We had a last minute cancellation on Ask a VC this week, so filling in is Satish Dharmaraj who was our second ever guest on the show. For those who don’t remember, Dharmaraj is a relatively new partner at Redpoint Venture Partners, after selling Zimbra to Yahoo for $350 million and Onebox, which he sold for $850 million. Not bad.
Dharmaraj focuses on a lot of Redpoint’s consumer Web portfolio… → Read More
With apologies to Car Talk, you’ve squandered a perfectly good half-of-a-year watching “Why Is This News?” and we decided to reward you with a show that actually contains business analysis, rather than a rant about hotels or the hijinks of Michael Arrington.
In this week’s episode Paul and Sarah give their picks for the dumbest and smartest people of 2010, a slam-dunk prediction for 2011 and a… → Read More
The biggest difference between the Internet scenes in Silicon Valley and China this year? We’re all still asking when Facebook will go public, while Chinese companies are filing left and right. Part of this is an investor demand to get a chunk of that 400 million person strong and growing Chinese Internet market.
But part of this is cultural. American Internet entrepreneurs are more likely to… → Read More
My guest on Ask a VC this week was Dana Stalder of Matrix Partners, a newbie in the venture world, but a seasoned manager and entrepreneur in Valley Internet circles. Stalder answered a range of reader questions including basic advice for pitching Matrix and how Google failing to acquire Groupon impacted the social commerce space. (Matrix is an investor in the number three player BuyWithMe and… → Read More
According to CrunchBase, we have never written about 18-month old ShoeDazzle despite the fact that the company has raised $23 million in two rounds of funding, expects it’ll do $100 million in revenues next year and has Kim Kardashian as a co-founder.
Ok, maybe it’s partially because of that last factor. The Valley has always had an issue with LA and vice-versa. Let’s be honest: We loved it when… → Read More
There is no reason in the world I should have been invited to a dinner with Foursquare founder and CEO Dennis Crowley. It’s already one of the most written about companies on TechCrunch, and I am the only TechCrunch reporter who has never written a post on them.
That’s in part because I am one of the only TechCrunch reporters who has just never been a big Foursquare fan. I get it, but a mayor… → Read More
Why don’t more big Web companies come out of Europe? According to European investor Klaus Hommels, it’s not the usual excuses we hear like un-start-up-friendly labor laws or a culture against taking business risk. It’s that the European Union is just too fragmented of a market no matter what continent boosters would have us believe. Hommels explains in the video below– realizing full-well he’s … → Read More
I’m hearing rumors that Ask a VC is getting big in pockets of Harvard Business School, which explains an increasingly sophisticated caliber of email questions over the last few weeks. Appropriately, we had the only suited VC in Silicon Valley on this week to answer them. (Ok, not in that picture. That was taken before his “MadMen” phase.)
Jeremy Liew of Lightspeed Venture Capital joined me this… → Read More
For the last few days we’ve been getting a series of increasingly loopy emails from a startup in Sweden asking us to write about their launch. (See photo to the left.) I realize this post may be the beginning of a slippery slope of relentless pitches from Scandinavians that ends up with someone breaking into my house to bring me a pitch and a latte.
But what the hell? I like lattes and TechCrunch… → Read More
Yammer founder and CEO David Sacks came all the way from his office upstairs from us to talk about his new $25 million round of funding. We discuss a lot of interesting things in this clip including why Sacks says Yammer wasn’t everyone’s new favorite word, a pivot; why he still loves Geni, the company Yammer spun out of that we don’t hear nearly as much about; why more… → Read More
It’s impossible to throw a rock at a media outlet today without hitting a story about Wikileaks. And to make the rock throwing even easier, the subject of this week’s Why Is This News is: Wikileaks – ‘enemy of democracy, just plain fact of life… or both?’
In it, Sarah argues that, for good or ill, the leaking of several hundred thousand diplomatic cables simply reflects today’s reality that no… → Read More
Oh, Nic Brisbourne. Unlike most VCs who come on Ask a VC who are used to my rude, outspoken American ways, Brisbourne is British and therefore incredibly polite. As this interview goes on he gets more visibly uncomfortable until the end when he brings up Spotify, and I just go a little pit-bull on him.
