture capital was supposed to be the financial engine of American innovation.
Instead, it’s become a reflection of its own limitations.
Having suffered from production snags and delays, Amyris gains $ 82 million comittment from Total to make fuels from sugar cane.
Biotech company Amyris has secured a $ 30 million commitment this year from oil giant Total to expand fuel production from sugar cane.
Japanese electronics heavyweights Fujitsu and NEC, together with the country's largest mobile operator NTT DoCoMo, said Wednesday they will form a new joint venture to build and sell wireless chips for smartphones.
Editor’s note: This is the second article in a series by Redpoint Ventures principal Tom Tunguz examining trends in the public and private technology markets. He recently discussed four trends in the public technology markets. Today, he compares the current state of the US venture capital to historical norms.
The venture capital industry is in the midst of a contraction. Since 2001, limited partners have invested a median of $ 22B each year in venture capital. Over the last 3 years, those figures have dropped by 50% to $ 16B annually.
August Partner Howard Hartenbaum has since confirmed the firm’s raise, which is its sixth fund to date. It closed its previous, $ 650 million fund in March of 2009. The firm’s new raise consists of two funds, its core fund, which the partner says the firm will use to continue investing in early-stage companies — through its tried and true larger series A and seed investments. Then there’s its $ 250 million “Special Opportunities Fund,” which August will use for opportunistic investments, growth equity, some buyout — a mixed bag of investment types at the other end of the growth spectrum. A potpourri, if you will.
Editor’s Note: This is Redpoint VC’s Tomasz Tunguz’ second article in a series examining trends in the public and private technology markets.
Last week, we discussed four trends in the public technology markets. Today we compare the current state of the US venture capital to historical norms.
First, we will examine the inflows into the venture capital market: dollars raised by venture capitalists. Then we will explore the outflows, VCs’ investment pace, contrasting the dollars deployed over time. Last, we will investigate market sentiment and consequent price fluctuations.
New submitter quantic_oscillation7 writes with this excerpt from the Register: “Phil Zimmermann and some of the original PGP team have joined up with former U.S. Navy SEALs to build an encrypted communications platform that should be proof against any surveillance. The company, called Silent Circle, will launch later this year, when $ 20 a month will buy you encrypted email, text messages, phone calls, and videoconferencing in a package that looks to be strong enough to have the NSA seriously worried. … While software can handle most of the work, there still needs to be a small backend of servers to handle traffic. The company surveyed the state of privacy laws around the world and found that the top three choices were Switzerland, Iceland, and Canada, so they went for the one within driving distance.”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Silicon Valley venture capital stalwart Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers is announcing this evening that it has closed on a $ 525 million round for its fifteenth venture fund, dubbed ‘KPCB 15.’ The fund will be focused on making early-stage investments in digital, green tech, and health sciences startups.
PayPal and Softbank said Wednesday they will form a new joint venture to pursue online transactions business in the country.
Earlier this morning, San Francisco-based mobile app security provider Appthority announced that it has raised $ 6.25 million in a Series A financing round led by Venrock and US Venture Partners. Gunderson Dettmer also participated in this round. Venrock’s Ray Rothrock and US Venture Partners’ Steve Krausz will join the Appthority board.
The company’s product helps businesses manage the risks involved in having their employees bring their own mobile devices to work. Appthority specifically focuses on the apps installed on these devices and screens them for malware and other security threats.
Greylock Deepens Enterprise Experience, Adds Former BladeLogic CEO And BMC President As Venture Partner
Greylock Partners has been long focused on two distinct areas when it comes to venture investments—consumer and enterprise. The last consumer partner hire the firm made was former CEO of Mozilla, John Lilly. And today, the firm is deepening its experience in its enterprise practice with the addition of Dev Ittycheria as Venture Partner in Greylock’s Silicon Valley office.
At Greylock, Ittycheria will be focusing on investing in enterprise software companies, with a focus on cloud-based services and enabling IT infrastructure. Ittycheria is a long-time enterprise veteran with a history of not only founding successful startups, but also helping lead established companies towards revenue growth. He co-founded BladeLogic, which he led through a successful IPO and eventually a sale to BMC Software in 2008 for $ 900 million.
For the past two years, I have read or glanced over what seems like hundreds of blog posts and thousands of tweets from people who either directly claim or indirectly hint at a disruption of traditional venture capital. For some, the factors related to the economy, that limited partners and especially institutional investors were reviewing their investment approaches. For others, it seemed as if there was too much money in the venture asset class, that there was too much money chasing too few real opportunities. There seemed to be a long laundry list of why venture capital was undergoing this shift, but never any thread that could lay out all the factors and synthesize just how each factor contributed to shift.
That is, until now..
