15 Minutes Into the Future
Consumer Internet is fun and all, but these days you’ve gotta get really futuristic if you want to turn heads. Case in point: Quantum Wave Fund, a new VC firm that’s raised $30 million to make early-stage investments in companies with new quantum technology products that are both exciting and viable.
Call it qwave, if you must.
Sex in the Valley
The latest addition to the Kleiner Perkins team, according to AllThingsD: Google’s Stephanie Tilenius, who’ll be a new executive-in-residence. And we can’t help but notice that she’s the second splashy female hire since Ellen Pao filed her molotov cocktail of a discrimination suit. Last month, the firm poached Square’s head of product, Megan Quinn.
Adventures in Venture Capital
An interesting question showed up in our Quora digest email this afternoon. “What is the worst part of being a VC?” one user wondered. No, “sexism” wasn’t one of the answers, but apparently there are quite a few grievances for the partners on Sand Hill Road. The main complaint? Turns out there sure are a lot of assholes in the VC business.
An anonymous poster who claims to be “a VC general partner for nearly 10 years at a large brand name fund” posted the following missive:
Startup soothsayer Paul Graham penned a letter to Y Combinator’s portfolio companies about withstanding the fallout from Facebook’s poorly-performing IPO. [Business Insider, Hacker News]
Fred Wilson wants to put Mr. Graham’s musings in perspective. [A VC]
Apple will yank Google Maps from iPhones later this year, which is just another reason why we’re quite happy with our Galaxy Nexus, thankyouverymuch. [Wall Street Journal]
GigaOm rounds up what we know about Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker’s video startup, Airtime, set to launch at a press event this morning. [GigaOm]
Oh good, there is an Instagram for animated GIFs. [Wired]
This is a guest post from Eric Wiesen, a general partner at RRE. It originally appeared on his blog.
The recent acquisition of Gowalla by Facebook is just the latest incidence of the potential tension between investors and founders when a company is acquired primarily for the team rather than for the technology, product or business that they’ve built. People around the web will take the opportunity to observe that in situations where a company is acquired in this way, the founders typically get a package of equity to motivate them to join (and remain at) the acquiring company, while investors usually get anywherefrom zero to a small return on invested capital. Look around and you’ll find people willing to condemn the founders for unethically “selling out” their investors and you’ll find people who say the exact opposite, that such a company didn’t have saleable assets anyway, and so investors are owed nothing because the business failed.
Amazing new track from Corey Smith, aka Smixx, a musician, freelance iOS/WP7 developer and co-founder of Cardinal social music sharing platform. Smixx has been spinning tech raps for a while now, like “Developers feat. Steve Ballmer” and “One More Thing featuring Steve Jobs from WWDC 2011.”
But start-ups are where Betabeat’s heart really lies, so this track was the first to catch our attention. That, and @aplusk tweeted it out. Enjoy below the jump.
The Third Degree
David Pakman is a partner at Venrock and a board member at the New York Venture Capital Association. He was formerly an entrepreneur, helping to introduce the idea of the “digital locker” for music files and serving as CEO of eMusic.
Q: You always remember the ones that got away. Tell us about the startup you regret passing on the most.
A: That’s easy. Twitter. It’s not really fair to say that we passed, but we did not fight hard enough to get in to their Series C round.
VCs, despite their hatred of it, still use AngelList. [TC]
Soon we’ll be able to receive bus arrival times via text message, the MTA says. [NYDN]
Tech Bubble Watch
It would be easy to assume that 1999 is the kind of year Fred Wilson would like to repeat.
In January of that year, Yahoo bought the web hosting service Geocities. Wilson and his first firm, Flatiron Ventures, were an early Geocities investor.
1999 was near the peak of the dot-com bubble, and Yahoo paid a Read More