Around 2006 there was a sudden increase in so-called “partial liquidations,” where entrepreneurs could take some money off the table during a mid-stage funding round. Considered unheard of at the time, now they’re the norm for companies doing well.
Then in 2009, we saw the rise of secondary markets, which allowed early stage investors and employees to take some money off the table at more… → Read More
There is a lot of hype swirling that 2011 is going to be the big comeback year for the venture-backed IPO. And we’re talking about big, gaudy IPOs, not small ones that essentially function as another funding round. And interestingly, pundits and investors expect some new $1 billion companies to debut in both cleantech and Internet sectors.
So maybe the fourth quarter was just the calm before the… → Read More
Last week, Tim Wu challenged me to another, longer debate about the future of the Web. His new book, The Master Switch, argues that every time there is a major communications innovation, a handful of big companies find a way to close it off, keeping the future spoils for themselves. That hurts incremental innovation and ultimately hurts consumer choice in the name of convenience and low-prices. → Read More
In the peak of the Internet bubble, a company’s valuation– and press attention– would soar simply by whispering the words “John Doerr is an investor.” But in early Web 2.0 days, the once-everywhere venture capitalist seemed to fall off of the tech press’s radar, at least when it came to Internet investing.
But boy, has Doerr made up for lost time this year: Keynoting both of our Disrupt… → Read More
Last week’s guest on Press:Here was Tim Wu, author of the new book Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires. Wu also wrote this guest post for us about why we should all fear Steve Jobs.
In general Wu — who gets credit for coming up with the term “Net Neutrality” — has a really important mission whether you agree with him or not: Raising alarm bells that the Internet, like every… → Read More
The most optimistic case is that we’re in a clump of countries leading the pack. The glass-half-empty version: Politics, boneheaded legislation and our lousy capital markets will saddle America’s culture of… → Read More
In retrospect, Tesla may have been cleantech’s Netscape moment. It didn’t get off to the world’s greatest start, but like a few other venture-backed IPOs, lately it has been trading at nearly double its opening price.
Meanwhile, a few other cleantech companies have filed S-1s and several more are waiting in the wings, watching to see what the market does. To continue the Netscape analogy, 2011… → Read More
Prashant Gulati says that TechCrunch should be banned in the Middle East. That’s not because he isn’t a big fan of the site, but because he says it “puts some naïve and green young ones at a disadvantage”. The Dubai-based technologist and angel investor funded a startup recently. Soon after he made the investment, he learned that the majority of the money had been withdrawn from the bank. → Read More
Yes, China is taking over the world. Or at least the Internet. No, this is not like the WE’LL-ALL-BE-WORKING-FOR-JAPAN-oh-nevermind scare of the 1980s. Why? Because China has more than 1 billion people. It already represents the largest online audience in the world and is less than 30% penetrated and has Internet spending per capita that’s less than one-third of the United States.
That means two… → Read More
I have no idea why it seems to be “Europe week” for me, but here’s some more news from across the pond: Seedcamp has raised a new €3 million fund. I’m a huge fan of Seedcamp, even though I’ve given the co-founder Saul Klein a hard time about some of its winners in the past.
It is a combination of Y Combinator, a competition like TechCrunch Disrupt and a super angel, but one that aggressively… → 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
Just 15 months after Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz officially jumped to the venture capital darkside with the close of a $300 million fund, Andreessen Horowitz is announcing the close of a second $650 million fund. In less than two years, the firm has rocketed up to a whopping $950 million under management, an investment staff of 18 people and a portfolio that includes everything from Skype to… → Read More
Domestic venture capital funding of cleantech businesses fell 55% to $575.6 million in the third quarter of 2010 compared to the same period last year according to a new report from Ernst & Young and Dow Jones VentureSource. The energy efficiency segment, however, beat the downward trend.
Dow Jones is releasing its third quarter venture capital numbers today, and the amount of money raised was down sharply from last quarter’s heady $7.7 billion distributed across 740 deals.
