Cowork With Me?
Shai Goldman, a venture partner at 500 Startups, recently announced another sign of the seed stage fund’s growing interest in New York City–besides poaching a Silicon Alley stalwart like Mr. Goldman, of course. This February, the firm plans on opening a coworking office at 28th Street and Park Avenue in the Flatiron, not far from General Assembly.
500 Startups is known for its global focus. The only physical space the firm had up until New York was a corporate office in Mountain View, “which is where we run our accelerator throughout the year,” Mr. Goldman told Betabeat by phone. But 500 Startups opted for a different route here.
Goodness, the early-stage scene in New York City sure is getting crowded. Pretty soon investors are going to have to start throwing them ‘bows if they want to get past their competitors and reach the most promising founding teams for so much as a hi-how-are-you chat.
The news today, via TechCrunch: Dave McClure’s 500 Startups has just announced the addition of two “amazing geeks” to the team: Shai Goldman here in New York, and Pankaj Jain in India. They’ll be venture partners, focused on making deals in their respective locations.
About 60 of 200 registered attendees gathered at New Work City last night to hear two-minute speeches by the candidates for an open New York Tech Meetup board seat. Meetup and NYTM founder Scott Heiferman stood in the audience in a red hoodie, board member Esther Dyson settled on the window ledge in a #newsfoo t-shirt, and scene staple Gary Sharma wandered about with his sponsored tie (Pivotal Labs and Inkba) as 15 candidates gave their vision of what should change about the largest meetup in New York, which last year incorporated as a nonprofit 501c(6), giving it the power to lobby government, among other things.
Oh no, did you forget to send Silicon Valley Bank an anniversary card? The financial firm is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its New York office this week and they’re using the occasion to tout the New York branch’s new emphasis on pre-funded early stage startups.
When the news broke yesterday evening that Skype acquired hometown start-up GroupMe, New York’s digerati took the party to Twitter. Indeed the acquisition and its hefty price tag, which Betabeat’s sources pegged between $50 million and $100 million, caused such a stir among a certain swath of tech circles that “GroupMe” even made into a New York City Twitter trending topic last night–albeit below penetrating questions plaguing tweeters such as, “Chris Brown OR Justin Bieber.”
The deal was the first major exit for Lerer Ventures, Thrive Capital and BoxGroup’s David Tisch, so much of the tweeting action consisted of ebullient pats on the back. But a few notes of skepticism arose from the din. In case you were too busy watching Libyan rebels end a 40-year dictatorship, here’s what you missed.
TURNTABLE.FM PARTY CRASHED! On Thursday, New Work City had the rockin’est Turntable.fm DJ-off and techie dance party north of the Mississippi, we’re told, despite a miscommunication in the Pepsi delivery. Turntable’s cutesy avatars were cut out and pasted on the wall behind the DJs, which included Shai Goldman, bringer of dance beats as well as Silicon Valley Bank sponsorship. “Had almost 200 people, got crashed by drunk, obstinate Obliterati around midnight,” says one attendee. “A woman who claimed be society columnist for WSJ showed up with 10 people and pretty much demanded entry. Mind you, it’s $30 at the door to get in for open bar. Women from Zaarly also showed up part of this cadre of drunken ‘VIPs’,” he scoffed. Video here, photos here.
Silicon Alley Redux
“I can’t tell you the whole idea.” The Internet entrepreneur on the other end of the phone sounded panicky. “It’s going to sound ludicrous and ambitious, more ludicrous and ambitious than most.”
The voice belonged to a 27-year-old Stanford law student—“just about the oldest you can be where I cannot remember not having a computer”—who was in New York last week to talk to people about his new concept for a website.
He gave a few vague descriptors that could apply to half the start-ups in New York.
“I definitely don’t want it in the newspaper,” he said. “I’m worried that even little sign posts toward what I want to build are dangerous.”
Is That a Hockey Stick In Your Pocket
This is a guest post by Shai Goldman, a Director at Silicon Valley Bank
Zynga, the biggest casual gaming company in the nation and the maker of popular games titles such as Farmville, CityVille and Mafia Wars, filed for its IPO today.
To summarize quickly, Zynga is performing extremely well. They were profitable in 2010 and will continue to be profitable in 2011 (based on 2011 Q1 figures). They are looking to raise $1B through the IPO and have $996.7 in cash on the books.
One of the highlights is that top line revenue is growing quickly, from $19.4M in ’08 to $121.5M in ’09, roughly 600% growth. It jumped another 500% to $597.5M in ’10 and their 2011 revenue run rate is $941.7, roughly 150% growth. Although their run rate is $941.7 for 2011, revenue expectations are closer to $1.5B, which would be 250% growth from 2010.
Zynga has raised over $500M from New York City investors such as Union Square Ventures, who own 5.5%. Based on this IPO, it would be safe to assume that Zynga’s valuation would allow USV to make back their entire fund $150 million fund from 2008.