Venture Capital is About Human Capital

Both Sides of the Table

Most VCs did well academically and had enough career success that a venture firm was willing to give them an investment role or they were able to raise their own fund. Fundamentally venture capital is about human capital. Venture Capital is a people business.

It’s Morning in Venture Capital

Both Sides of the Table

Many observers of the venture capital industry have questioned whether its best days are behind it. They are, in fact, great news for traditional venture capitalists. The most successful of these businesses will still need venture capital to scale their businesses.

Trending Sources

Where Are The Best Executive Programs and Crash Courses for Venture Capital?

Ask The VC

A: While self serving, we recommend you start with our book – Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer And Venture Capitalist. In addition, there are a bunch of courses now using the book that are referenced on the web that include additional materials that are helpful. Jason also did an excellent Crash Course on Venture Capital – the 90 minute video is below. Venture Capital Crash Course with Jason Mendelson from Andrew on Vimeo.

Why Venture Capital is So Much More Compelling Now

Both Sides of the Table

It’s not hard to find people willing to write the narrative that “venture capital is not an asset class” or “venture capital has performed terribly.” I presented the deck below – which was prepared with the great help of Upfront Venture’s Principal Jordan Hudson – at Dave McClure’s must attend event called PreMoney with much more data and narrative than I had in my blog post.

What I learned from raising venture capital

I recently raised venture capital for the first time. DuckDuckGo raised a series A round from Union Square Ventures and a handful of awesome angel investors. Then in the middle of the process, we got picked as one of TIME's top 50 web sites for 2011 (annotated as D in the graph). Sure, I had heard of a bunch of VC firms, but when I went to their Web sites and looked at their team pages, I may have heard of one of their 2-10 partners.

A framework to think about pricing seed, angel, and venture capital rounds

This is going to be BIG.

2) Supply and demand of capital willing to invest in your company. Sometimes, this also relates to capital requirements of what the team needs. Note that, to even get venture in the first place, you are special. Venture Capital & TechnologyHow do you price a round?

U.S. Venture Capital Has Its Biggest Quarter Since Dot-Com Days

Venture Capital Has Its Biggest Quarter Since Dot-Com Days. venture capitalists put $8.1 It’s clear that factors like the greater American economy and the bumpy tech IPO market don’t necessarily have a direct and/or timely correlation with venture capital spending.

Why Venture Capital No Longer Defines Innovation


Today’s venture capital deal flow to innovative new companies looks a lot like a fat man trying to squeeze into a slim Italian suit. In 2000, venture capitalists poured a staggering $112.2 Today, venture capital deal flow has slowed to a relative trickle, just $28.4

The Venture Capital Secret: 3 Out of 4 Start-Ups Fail

SIGNIFICANCE PROMINENT. --> The Venture Capital Secret: 3 Out of 4 Start-Ups Fail. An entrepreneur with a hot technology and venture-capital funding becomes a billionaire in his 20s. But now there is evidence that venture-backed start-ups fail at far higher numbers than the rate the industry usually cites. About three-quarters of venture-backed firms in the U.S. backed by venture capitalists. Web Design/Tech Services. Capital Available.

What's in a (venture capital) website ?

Fred Destin

Late on Friday we launched the new website of Atlas Venture. One of the challenges that all venture capitalists are dealing with is that we are all peddling essentially the same product. The bottom line is we all sound pretty much the same , so what is a venture capitalist to do ?

Some Thoughts On The IPO Market For Web Companies

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

We have an IPO market for web companies again. The past decade (post Internet bubble, post Sarbox) brought a new normal to the late stage venture capital market. The IPO market for web companies we have right now is rationale. stocks Venture Capital and TechnologyI don't have all the names in front of me, but this year has brought IPOs for Pandora, LinkedIn, Groupon, Zynga, and TripAdvisor.

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Mary Meeker's 2012 Internet Trends

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

mobile Venture Capital and Technology Web/TechMary published this presentation this past week. I love these "state of the internet" presentations Mary does. There is so much useful information and insights in them.

Harvard's Go-To Venture Capital Firm

Inc Startups

The Experiment Fund, NEA's seed-stage venture capital firm, set up shop on Harvard's campus to catch young, entrepreneurial talent early. So out of NEA he spun out the Experiment Fund, a seed-stage venture capital firm, and set up shop on Harvard's campus.

