We filmed this week’s Ask a VC on Tuesday, and I started out by asking Bijan Sabet of Spark Capital about the danger of venture capitalists investing in competitors. There was no ulterior motive on my part. It’s just a question I’ve seen coming up increasingly as dealmaking heats up and VCs invest across a bigger variety of company stages than ever before. And, I’d recently seen that Sabet did… → Read More
This week, I invited Bijan Sabet of Spark Capital back to Ask a VC, because it’s been a while and there were a ton of questions we didn’t get to last time. Sabet is in the middle of some of the most interesting companies on the Web today including Tumblr, Twitter and Boxee. And as you can see from his last time on the show, he’s a great guest. Last time we talked about everything… → Read More
ContextIn, an Israeli company I first got to know when they launched their semantic technology platform at my Plugg conference back in 2009, has recently shifted focus to the buying side of the online advertising equation. We’ve now learned that the company has raised “a few million dollars” in a Series A round led by Spark Capital and Pitango.
I have to admit I’m not 100% clear on what they are… → Read More
A startup based in Shanghai, with United States headquarters in Woburn, Mass., 8D World, has attracted a series B investment of $5.25 million for their educational take on massively multiplayer online games, the company announced today. Their flagship product, Wiz World Online, uses sophisticated speech assessment features to teach mostly kids and teens English as a foreign language.
The founder… → Read More
This week’s Ask a VC was with Bijan Sabet of Spark Capital, a standout in the younger generation of VCs whether you are looking at his portfolio (Twitter, Tumbr, Boxee, SendMe) or talking to entrepreneurs who work with him.
I asked Sabet about how fundraising went for Spark Capital, which just raised its third fund, and how much that early investment in Twitter helped the process. We also talk… → Read More
Inform Technologies, a New York-based developer and provider of semantic web solutions, this morning announced it has secured $4 million in a Series A funding round led by previous backers Spark Capital, The Stephens Group, and The Oklahoma Publishing Company.
Microblogging startup Tumblr, based out of New York, has raised $5 million more from the same investors who’d already bankrolled the company with a little over $5 million over two previous rounds, namely Union Square Ventures and Spark Capital.
In China, learning spoken English is giving rise to a huge and growing market. For instance, in addition to English classes in public schools, parents send their children to about 50,000 for-profit training schools around the country, where English is the most popular subject. Instead of American Idol, on CCTV, the national government-owned TV network, they have the Star of Outlook English… → Read More
Boxee, the media center software startup, has won a lot of fans with its open approach to streaming content. And as a result it has won some more money, to the tune of a $6 million second round, led by Boston’s General Catalyst Partners. The new money will be used for growth: Both expanding the team and expanding the service’s reach in the market, we’re told.
But why now? After all, Boxee raised… → Read More
Instructional video site 5min, based in NYC and Israel, has raised an additional $7.5 million in a round led by Globespan Capital Partners and joined by previous investor Spark Capital, reports Israeli business news site Globes. This brings the total of capital invested in the startup, founded in 2006, to a healthy $12.8 million.
The latest venture fund to set up a separate seed financing program is Boston-based Spark Capital, a prolific investor in Internet and new media companies such as Twitter, Boxee, Tumblr, Veoh and KickApps. The initiative is dubbed Start@Spark, and is primarily geared towards startups from the Boston and New York areas.
Early-stage investments will amount up to $250,000, and will not be restricted… → Read More
Editor’s Note: There are not a lot of fans of the $20 billion bailout of the auto industry outside of Detroit. But if the government is going to get involved, Spark Capital’s Todd Dagres believes it should insist on new leadership.
In an open letter to President Barack Obama, Dagres argues that the car industry needs no less than a Steve Jobs to save it. In fact, he suggests that Jobs himself… → Read More