Bjorking Your Bachelor Party As a sign of just how many bachelor parties an up-and-coming venture bro is obligated to attend, during a recent PandoMonthly panel, Thrillist Ben Lerer said if he had to pick a totally ordinary superpower, it would be making sure his wife was cool with him going to bachelor parties. (To be fair, it took him a long time to come up with it, so it might not be that high on his list.) Hopefully his better half was understanding about a recent trip Mr. Lerer took to Iceland celebrate the end of singledom for Spark Capital’s Mo Koyfman.
The recently promoted general partner invited a number of other techies for the festivities, including Eater.com cofounder Ben Leventhal and what looks an awful lot like Jakob Lodwick and Ricky Van Veen, who Mr. Koyfman would know from his days as an IAC executive “adult supervising” College Humor. Definitely present? Author and MSNBC cohost Touré! Mr. Koyfman tested hashtags for Instagramming his international excursion, trying out #koyfops before settling on #icemomo, although NYC yoga instructor Heather Lilleston also suggested #mochella.
Among the Natives David Karp put on his salesman hat this week and preached the Tumblr gospel in front of execs at an Advertising Week event. Karp pushed his company’s new approach to “native” non-intrusive marketing. He went as far as to call Tumblr the “brave new world.” The site now nets 27 million visitors a month and is expected to release some sort of earnings report this week, six months after ads started running on the site.
Pass The Popcorn MoviePass, a subscription service for unlimited movie-going, launched today, but is still invite-only. The app lets you check into a movie theatre, which then unlocks your MoviePass card. You pay at the credit card ticket kiosk using your MoviePass card, like you would with an ordinary card. The service is starting out at $29.99, which makes it a steal for New Yorkers because that’s a little under the price of two movies with popcorn in Manhattan.
Roughly a year-and-a-half after closing its second $25 million seed stage fund, Lerer Ventures is in the processing of raising money for a third. An SEC filing, first noted by TechCrunch, says the size of the round is $30 million.
Although the Form D indicates that the early-stage venture capital firm has yet to sell, expect the round to close quickly.
Last May, it only took Lerer Ventures “a matter of weeks” to raise that $25 million from individuals and family offices. And that was before the highly-regarded New York City firm–launched by Huffington Post cofounder (and Betaworks and Buzzfeed chairman) Ken Lerer and his son Ben Lerer, cofounder of Thrillist–boasted a handful of exits.
For the Thrill of It
Fresh off the heels of the news that Thrillist had raised a $13 million Series A, its men’s clothing retailer, JackThreads, announced exclusively to Betabeat today that it has hit one million orders.
“Our growth has been insane,” said Devon Giddon, Thrillist’s director of communications. “In 2010, we were processing approximately 8,000 orders a month and now we’re doing around 13,000 orders a week! And 60 percent of those orders are from repeat buyers.”
It’s hard to be heads down when it’s hot out. Exhortations to “just keep shipping” trigger fantasies of sailboats; Friday afternoon happy hours just aren’t as appealing as sangria on a terrace in Spain. Besides–is there any surer sign of a healthy startup sector than tech stars taking lavish vacations?
For the Thrill of It
It was a very busy morning for Ben Lerer, the 30-year-old Lerer Ventures scion and CEO of men’s lifestyle brand Thrillist. The company announced yesterday that it had closed a $13 million series A, the first outside financing since Thrillist raised a $2 million seed round way back in 2005. Growing Thrillist from a Daily Candy-like daily newsletter to a men’s lifestyle empire with little venture capital in just seven years is no small feat.
“That’s the cool thing for me,” Mr. Lerer told Betabeat by phone this morning, his voice still colored with the excitement of closing a solid round. “That we were able to legit boostrap a business to 200+ people and $60 million in revenue without the money. It really gives me confidence that we have the right habits and the right discipline so that now that we have this money, we’re going to know how to spend it the right way rather than spastically run around spending it.”
A bit of late-breaking news for your Thursday: All Things D reports that men’s lifestyle brand Thrillist has raised a $13 million Series A, led by Oak Investment Partners.
Joining the funding fun were family outfit Lerer Ventures and Bob Pittman’s Pilot Group. Pilot was the first firm to put money into Thrillist, helping founder Ben Lerer get off the ground back in 2005 with $2 million in seed money. This is the first outside capital they’ve raised since.
Goooood Morning Silicon Alley!
This is a guest post from Gary Sharma (aka “The Guy with the Red Tie”), founder and CEO of GarysGuide and proud owner of a whole bunch of black suits, white shirts and, at last count, over 40 red ties. You can reach him at gary [at] garysguide.com.
Entrepreneur’s Roundtable (which spawned the Read More
Minority Report is a guest column by Sarah Kunst, who does business development and product at fashion app Kaleidoscope. She’s a black, non-engineer female in tech, but plans to IPO anyway.
Fortune magazine’s annual Brainstorm Tech summit is the Lincoln of conferences (the motor company is also a sponsor so kudos to them for nailing their demographic). Not the too-rich-for-its-own-good Bentley like Davos or the flashy Porsche that is TED. Rather, Brainstorm Tech brought together a lot of guys from Ivy League schools who work for companies with giant market caps and little buzz. They’re there to listen, network, and cut deals in one of the many hospitality tents at the Aspen Institute.
The listening part was easy as the speakers were relevant and quippy. Peter Thiel and Eric Schmidt went all Hunger Games for the crowd, trading blows on stage during dinner in what felt more like a sporting match than a debate about the future of technology. (You’ll have to excuse me if you already heard about their exploits, it takes a girl awhile to adjust back down to sea level.)
New York is teeming with startups aggressively elbowing for their moment in the spotlight, but sometimes obnoxious levels of networking and gimmicky marketing can only get you so far. Enter Speed Dating for Startups, a new contest born of a Thrillist/Samsung collab that gives wantrepreneurs a chance to strut their stuff on video for the chance to win a prize package.
From July 23 to September 30, users can submit a 30-second video explaining their startup: think of it like a filmed elevator pitch performed on a very, very slow elevator. The top three winners will get face time with some of New York’s most beloved techies, including TechStars cofounder David Tisch and Thrillist’s own Ben Lerer.