But social graces aside, we have a fascinating chat about the investing scene in London and… → Read More
Bill Bishop, an investor and consultant based in Beijing, joined me via Skype to talk about this white-hot Chinese Interent IPO market, that’s even welcoming unprofitable companies into the Nasdaq. “It’s been a crazy couple months, and it looks like it will be crazier through Christmas,” he says. “The goldrush is back.”
One of the most interesting corners of that goldrush is online video. Between… → Read More
Nic Brisbourne of DFJ Esprit is in town this week — along with seemingly every successful Brit– so we asked him to be our first in-studio guest ever on Ask a VC. Brisbourne is well positioned to answer any questions about the funding scene in Europe, which last I checked was one of the only markets in the world where investing activity was actually declining this year. Are things… → Read More
My guest on Ask A VC this week is Bill Tai of Charles River Ventures. He’s also a professional kiteboarder. You may ask: Why would a guy who has been a VC since 1991 need kiteboarding sponsors? That was my first question.
Generally in this video we talk about how the venture business has changed during the last 20 years and how kiteboarding has changed over the last 10 years. There are a lot of… → Read More
Welcome to part two of Ask a VC in Southeast Asia. This week, it’s Wilson Cuaca and Chandra Tjan of East Ventures. I shot this video in Singapore, but they invest primarily in Indonesia where East is one of the only traditional early stage VC firms.
Over delicious crab, we discuss the Web opportunities in Southeast Asia, whether startups should focus locally or globally, and perhaps the most… → Read More
As promised, my guest on Ask a VC this week is James Chan of Neoteny Labs, an early stage investment firm with operations in Singapore. Chan isn’t some banker-fied expat, he’s a “son of Singapore’s soil” as he phrases it. He was educated in the system, served his two years in the army and got a scholarship to study in the US, part at Carnegie Mellon University and part at Stanford.
That… → 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
File this under “ask and ye shall receive part two.” Reid Hoffman– uber angel turned Greylock partner– will be my guest on Ask a VC this week.
There are plenty of things to ask Hoffman about. He was an angel investor in some of the most pivotal Web 2.0 companies, including Friendster, Facebook, Six Apart, Digg, Zynga and LinkedIn, which he co-founded.
Hoffman was heavily courted by most top… → Read More
Well, I guess all I had to do was ask. After my mopey post Monday I got flooded with questions for Chris Dixon, and the nature of the questions has taken a decidedly “Dear Abby” spin. Dozens of you asked for Dixon’s advice on specific problems, but at the same time problems that many entrepreneurs face. Questions ranged from the tactical– how to use online marketing to get more contributors to a… → Read More
This week I moderated a fireside chat with Netflix CEO Reed Hastings at a historic movie theatre in downtown Santa Cruz. For those who don’t live in the Bay Area, Santa Cruz is a sleepy little beach town a mountain away from San Jose. It’s filled with hippies and is one of the only places in the Bay Area that the reach and wealth of Silicon Valley hasn’t changed. There’s always a debate about… → Read More
We had a hiatus from Ask a VC last week amid the Disrupt madness, and I thought about whether I should let the show die. The number of questions and uniqueness of questions has been tailing off since our launch week, and anything you do in video takes more time than it looks.
But backstage, a ton of the experts and speakers came up to tell me how much they were enjoying it– somewhat to my shock. → Read More
In this week’s show, we talk to one of our favorite angel investors, Saul Klein, who just wrapped up his third annual Seedcamp in London. In addition to being a partner at the powerful Index Ventures and having a British accent — which lonely expat Paul can’t get enough of– Klein is impressive because he’s one of the only angel investors who has made what is traditionally an intensely local way… → Read More
I think this show is going to be a winner. That’s not as arrogant of a statement as it sounds, because the content has little to do with me. Your questions elicited great answers from one of the most powerful consumer Web investors on the planet, Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures. What’s not to like?
It’s a long video, so here are some of the topics we cover: Whether venture capital still a… → Read More
We’ve come to the last installment of the Super Angel v. VC SMACKDOWN and we’ve saved the wonkiest, nerdiest topic for last: Should entrepreneurs swap investor cash for convertible debt or equity?
Somehow, this is the topic that generates the most passion. If you don’t understand the basics, August Capital’s David Hornik– a former lawyer– breaks them down: “It’s about price and control.” Angels… → Read More