Ask A VC

  • Ask a VC: Live from New York It’s Habib Kairouz

    Valleyites may not have heard of this week’s guest, Habib Kairouz of Rho Ventures, but his LPs are quite familiar with his work. He lead the round in iVillage back in 1997, taking the company public in 1999, before it sold to NBC in 2007 for $600 million. In 2001, he led the investment in Intralinks, which went public in 2010 and has a market cap of more than $1 billion. In 2006, he… Read More

  • Ask a VC: "We Probably Would Have Been the Last Guys to Do a Round in Twitter" (TCTV)

    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… Read More

  • Ask a VC: What Questions Can Dana Stalder of Matrix Partners Answer?

    We have a new VC in the hot seat this week, Dana Stalder of Matrix Partners. Stalder is a relatively new VC, but he has deep Valley pedigree. He joined a young, pre-revenue Netscape in 1994, staying on through the AOL merger, and leaving in 1998 to help found, before jumping to eBay in 2001. Among other things, he ran eBay’s search engine marketing and customer… Read More

  • Ask a VC: Jeremy Liew on Suits, Marijuana, and his most Underrated Investment (TCTV)

    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… Read More

  • Ask a VC: Lightspeed's Jeremy Liew Awaits Your Questions

    Jeremy Liew is my guest on Ask a VC this week. He’s a guy with plenty of Web battle scars. He was an early employee of CitySearch back in the mid-1990s, a senior executive at InterActive Corp. and a senior executive at AOL. (You know, before AOL was cool again.) He’s been at Lightspeed Venture Partners since 2006 and his investments include Playdom, Kongregate, LivingSocial, RockYou! Read More

  • Ask a VC: Why David Hornik Invests Close to Home and the Dumbest Deal in the Valley (TCTV)

    Ten years ago, most VCs refused to invest outside of Silicon Valley. Now, most of them have funds in Israel, Europe, India or China– and lately many of those Chinese funds are outperforming the US counterparts. But August Capital is still sticking with the kind of local venture capital that built this industry, and David Hornik explains why in this week’s episode of Ask a… Read More

  • Ask a VC: Why We're Thankful for David Hornik

    David Hornik of August Capital has bailed me out in a short week by hopping into the Ask a VC chair that I neglected to book in advance. The timing wasn’t planned, but it’s appropriate. The first time I ever interviewed Hornik, I was still at BusinessWeek and when I asked him to send a headshot he emailed one over where he was dressed like some sort of pilgrim. It was clear back… Read More

  • Ask a VC: Nic Brisbourne Defends London's Entrepreneurial Honor

    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… Read More

  • Ask a VC: London Comes to Us this Week

    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… Read More

  • Ask a VC: How Kiteboarding and Venture Capital Became Less Risky (TCTV)

    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… Read More

  • Ask a VC in Indonesia: Is East Ventures Early or Crazy? [TCTV]

    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… Read More

  • Ask a VC: Is Southeast Asia's Economic Growth for Real This Time? [TCTV]

    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… Read More

  • Ask a VC: The Southeast Asian Edition

    Since I’m reporting in Southeast Asia the next few weeks, I decided to bring Ask a VC with me on the road. I’m asking your questions to two firms. (Hopefully one or  both conversations will be over some delicious chili crab.) First up is James Chan of Neoteny Labs— best known as Joi Ito’s fund. Neotany is a $5 million Asian VC fund, and while Ito is based in Dubai… Read More

  • Bijan Sabet on Why He Has a Hard Time Investing in Africa…and Boston [TCTV]

    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… Read More

  • I Got a Pony! I Mean, Reid Hoffman Is My Guest on Ask a VC this Week

    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… Read More

  • Ask A VC: Chris Dixon Solves Your Problems [TCTV]

    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… Read More

  • Ask a VC: Chris Dixon Is Waiting to Answer Your Questions

    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… Read More

  • Ask A VC: Hirshland and the Secret Gang of Angels He Has in his Bathroom [TCTV]

    Mike Hirshland is a great sport. He filled in at the last second, taking the Ask-a-VC hotseat the week his industry erupted in scandal. In this video we talk about the “AngelGate” controversy and how Hirshland is dealing with the very real problem of rising valuations. He also answers reader questions about applying to DogPatch Labs, how it’s different from traditional… Read More

  • "Ask A VC" Guest Swap: Kopelman Out; Hirshland In

    Josh Kopelman of First Round Capital was supposed to be my guest on “Ask A VC” this week, but called me this morning to cancel because his attorneys pointed out that doing press interviews while raising a new fund ran afoul of Securities & Exchange Commission rules. Oops. Filling in is Mike Hirshland– or “VC Mike” as he’s called. Regular readers know… Read More

  • Ask a VC: Fred Wilson Gives Blunt Answers to Your Questions (TCTV)

    Ask a VC: Fred Wilson Gives Blunt Answers to Your Questions (TCTV)

    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… Read More