Venture Capitalism

Venture Capitalism

Bon Voyage! Steve Schlafman Is Leaving Lerer Ventures for RRE

Mr. Schlafman (twitter)

There’s a little shuffling in the city’s VC scene this morning. VC Steve Schlafman has announced (via his Tumblr) that he’ll be leaving Lerer Ventures to join RRE. He’ll be a principal focused on Series A investments (as opposed to his seed stage work at Lerer).

We like to imagine that when you leave Lerer you get Smirnoff iced as a send-off, but maybe that’s just us. Read More

Venture Capitalism

Q1 Report: VCs Invested Nearly $7 Billion Across 841 Deals, the ‘Highest Level’ Since Dot Com Boom

(Photo via CB Insights)

CB Insights released a new report about venture capital financing for the first quarter of 2013, and after a bleak 2012, things are looking up for New York startups. The state beat out Massachusetts for the second time in the last two years on “overall number of deals and funding” (not exclusive to tech companies), placing just behind California. Read More

Venture Capitalism

Corporate VC Funding Plummets by 30 Percent—Except for Internet Investing


News flash: it is not 1999 anymore, and it appears that corporate venture capitalists have adjusted accordingly. CB Insights released its Q1 Corporate Venture Capital Report yesterday, revealing that CVCs participated in just 84 deals totaling $1.09 billion, a record low for the past five quarters.

But while overall CVC funding is down 20 percent, funding for the Internet sector is up 30 percent, with CVC deals in that sector increasing for the third straight quarter. Read More

Venture Capitalism

Paperless Post Invites Evite to Obsolescence, Raises $6 M. From RRE Ventures, SV Angel, Tim Draper


Silicon Valley venture capitalists may have chosen the horse they’re betting on in the evite game. This morning, VentureWire reported that New York-based Paperless Post* raised $6 million in “first-round funding,” from RRE Ventures, Ron Conway’s SV Angel, and Tim Draper–making the startup much-better funded than competitors like Punchbowl, which according to raised $1.25 million last December.

Paperless Post was launched here in 2009 by 20-something siblings James and Alexa Hirschfeld. TechCrunch calls it the “anti-Evite” for offering the ability to create sleeker, design-centric personalized invitations. Evite, which was launched in 1998, still has a chunky, clip-art feel to it, whereas Paperless Post’s offerings seem to fit better in these modern times. There’s even an option that seems ready-made for Brooklyn’s nostalgic new artisan-class. Read More

Venture Capitalism

Signpost, the Startup That Promises to Drive Customers to Small Businesses, Raises $3.75 M. From Spark Capital


Say you’re a small business trying to figure out whether a deal with Groupon or ad on Yelp will bring customers to your door. That already-tricky marketing decision gets more complicated when you factor in fragmentation among daily deals sites and all the other publishers that could potentially host your ad. If you wanted, however, Read More

Venture Capitalism

Q1 Report: VC Funding in New York Lowest in 15 Months

via CB Insights

The data service whizzes at CB Insights released a new report today on venture capital financing in the first quarter of 2012. On first glance, the news doesn’t look great for New York. The data shows that funding in New York dropped to a five-quarter low. “But the state’s deal activity stayed strong so we don’t think the decline is a problem (yet),” says the report.

Eep, was the parenthetical really necessary? Not likely. “NY remains a hub for early stage investment with 30% of deals in the seed stage and another 30%+ in the Series A stage,” the firm added, assuaging fears. Read More

Venture Capitalism

How VCs Can Accelerate Portfolio Company Returns

Mr. Teten

This guest post was written by David Teten, Koen Bremer, Gyorgy Buslig, and Adham Hussein. David is a Partner with ff Venture Capital and Founder and Chairman of Harvard Business School Alumni Angels of Greater New York.  Koen, Gyorgy, and Adham are all Columbia Business School MBA 2012 students and former consultants with McKinsey and BCG.

Even the best VCs and entrepreneurs have a painfully high failure rate.  Lowering that failure rate would be highly impactful on venture capitalist returns, if we could figure out how to do it.  In addition, in light of increasing competition in the startup funding space, a methodology  for helping portfolio companies consistently is a strong competitive advantage. Read More

Venture Capitalism

Language Learning Startup Voxy Raises a $4 M. Round from ff Venture Capital, Contour, and Seavest


Voxy, the New York City-based language learning startup that launched at TechCrunch Disrupt in 2010, is in the process of raising a Series A-2 round of equity financing. In a Form D filed with the SEC today, the startup indicated that it had already closed $2.3 million towards its $4 million goal from previous investors including ff Venture Capital, Contour Venture Partners, and Seavest Capital Partners, which all participated in Voxy’s Series A.

Founder and CEO Paul Gollash told Betabeat that Voxy plans on announcing two more “exciting” institutional investors in the coming weeks. The round was actually oversubscribed, “But we’ll limit the demand and allocate what’s available as best we can,” said Mr. Gollash, noting that he didn’t want to raise more capital than was necessary. Admirable restraint in these frothy times. Read More

Venture Capitalism

Branch Joins Obvious Corp, Picks Up $2 M. from Lerer Ventures and SV Angel, and Heads East to Betaworks


When you’ve got Evan Williams, John Borthwick, and Max Levchin chatting it up on your “curated discussion platform,” it’s probably just a matter of time before the high-powered investors, incubators makers, and other loosely-defined collectives come a’ calling.

Today, Branch, the startup that initially launched in New York City as group blogging service Roundtable, announced that is now partnered with Obvious Corp and picked up investments from Lerer Ventures and SV Angel. Although Branch has been working out of Obvious headquarters since the beginning of this year, the startup will move to Betaworks this summer. Cofounder Josh Miller’s announcement is somewhat obliquely worded, but it sounds like Rick Webb, Lucas Nelson, Ryan Freitas, and David Tisch also joined the round.

The size of the round wasn’t disclosed. However, this Form D SEC filing for Roundtable Media (the startup’s original name) filed by Joshua Alexander Miller, seems to indicate that the size of the round was $1,999,997 and fully subscribed. The address on the Form D, for example, is the same address as Obvious Corp. According to the Form D, the funding was an equity round with seven investors and the date of first sale is listed as February 15th. We have reached out to Mr. Miller for confirmation. Read More