- WEB STARTUPS
- WEB JOBS
- ALL TOPICS
Venture Capital Archive
It seems platform funds are launching all over the place these days. Three years ago (boy it seems like yesterday) Facebook launched their fbFund. Most recently communications platform Twilio announced a $250,000 Twilio Fund for startups that build upon their platform. Last month Dave McClure’s 500Startups launched the CrowdFlower $250,000 CrowdFlower microfund.
Email platform provider MailChimp has announced the launch of their “integration fund” today. The fund will offer a total of $1 million to startups who build applications on top of the MailChimp platform. Unlike most of the other platform funds, MailChimp says they won’t take any equity. For example, both the CrowdFlower and Twilio funds take 1% equity for an up-to $10,000 investment. There is no mention on the MailChimp fund overview regarding the maximum amount each startup can receive.
The announcement blog post is well worth a read even if you aren’t going to participate in the fund. MailChimp co-founder and CEO Ben Chestnut discusses how MailChimp grew and why they want to help other companies build towards their own growth. Ben notes that the best marketing vehicle for MailChimp was (and is) the launch of their API. He suggests you build one for your startup and then leverage other APIs for growth. I’ve often said that leveraging others technology is smart — the mistake is building solely upon another companies technology.
If you are interested in obtaining some of the funds, you can complete the application here.
NY-based appointment planning and physician review service ZocDoc has announced a new Series B round of funding today. The round of $15 million, was led by Founders Fund and previous investors Khosla Ventures also participated in the round. The company notes that the new funding will be used to, “help ZocDoc expand its network of practitioners and accelerate its nationwide growth.”
ZocDoc is one of those services that doesn’t receive press on a daily basis like some mobile services are currently receiving however ZocDoc provides real world value and time savings. You select your insurance provider, location and specialty (dentist, psychiatrist, derm, etc.) and ZocDoc spits back a list of available appointment times. For me it’s saved a ton of time calling around to find available appointments that match both my insurance provider and my availability.
You can also view the ratings for a doctor – similar to ratings on a television on Amazon. It’s great to read reviews of a potential practitioner versus only receiving the recommendation from another doctor or friend.
ZocDoc currently serves NYC, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, DC. They allow their potential users to vote on which city should be next for expansion. Upcoming cities might include Miami, Houston, Boston, Philly and Seattle.
ZocDoc generates revenue by charging fees to the doctor and provides the service free to users.
As part of Internet Week NY, the VC Bootcamp is presenting a live discussion for entrepreneurs seeking advice on venture capital and angel financing. Presenters will discuss a broad range of topics regarding the venture capital fundraising process, such as strategies to secure an initial meeting with an investor, how to best present your idea, financing strategies and alternatives, overview and timing of the process, identifying and negotiating key business and legal points of the deal, and how to position the company for a successful liquidity event.
Tonight’s presenters include:
- Selim Day, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
- Adam Dinow, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
- David Rose, New York Angels
You can watch the live video below or on Livestream.
Continue reading “VC and Angel Financing Bootcamp (video)” »
NY-based CB Insights (previously known as ChubbyBrain) has released their CB Insights Venture Capital Activity Report for Q1 2010. If you are new to Chubby Brain and their CB Insights service, checkout our video overview. The ChubbyBrain team describes their service as, “Bloomberg for high value private companies”. The report is 32 pages in length and features lots of charts and graphs. If you are in the VC area or looking to raise funding, the report is a must read.
ChubbyBrain says the news overall is generally good with the number of total deals rising from 687 to 731. From the report, “Q1 ‘10 saw $5.9B invested across 731 deals, and the quarter’s performance was a marked increase over the year ago quarter which saw $3.9B invested across 483 deals. As we talked about in our Q4 ’09 report, the psychology and sentiment of entrepreneurs and venture capital investors continues to improve, albeit cautiously. While $5.9B remains far below quarterly levels seen before the ’08-’09 recession, there is some belief that the VC asset class has perhaps reset at a lower but ultimately more sustainable and healthier level.”
They also note that while the total number of angel deals remained pretty close to the prior quarter, total dollars raised dropped 21%. The report provides an overview and a look at several specific states including New York and California. NY-based firms raised $310 million in venture capital funding.
Here’s the total venture capital investment and deal volume by month:
Last week NYC Seed announced the launch of the SeedStart 2010 program. It seems very similar to the Y-Combinator and other similar programs. The program is described as, “NYC SeedStart is an 8-week summer program designed to provide seed funding for technology teams to build a product and launch their company. We will give up to 10 teams a small amount of funding, space, and mentorship in exchange for a small piece of equity in whatever they build.”
The selected startups receive $20,000 and give 5% equity to the NYC Seed group. Companies partnering in the program include: Contour Venture Partners, IA Ventures, NYC Seed, Polaris Venture Partners, RRE Ventures, Fish and Richardson, Manatt, Phelps and Phillips and SVB Financial Group.
Teams must have at least 2 people and no more than 4 people to apply. Applications for the SeedStart program are due by February 28, 2010.
Last year we covered the announcement that early-stage venture capital first First Round Capital (FRC) would be opening an office in NYC. We also covered the Entrepreneurs Roundtable when FRC partner Howard Morgan discussed the overall early-stage capital market.
Today the partners from FRC took a tour of the various startup incubators around Manhattan. For those new to the term, incubators is basically a fancy word for “shared office space”. I attended the first bit of the tour and will have a few more videos and photos over the next day. Mary Kathleen Flynn from The Deal and an editor from VentureBeat (I didn’t catch his name) also participated in the tour. I wore two hats today: first as a writer for this blog and second as an entrepreneur looking for space for my startup.
They also announced that their NYC office will be located at 200 Park Avenue South (23rd Street) and will be opening in March.
First Round Capital partner Josh Kopelman began the discussion with an overview of FRC and what they look for in a deal. The video of Josh’s discussion is available below. Some notes:
- they have invested in 80 companies
- average initial investment in NYC is $600k
- about 15 investments in NYC
- they like to invest very early – they fund Powerpoint and pre-launch companies
German media company ProSiebenSat.1 Group has announced the launch of a new startup investment program. Deutsche Startups reports (translated link) that the program offers advertising space in return for equity in the startup. Sister company Seven Brand Ventures will run the new investment program to make sure the advertising is as targeted as possible.
Twenty startups are involved in the media-equity program to-date and all are in different stages of development.
Any company can apply for the program as long as they meet the criteria set forth by Seven Brand Ventures. The main criteria is that the startup has not appeared on any television stations. It appears that the media buys that will be used for this program will be remnant slots.
Regarding one of the startups in the program, Deutsche Startups notes (translated), “At Outlet Online Shop Sneakerloft can already draw a first conclusion: Since the campaign began three months ago are in the Web store, according to ProSiebenSat.1 has already received over 10,000 orders.”
The story concludes by noting that this program is a win-win for both parties. The television stations fill their open ad slots and the startups get free television advertising with a small equity position in return. This program could also lead to future partnerships between both parties as well.