Tag Archives: venture

Venture capital investment had its biggest quarter (Q2 2012) of the decade

U.S. venture capitalists put $8.1 billion into 812 deals in the second quarter of 2012, their single largest quarter in more than a decade, according to CB Insights.

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.

Funding was up 37 percent from the first quarter, and 5 percent from a year ago. Number of deals were up 3 percent from the past quarter, and 4 percent from the past year.

Photo and video start-ups accounted for 29 percent of mobile funding dollars.

 

Keep reading: All Things D - U.S. Venture Capital Has Its Biggest Quarter Since Dot-Com Days

 

 

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The Orange County Register sold to – 2100 Trust LLC – a Massachusetts-based venture

The owner of The Orange County Register announced today that the paper has been bought by 2100 Trust LLC, a privately-held company led by a Massachusetts investor who previously planned to buy The Boston Globe.

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Today’s announcement is the latest in a major sea change in U.S. newspaper ownership as the industry struggles to adapt to the Internet age following years of plunging ad revenues and declining circulation.

A whole new group of media players has entered the scene, the most notable of which is billionaire Warren Buffett whose company, Berkshire Hathaway, said last month it would pay $142 million for 63 Media General newspapers.

Southern California’s media landscape is also being remade. Last year, Douglas F. Manchester, a San Diego developer and hotelier, bought the Union-Tribune from Platinum Equity, a Beverly Hills private equity firm. Manchester told online website Voice of San Diego he paid more than $110 million for the paper.

Changes may also be in the works at the Los Angeles Times whose owner, the Tribune Co., is going through what is expected to be the final stages of a nearly four-year bankruptcy.

Many experts think the creditors who will take over Tribune Co. after the bankruptcy will sell off its various properties including the Times.

 

Read the full storyOrange County Register company bought by private firm

Also, read the family history of The O.C. Register founders - Hoiles: Dynasty to bankruptcy

President, Congress pass bill to allow venture capital funding via crowd sourcing

Earlier this month, President Obama sign the JOBS bill into law with strong bipartisan support, and no this isn’t the one you’re thinking of. This one is designed specifically for funding start-ups with a particular focus on crowd funding (i.e. Kickstarter).

Explained by author and professor, Jeff Jarvis:

The JOBS bill being signed by President Obama today is critical to the emergence and growth of the next generation of industries as ecosystems.

Those ecosystems are made up of three layers: platforms, entrepreneurial ventures, and networks.

Platforms (Google, Amazon, Salesforce, Facebook, Kickstarter, Federal Express, Foxconn), which make it possible for entrepreneurial ventures to be built at lower cost with less capital and reduced risk at greater speed. To provide the critical mass that large corporations used to provide — to, for example, sell advertising at scale or acquire distribution or acquire goods or services at volume — sometimes these ventures need to band together in networks (Glam, YouTube, Etsy, eBay).

The bill supports this flourishing start-up trend by updating some outdated laws, from the 1930s, and correcting some from the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.

Of interest to us, the regular people:

  • Entrepreneurs can raise up to $1 million per year through those approved crowd funding channels.
  • Investors with incomes of less than $100K will be limited to 5 percent, or $2K, investments.
  • Those who make over $100K/year will be limited at 10 percent, or $10K.

Previously, one could not sell equity through crowd funding and only registered investors with $100,000 could fund a company. Now, with the crowd sourcing provision anyone can get in on the action.

This is great for the industry and those with a nose for investing, but do be wary. Internet scammers and unskilled entrepreneurs will soon be asking for your money to fund the next Google.

 

Learn more about the billJumpstart Our Business Start-ups (JOBS) Act

 

// Photo – Guano

Google Ventures – venture capital funding through data

A fascinating article in Fast Company profiles Google Ventures, the company’s venture capital division. Like everything the search giant does they are aiming big with delusions of changing the entire VC industry with data as the vehicle.

They start out with some interesting facts:

Despite the mythology that has built up around venture capital, it has become a slowly moldering investment vehicle. “The past 10 years haven’t been very productive,” Bill Maris points out. According to the research firm Cambridge Associates, during the decade ending last September, VCs as a class earned a 2.6% interest rate for their investors–less than you could have earned in an S&P 500 index fund. The numbers look slightly better over shorter periods; VCs have delivered a 4.9% return the past three years and 6.7% over the past five, still far from terrific.