In the third quarter of this year, 662 companies raised just $5.4 billion. It’s not uncommon to see a muted third quarter in the venture business due to summer vacations, but this was the smallest amount raised… → Read More
For all the hair-pulling that too much venture money is being thrown at startups, the third quarter actually saw a 31 percent sequential drop in venture dollars invested in the U.S., according to a new MoneyTree report from PriceWaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association (see charts here). In the third quarter, VCs invested $4.8 billion in 780 deals, down from $6.9 billion in… → Read More
Raising money is never fun for entrepreneurs. It takes a lot of time and distracts them from actually building their business. But perhaps worst of all, they have to answer all the same stupid questions over and over again with every pitch they make. This parody video on fundraising captures the essence of that frustration every entrepreneur feels. It is in the same style as “I Will Honor The… → Read More
One of the most interesting discussions at TechCrunch’s Disrupt conference was the debate between the “super angels” and VCs. No, I’m not referring to “AngelGate” or the question of which investor group squeezes entrepreneurs the most. Despite what they say, all investors are in the game for personal financial gain; it’s not about nurturing entrepreneurs or doing good for the world. → Read More
With the news this week that the recession officially ended in June 2009, there’s a ton of commentary about how it still feels like we’re in recession. But from where I sit, it never felt much like a recession at all. Revenues tightened up and people didn’t get raises, but I don’t know any friends who lost apartments, few who lost jobs and few companies that went under, just because of… → Read More
Last week, venture capitalist Fred Wilson wrote a post pointing out that the VC industry is split in two: software-based businesses and everything else (specifically, “cleantech, biotech and other capital intensive businesses”).
Software businesses don’t require as much capital as they once did, and certainly not as much as cleantech or biotech. In fact, I’d go so far to say that the main asset… → Read More
Endeavor– a non-profit that encourages high-impact entrepreneurship in the emerging world– likes to go to counties where people wouldn’t expect a lot of sophisticated high-growth entrepreneurship to be. Thirteen years ago when Endeavor started that was easy, just go outside Western Europe or the US. But today, entrepreneurship is exploding in places we wouldn’t have expected from Russia to… → 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
Ding, ding! It’s round four of our Super Angel v. VC SMACKDOWN. Both of our pugilist Davids live and work in Silicon Valley. Given that today’s topic is about whether or not the heft of East Coast Super Angels like Josh Kopelman, Chris Dixon and Fred Wilson is pulling the center of early stage funding gravity away from famed Sand Hill Road, you’d think it’d be nothing but agreement. “Oh, no… → Read More
So let me get this straight, you call yourself an angel, but you’re investing limited partners’ money…doesn’t that just make you a small, early-stage VC? And if you’re successful, don’t you just raise a bigger fund and hire more partners, looking a lot more like an early stage VC?
In day two of our David v. David/ Super Angel v. VC SMACKDOWN, even Dave McClure admits “Super Angel” is a flawed… → Read More
You can always count on Hunch founder Chris Dixon for interesting Tweets. He just sent out this one:
turns out patent trolling might not pay. Intellectual Ventures has negative 78% return.http://bit.ly/bSfamC
The link is a PDf download of a document from the University of Texas Management Company listing all of its private investments in venture funds and private equity funds, along with their… → Read More
The beloved, endangered IPO is showing signs of revival, or at least survival. In the second quarter of 2010, there were 15 venture-backed IPOs in the U.S., which raised a total of $899 million, according to data released today by Dow Jones VentureSource. The amount raised is nearly four times as much as the same, admittedly moribund, period a year ago, when there were only 3 IPOs and $232… → Read More
David Park and Eric Bahn are earning more at their startup, called Beat The GMAT, than they ever did in the corporate world. Every penny of profit from the business goes directly into their bank accounts. They enjoy being their own bosses; have become experts in sales, marketing, customer support, computer programming and graphic design; feel good about helping students gain admission to business… → Read More
Raising millions of dollars from VCs is still the tech entrepreneurs’ dream. Entrepreneurs believe that a hoard of cash in the bank will give them the luxury of developing better products, marketing the heck out of them, and reaping the rewards with big sales and an eventual IPO. But more often than not, the money is a curse. When a company is running on a tight budget, it will usually perform… → Read More
Venture capital returns improved in the fourth quarter of 2009, according to the Cambridge Associates U.S. Venture Capital Index, the performance benchmark of the National Venture Capital Association. Fourth quarter returns saw a 3.3 percent rise, ending the year with a 3 percent return overall, on average.