The Data Deluge

Big Data Funding Gets Bigger: IA Ventures Raised $105 M, Double Its Previous Fund


IA Ventures, the New York City-based firm with a big data fetish, just announced that it raised $105 million towards a second fund. That’s more than double the $50 million seed fund IA Ventures founder Roger Ehrenberg raises in 2010.

With this new fund, Mr. Ehrenberg told TechCrunch, IA Ventures will be able lead seed rounds as well as series A and B rounds and follow a company through its growth. Previously, IA gravitated towards pre-revenue companies “between a Powerpoint and a prototype.” Those companies, says TechCrunch, require more “hands-on work,” and with Fund II, IA Ventures will be able to diversify its portfolio into both seed-stage and later-stage companies.

TechCrunch’s post on the new fund set off a chain of negative responses on Twitter, unrelated to IA Ventures, but rather to do with a theory Erick Schonfeld slipped into the piece about the difference between East Coast and West Coast investors below. Read More

Unreal Time

Is It Possible to Predict Pageviews 15 Minutes Into the Future? $1.7 M. for Visual Revenue Says Yes


What’s cooler than real-time? New York-based Visual Revenue is building technology that purports to predict web traffic in advance. We first wrote about the startup just over a year ago when it officially launched. At the time, founder and CEO Dennis Mortensen wrote a blog post about how the company was aiming to replace the “front page editor” position that has become a staple of new media newsrooms. At the time, the New York Daily News and eight other publishers were testing Visual Revenue’s claims that it can predict how well a story will do on the front page 15 minutes in advance.

Visual Revenue offers media companies a unique Front Page Decision Support System for online Editors. The solution can predict the performance of a piece of content about 15 minutes into the future and provides editors with real-time recommendations on what content to place in which position on a Front Page and for how long.

Sounds like something BuzzFeed would be interested in. Wait, it sounds like something every web publisher would be interested in. But are we petty web readers really that predictable?

IA Ventures and Softbank Capital think so. The firms led Visual Revenue’s $1.7 million round, which will be used to hire front end and back end engineers, a lead designer, customer engagement manager and business development manager and build Visual Revenue into the “Bloomberg terminal of the newsroom,” as the company puts it. Read More

The Data Deluge

Putting Their Mouth Where Their Money Is: IA Ventures Talks Big Data

Sisco kid

Roger Ehrenberg started with a career on Wall Street, but he’s become one of the most respected and sought-after investors in the New York tech scene. He is the founder of IA Ventures, which recently raised a $50 million fund and invests “on the belief that managing and extracting value from massive, occasionally unstructured, often real-time data sets is a competitive advantage.”

Ben Siscovick, a member of the investment team at IA, gave a talk at General Assembly this week to a packed house on the topic of big data. He was nice enough to throw the video up on his Tumblr, so for everyone who was stuck in the office and missed out, let Betabeat drop a little knowledge on ya. Read More

Tech Bubble Watch

IA Ventures’ Justin Singer: It’s All Humanity’s Fault We Can’t Avoid a Tech Bubble


Justin Singer, a VC at IA Ventures in New York, has stepped into the ongoing debate between whether we’re all extras in Dotcom Bubble: The Redux or merely in the middle of  “a blubble,” which Michael Arrington loosely defines as that irrepressible whining sound perpetuated by early stage VCs and angels and regurgitated by the press. (We guess that makes Mr. Arrington  part of the press since a month later he took most of it back.) Now, in a post on his Tumblr, Trying and trying again, Mr. Singer predicts a tech bubble will happen in the next 15 years. It would be easy to lump it into our bubble watch, if Mr. Singer’s prediction wasn’t accompanied by a rather alarming graph  . . . and blame an leading indicator that’s unlikely to change: human instinct. Read More


Mark Suster and New York’s Roger Ehrenberg Invest In Big Data Fresh From the Twitter Stream


GRP Partners’ Mark Suster announced yesterday that he and Roger Ehrenberg, at IA Ventures in New York, are co-leading a $6 million investment in DataSift, a London-based data platform for third-party developers, brands, and publishers to capture real-time data. Although based out in L.A., TechStars just named Mr. Suster as a mentor for its new New York class. Mr. Suster has certainly made no bones of tweeting his pom-poms at local start-ups. Mr. Ehrenberg, on the other hand, has had his heart set on data mining. “As a former hedge fund guy, Roger immediately saw the value in helping companies better sift through the masses of data; often to gain better insights into financial information,” writes Mr. Suster on Both Sides of the Table.

News of the funding came just as Twitter announced that it hit the one-million-mark for registered apps, which the company says is “fueling a spike in ecosystem growth” in areas like analytics. Indeed, Mr. Suster described his investment in DataSift as “doubling down on the Twitter ecosystem.” Read More


Kohort’s Plan to Beat Meetup? A Social Network for Groups

Gangs of NY

Here is the strange thing about It’s terrific for organizing people to get together in the real world. But even though there are 28 adult soccer clubs on Meetup near the Betabeat office, each one sits in a separate silo and doesn’t connect to its peers. Trying to merge groups together is a nightmare on Meetup.

Kohort, the new startup from Mark Davis, just raised $3 million from folks like IA Ventures, RRE, FF Capital, David Tisch and David Cohen. It’s going to be offering a suite of tools to help groups do things like organize events, collect dues and enlist new members.

But the secret sauce, says one investor, is the way in which Kohort will help groups to interact with one another. “Meetup is essentially providing a platform for anyone to create a group, but its not tapping the network effect that comes from tying those organizations together.” Read More