What Has Changed

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

As I read this post in the WSJ about the changing nature of VC funding of consumer web companies , I thought that we may be looking at the symptoms and not the disease. As the WSJ notes, VC funding of consumer web and mobile companies is down 42% in this first nine months of 2012 (vs the first nine months of 2011). 1) the consumer web has matured. we are almost 20 years into the consumer web and we have large platforms that are starting to suck up a lot of the oxygen.

Mocked And Misunderstood

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

Venture Capital and Technology Web/TechWhen people ask me, "how do you know which companies and services are going to be the biggest successes?", ", I usually tell them to look for the companies and services that are mocked and misunderstood.

Mobile Is Where The Growth Is

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

If you look at any of the top web properties on comScore, Quantcast, Alexa or any other third party reporting service you will see that they all have been fairly flat over the first half of the year. You might think that all these big web services are flatlining. Web is flattish. I alluded to this in a post last week where I wished for an aggregated audience measurement service across mobile and web. And they don't work that well on the web.

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In Defense Of Free

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

I would encourage folks to compete with them to keep the web, the mobile web, and the Internet free and open. mobile Venture Capital and Technology Web/TechI have written so much about free here at AVC that it should be called AVFree.

Disqus2012 Launches

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

Disqus 2012 - The Web's Favorite Discussion Platform from Disqus on Vimeo. There probably isn't a service on the web that has more of me invested in it than Disqus. I believe unconditionally in the vision of a web scale commenting community.

My Talk At LeWeb Yesterday

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

mobile Venture Capital and Technology Web/Tech I'm back in the states this morning and up early (jet lag). The main purpose of my trip was to give a talk at LeWeb, which I did yesterday morning. Loic asked me to talk about the next ten years and what is going to happen.

Rethinking Mobile First

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

I wrote the Mobile First Web Second blog post a few years ago. In that post, I talked about apps that were designed to be used on mobile primarily with the web as a companion. It has become a bit of a orthodoxy among the consumer social startup crowd to do mobile first and web second. and You have an entirely different onboarding story on the web. You can test easily, cheaply, and fast enough to make a difference on the web. Mobile first, web second.

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Duck Duck Go Passed 1mm Searches Per Day

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

Venture Capital and Technology Web/TechI'm a bit late with this news about our portfolio company Duck Duck Go but I am super excited about it so I'm posting it anyway.

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Utilities vs Networks

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

Venture Capital and Technology Web/TechIt's interesting to see a network, Instagram , starting to replace the iPhone's native camera application in many users' daily usage of their phones. I see this in my kids' behavior all the time. When they want to take a photo, they open Instagram, not the camera application. In the PC era, when applications got bundled into the operating system, they became instoppable. All the competitive apps got left in the dust.


A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

  Venture Capital and Technology Web/TechI met Alex Ljung , founder/CEO of SoundCloud a number of times and each time he pitched me on his business. Each time I said no. Then in the summer of last year, we met at Soho House London and he showed me one slide.

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No Battle Plan Survives The First Enemy Fire

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

mobile Venture Capital and Technology Web/TechI have been using this line a lot lately. It is a bastardized version of Field Marshall Helmuth von Moltke 's "No plan of operations extends with certainty beyond the first encounter with the enemy's main strength." " I always encourage entrepreneurs to get on with the business of putting their product in the market.

The Twitter "Patent Hack"

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

Many years ago now, my prior venture capital firm, Flatiron Partners, invested in a company called Thinking Media. Venture Capital and Technology Web/TechYesterday Twitter announced that they plan to amend the assignments agreements that they sign with their employees. They call this proposed amendment the Innovator's Patent Agreement.


A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

They call this series #startupstories and currently there are three videos up on the web, one about pitching your company, one about building the team, and one about failing. Venture Capital and Technology

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A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

With all the talk of massive amounts of cash sloshing around the web/mobile startup ecosystem (including things I've said recently), you would think that nobody bootstraps anymore. Venture Capital and Technology Web/TechBut that is not true at all. Last week my partner Albert blogged about our most recent investment in Behance. Behance was bootstrapped for its first five years.

