Meet Lerer Ventures

Ben Lerer

Lerer Ventures is a seed stage venture capital fund based in New York. They invest in founders at the earliest stages of a startup’s life. Everyone at the fund starts and runs companies for a living. Lerer Ventures is where they invest in their peers.

The firm Read More


Meet Kirill Sheynkman: The New York VC Representing Russia’s Second Biggest Tech Investor

RTP Ventures Kirill Sheynkman

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.” Read More


Does New York Tech Need More (Industry) Diversity?

"You'll fund my mobile app? Terrific!"

With some big name IPOs getting off to a hot start, venture capital firms went all in on during the second quarter of 2011. New data from a MoneyTree report that pulled info from PriceWaterHouseCoopers, the NVCA and Reuters, found that VC funding jumped 18.7% in Q2, reaching its highest level since the 2008 economic crisis began.

Interestingly software was the leader in terms of dollars received. It beat out more capital intensive sectors with 25% market share ($1.5 billion), followed by biotech ($1.2 billion), medical devices/equipment ($840 million) and IT services ($763 million). Read More


“NY Angels Should Grow a Set and Stop Playing it Safe”

Aaron Sylvan

This post is taken from a lengthy comment by local techie Aaron Sylvan on a recent Betabeat story on NY Angels. We felt the comment was in depth and deserved its own forum.

Boy am I gonna get chewed out for this one… I hope my comments are useful to someone, because I expect to be flamed for this commentary. Hopefully I don’t burn any bridges by presenting a somewhat unpopular view.

The NY Angels is a great group, but I agree that the business model around “Angel” investing has changed considerably. Read More


What’s Really Going on With NY Angels?

Too many angels bubble the cloud

A little over two months ago Betabeat weighed in on the state of NY Angels, a group that gained a lot of visibility and respect for backing tech projects during the dark years following the dot-com bust. Every so often a media outlet will cover a NY Angels event or interview one of their executives. The latest is from Xconomy, which is ramping up its coverage of the local tech scene.

Xconomy’s Arlene Weintraub sat down NY Angels vice chairman Brian Cohen. When we last spoke with Cohen, we asked why the group’s portfolio, which has its own page on the website, didn’t show any investments after 2009. “We are building a new website, so check back in 60 days,” Mr. Cohen told us.

Well, it’s been 100 days, and the site looks exactly the same. Read More


Union Square Only New York Firm to Score Top Ten InvestRank


Chris Farmer of General Catalyst borrowed a page from the Google book to create InvestRank, a system for ranking venture capital firms.

The system looks at the venture who led the first rounds in highly successful companies and assigns them a rank based on how many other firms followed them in a syndicate during the subsequent rounds. So in place of looking at inbound links, Investrank looks at inbound investments. Read More