XX in Tech
A scant seven months after Andreessen Horowitz “plowed” $40 million into Fab at a $200 million valuation, the pivot-happy flash sales site for design items just announced a massive Series C. The company closed a $105 million round led by Atomico, an international investment firm out of London run by Skype cofounder Niklas Zennström. The Wall Street Journal, which broke the news, says the new round values Fab at $600 million.
Yes, folks, that’s a 200 percent jump in valuation in seven months. We bet even Fab doesn’t sell a sleek-enough vessel to hold all that (theoretical) dough.
In a press release, Fab said ru-Net Technology Partners (RTP), the international fund backed by Russian billionaire Leonid Boguslavsky–with an office in New York City!–also participated. As did Palo Alto’s Pinnacle Ventures and DoCoMo Capital and Mayfield Fund. (It’s worth noting that Mayfield previously backed another flash sales venture, the troubled startup BuyWithMe, which was acquired by Gilt Groupe, the mother of flash sales sites, after major layoffs. Gilt Groupe, of course, later faced its own brutal round of layoffs.) Existing investors, including Andreessen Horowitz, First Round Capital, Menlo Ventures, and Baroda Ventures also participated.
A few weeks ago we told you that RTP Ventures—the U.S. arm of ru-Net, the $700 million fund founded by Russian billionaire Leonid Boguslavsky—was on its way to naming “two splashy new hires” to join senior managing director Kirill Sheynkman. Although word got out early, as of this week, both hires have been officially announced, as well as the size of the U.S. fund: $120 million.
Battery Ventures alum Murat Bicer is RTP’s managing director in Boston and Jalak Jobanputra, the former director of emerging market mobile investments at Omidyar Network, will be RTP’s managing director in New York, joining Mr. Sheynkman at the firm’s Third Avenue office in Midtown.
“Kirill started first investing Leonid’s money on the cloud computing and infrastructure side and I joined to look at more the consumer internet,” Ms. Jobanputra, who blogs at The Barefoot VC, told Betabeat earlier this week.
FROM RUSSIA WITH CAPITAL. Once upon a time Betabeat reported that RTP Ventures, the
$750 $700 million Russia-based fund, was establishing a U.S. office with venture capitalist Kirill Sheynkman based in New York. Less than five months later, sources say the fund will no longer be a one-man show. If all goes according to plan, RTP will be bringing on two splashy-name hires in the next month to six weeks, we’re told.
GO IPO YOURSELF. A young coworker in our newsroom has quit Facebook, she says, because she doesn’t want the company and its shareholders making bank off her data in an IPO. And she’s not the only one! When she told a friend, the friend said she’d done the same thing for the same reason. Just one more and it makes a trend! Meanwhile, that high school senior who wrote a florid New York Post editorial which said, among other things, that “Lost in the hype of the company’s stock-market debut this year is that while Facebook is ubiquitous, it may also be a fad,” merely quit because the site was making him feel bad.
Everyone in the tech world knows Yuri Milner, the Russian billionaire and Facebook investor with a $100 million Silicon Valley mansion. Fewer Americans are are familiar with Leonid Boguslavsky, who ranks right behind Mr. Milner at no. 2 on Forbes list of powerful figures in the Russian tech establishment.
But that may change quickly with the opening of RTP Ventures, the U.S. arm of a
$750 $700 million fund. RTP’s U.S. arm is based in New York and managed by Kirill Sheynkman, a former EIR at Sequoia, venture partner at Greycroft, and a well-established veteran of Silicon Valley. “I’ve lived most of my career in Silicon Valley and that is where I founded my companies, but I fell in love with New York. I’m a city person and this is the best place for me to run this new venture,” Mr Sheynkman told Betabeat by phone.
RTP Ventures has a unique complexion for a VC fund. “Because Leonid is basically the GP and the LP, we didn’t have to form a thesis and go out to pitch investors. This is money he made investing in tech, not coal or oil.”
Two new funds have emerged with plenty of rations to get you through the coming startup winter, and they’re both led by some familiar names. Fortune.com’s Dan Primack reports that a new firm called Tribeca Venture Partners, targeting local seed stage and early stage startups, might close its first $100 million fund as soon as today.
Meanwhile Betabeat has been hearing some buzz around RTP Ventures, whose whopping
$750 $700 million fund “focusing on technology, internet, SaaS, and cloud computing” will be headquartered in New York, but invest around the world.
In both cases, the funds’ leaders come with a notable pedigree.