The Academy For Software Engineering

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

hacking education NYC Venture Capital and Technology Web/TechA number of years ago, I wrote a blog post talking about the need to teach middle school and high school students how to write software. In the comments (where the good stuff happens), a Google engineer told me to go down to Stuyvesant High School and meet a teacher named Mike Zamansky who had taught him to write code in high school.


A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

Venture Capital and Technology Web/TechThe first great investment we made at USV was Indeed in the summer of 2005. Brad had been looking for a search engine for jobs and I saw this post on John Battelle's blog in late 2004. I forwarded it to Brad and he reached out to Paul and Rony. It took two tries before we could convince them to take our money. They had bootstrapped the company, launched the service, and were well on their way. They didn't need our money.

Why I'm Rooting For Google+

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

I've never thought that there would be one social graph for the web. I believe we'll need a multitude of social services to satsify the needs and desires of all the users of the web. I think it will serve users who aren't being served well (or at all) on the social web right now. And both of those are great things for the web, our business, and entrepreneurs. Venture Capital and Technology Web/Tech

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After The Hype

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

Venture Capital and Technology Web/TechLoic Le Meur has a great post up where he talks about what happens after the initial wave of hype wears off. He wrote it in response to some negative posts about G+ but the situation Loic describes is something we see in almost all of our portfolio companies. The shiny new toy syndrome lasts a month or two at best these days and then the hot new app crowd moves on.


A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

Venture Capital and Technology Web/TechIt was tne Nth time I've had this conversation in a board meeting, "We can't figure out how to get on the leaderboards. The app stores aren't working for us as a distribution channel." " To which I replied "All the app stores use a leaderboard model which makes the rich richer and everyone else poorer. We are in the 99%, wishing we were in the 1%.

Company startups running ahead of venture capital in the UK

The Equity Kicker

That tells me that the UK venture industry needs to grow 2.5x I pulled this chart from Saul Klein’s excellent presentation to Dublin Web Summit earlier this year. Venture Capital

Venture Capital Deal Buzz: Grubhub

Recent Buzzes - VC Experts, Inc.

GrubHub has more than hungry web surfers salivating. Venture capitalists are hungry for a piece, too. million cash infusion came from Origin Ventures in 2007. GrubHub rounded up $2 million more in 2009 from Leo Capital Holdings, Amicus Capital and Origin Ventures and topped that off with an $11 million Series C round in November 2010. The company said it plans to use the capital for R&D, acquisitions and mobile apps.

Developers of NYC Startup Tour to Visit ff Venture Capital

David Teten

After work on April 18, thirty-five curious developers will visit the ff Venture Capital offices to learn about our fund and listen to technical talks by the founders and technical experts of Parsely and Movable Ink.

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DIY Data Science

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

Statistics and Probability Venture Capital and Technology Web/TechIn a comment on yesterday's hobbyist post , Pete Griffiths offered "Do It Yourself Data Science" and I really liked that suggestion for a bunch of reasons. I think data science and machine learning (I know they are not the same thing) are going to be a very big part of tech innovation in the coming years.

Mastery And Mimicry

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

Venture Capital and Technology Web/TechThe Internet is an amazing place. Last weekend an email arrived in my inbox with the subject line "Hello From MIT" That got me to open it. Turns out it was from Sep Kamvar , a faculty member at the MIT Media Lab, and before that the Stanford computer science department. I don't know Sep and was not familiar with his work. I am now. Sep pointed me to a series of essays he has written called Mastery and Mimicry.

Video Of The Week: My Talk With John Battelle at CM Summit

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

Venture Capital and Technology Web/Tech If you want to watch here, hit play and go to 47 minutes in. Or click on this link which will take you to you YouTube and get you to 47 minutes in.

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Users First, Brands Second

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

Like mobile first, web second. Venture Capital and Technology Web/TechI like simple ways to think about things. These kinds of constructs work for me. One that I've been using a lot lately to describe what we like and don't like as much is User First, Brands Second. When you are building your product and thinking about your go to market strategy, you need to decide who your first users will be and how they will take your product into the market.

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A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

Here’s how it works: Articles and videos from around the web that help startups learn are imported the site. Games hacking education Venture Capital and Technology Web/TechOur very own Kid Mercury has built a learning community (and game) called Fredsquare.