Jelastic, a U.S./Ukrainian/Russian provider of a cloud-based deployment platform for Java apps, has closed a $ 2 million Series A funding round from Russia and CIS-focused Almaz Capital Partners and Foresight Ventures, a global fund with a bias towards Russia and the US.
Jelastic, which competes with Heroku and Google App Engine, offers developers of Java applications a hosted platform based around standard software stacks, which it says helps avoid lock-ins and code changes. The company launched its public beta in October 2011, and since then has picked up over 15,000 unique users.
An audacious new private space exploration company backed by billionaire investors and filmmaker-turned-explorer James Cameron will unveil its master plan "to help ensure humanity's prosperity" on Tuesday, April 24.
The buttoned-down IT industry outshone flashy consumer Internet startups at raising money in the first quarter, logging a big increase in U.S. venture capital investments, especially in enterprise software.
NTT DoCoMo said Monday a planned joint venture with Samsung Electronics, Fujitsu, NEC and other Japanese companies to design and sell chips for high-speed mobile networks based on the LTE (Long Term Evolution) standard has been abandoned.
For a new generation of technology company founders, money is the easy part.
Silicon Valley’s venture capitalists make their money by funding ideas that disrupt established industries. But these gatekeepers of the technology business are now being challenged themselves.
A new venture firm is launching in Silicon Alley today. VC Charlie O’Donnell, who has worked as at both First Round Capital and Union Square Ventures, is launching his own venture firm today, New York-based Brooklyn Bridge Ventures.
O’Donnell says that Brooklyn Bridge Ventures will make investments in early and seed stage technology
companies in the “Greater Brooklyn Area” (which includes Manhattan and other boroughs) across a variety of information technology sectors. The fund will also be looking to lead or co-lead seed rounds.
Entrepreneurship requires balancing unbridled optimism with delusional foolishness. Most entrepreneurs are mocked and misunderstood until they are wildly successful, at which point the chorus changes from “good luck with that ‘business’, pal” to “I always believed in ya, buddy!”
There is an undeniable appeal to the notion of bootsrapping your company to success without venture capital. While bootstrapping has many advantages aside from control and ownership—such as being master of your domain and giving you the freedom to build your own Xanadu for all stakeholders—the reality is that the disadvantages may be greater. I speak from experience, having bootstrapped my own company, WatchMojo.
The former chief software architect at Microsoft and Lotus Notes creator is assembling a team for a company to make a new communications product for social interaction.
The wireless-for-all carrier‘s been agreeing to all sorts of partnerships of late in an effort to keep its users content, the latest one being the tie-up with Mobile Content Venture that’ll bring local broadcast TV live to your MetroPCS handset. The service, which is said to be coming later in the year, will be offered via a Dyle Mobile TV app, and the companies are guaranteeing that you’ll be able to watch the content “right out of the box.” There’s 15 total broadcasters named in the deal, some of which are: FOX, ION Television, NBC, Telemundo and Univision (for all your novela needs). We’ve seen a plethora of mobile devices come and go since we first heard of the Mobile DTV promise, but they did say 2012 would be the year, and, well, here we are. A peek at the PR below tells us we’ll see this in action next week at CES, so we’ll let you know if it’s as marvelous as it sounds.
Microsoft and General Electric's healthcare IT business are setting up a 50:50 joint venture to develop and market an open, interoperable technology platform and clinical applications for enabling better population health management, the companies said Thursday.
The venture capital industry is going through a ton of disruptions lately. One of the better explanations I’ve heard recently of what is going on comes from Duncan Davidson, a managing partner at Bullpen Capital who gave a great talk on the subject at TechCrunch Tokyo last week. I interviewed him backstage on video, where he summarized his views.
Just as there are now legions of “lean startups” which require less capital to build a product, Davidson argues that a “lean finance model” is also needed
Sony and Samsung have been operating an LCD joint venture since 2004 called S-LCD. At this point Samsung holds 51% of the joint venture with Sony having 49% of S-LCD. Sony has not been doing well in the TV realm of late with loses in the segment that continue to increase. As a result of [...]
We here at TechCrunch love startups, and we love the programs, networks, accelerators, and funds that help these startups grow and take over the world. There are a lot of them out there, and for entrepreneurs, it’s all about finding the right fit. First Growth Venture Network, also known as “FGVN” or “First Growth”, may not be as well known as awesome accelerators and incubators like Y Combinator, TechStars, LaunchBox, or DreamIt but the New York City-based startup incubator has a lot to recommend it. Especially for very early-stage startups that haven’t raised any outside funding.
Today, First Growth is announcing its Fall 2011 lineup and the fourth “vintage” of its startup accelerator program, which will include sixteen young companies looking to go pro. Check ‘em out here.