 

 
Then they move on to insights gained through data-crunching:

Joe Kraus says that analysts have discovered research that overturns some of Silicon Valley’s most cherished bits of lore. Take that old idea that it pays to fail in the Valley: Wrong! Google Ventures’ analysts found that first-time entrepreneurs with VC backing have a 15% chance of creating a successful company, while second-timers who had an auspicious debut see a 29% chance of repeating their achievement. By contrast, second-time entrepreneurs who failed the first time? They have only a 16% chance of success, in effect returning them to square one. “Failure doesn’t teach you much,” Kraus says with a shrug.

Location, in fact, plays a larger role in determining an entrepreneur’s odds than failure, according to the Google Ventures data team. A guy who founded a successful company in Boston but is planning to start his next firm in San Francisco isn’t a sure bet. “He’ll revert back to that 15% rate,” Kraus says, “because he’s out of his personal network and that limits how quickly he can scale up.”

 

 

The article continues to describe the actions Google is taking to change the game. The most important of which seems to be bringing in ringers rather than partners, challenging the VC model at its core…

read the full articleGoogle’s Creative Destruction

The famous center of venture capital - Menlo Park, California.

 
// Thx to Guillaume SPillmann, Photo – Mark Coggins

Venture capitalists invested $5.8 billion in the first quarter of 2012

Venture capitalists invested $5.8 billion in 758 deals in the first quarter of 2012.

The report shows that after a strong fourth quarter 2011, VC investment activity for the quarter fell 19 percent in terms of dollars and 15 percent in the number of deals compared to the fourth quarter of 2011 when $7.1 billion was invested in 889 deals.

  • Life Sciences and Clean Technology sectors saw decreases
  • Double-digit percentage increases in the Consumer Products and Services, and Telecommunications industries.
  • The Software industry received the highest level of funding for all industries

 

Read the full reportLeena Rao, TechCrunch

 

Berlin cracks the startup code

“We looked at each other and knew in that moment that we’d be crazy not to move here,” says Ciarán O’Leary, a partner at the German venture capital firm Earlybird. “There was just so much happening—founders everywhere, in every bar, cafe, every corner.”

Berlin…has become a global tech hub, one which foreign money discovered years ago. According to data from Thomson Reuters, 103 Internet startups received global venture capital funding in Germany in 2011, more than in any country besides China and the U.S. Although the numbers are not broken down by city, Berlin is where most German startups congregate.

Encouraged by all the interest—and the money—many Berliners have gotten startup fever. The Berlin Chamber of Commerce reports that 1,300 Internet startups have been founded in the city since 2008, 500 of them last year alone.

 

keep reading at Bloomberg BusinessWeek

DC Goes to CES 2011

CES 2011 is approaching and the DC Tech community is representing. A quick round-up shows at least 10 of us going. Here is the robot’s guide to the best keynotes, sessions, parties, awards, showdowns, and private events. Let me know if I missed anything!

DC Tech Representing

With a ton of us going it would be great to keep us united to for chatting and support. Here is my shortlist of those attending, please, comment if I left you out:

  • Amy Senger & Steven Mandzik
  • Alex Priest (works for CEA)
  • Shana Glickfield (for NextGenWeb)
  • Rachelle Lacroix
  • Peter Corbett (of iStrategyLabs)
  • Leslie Bradshaw and Jesse Thomas (of Jess3)
  • Jen Consalvo and Frank Gruber (of Techcocktail)
  • Amy Phillips, Amy Webb, & Mario Armstrong (from Baltimore!)

Conference Tracks

Amy and I will be attending for the Digital Hollywood and Technology and the Environment tracks. This year seems to be the year of digital media at CES with so much going on around Movies and TV. Here are my potential favorites:

Our next reason for attending is the green side for the non-profit, A Clean Life. Strange that this track only has two events considering that the conference sells itself as the greenest conference on the continent. Those two sessions:

Last but not least is the TweetHouse. Sure to be the powerhouse of the conference due to the sheer amount energy social networking brings to the table. The sessions:

  • Social Media In Action: Philosophies, Strategies and Tactics
  • Measurement and ROI: How To Quantify Costs and Results
  • Campaigns that Connect: What Drives Engagement, Traffic, and Goodwill?
  • Growing your Community: Fans, Followers, Members, and More
  • Monitoring and Mining Social Data
  • Workflow and Staffing: Maximizing Impact While Minimizing Effort and Expense
  • Apps, Geo and Mobile: Critical Arenas for 2011

Events, Parties, and Keynotes

The rest of CES is where it’s at with the showroom floor and the events galore. The top hits I’ve dug up so far:

Other

Finally, there is a CES iphone app for the conference and if you want to catch some quiet time join Amy and I in the press or blogger lounge.