Archive for the ‘mayfield fund’ tag
Design-oriented flash sales site Fab has raised $105 million in new funding, the company announced today. The news was first reported by the Wall Street Journal and was subsequently confirmed by Fab CEO Jason Goldberg in a detailed blog post.
You can’t say we didn’t warn you: TechCrunch editor extraordinaire Alexia Tsotsis reported just over a month ago that Fab was raising some $100 million in new funds at a $700 million pre-money valuation.
At that time, Alexia reported:
In addition we’re hearing (we keep hearing things) that VC firm Atomico has already expressed interest in dropping $50 million into the pot, and existing investors have committed to $25 million.
It now looks like that was pretty on-point, and that Fab got just about what it was looking for. This new round, which was indeed led by London-based VC Atomico Ventures, reportedly values Fab at some $600 million. Bringing on Atomico as an investor is meant to help Fab scale out its international presence, Goldberg wrote in his blog post.
Also participating in the round were existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Menlo Ventures, First Round Capital, David Bohnett’s Baroda Ventures, ru-Net Technology Partners (RTP), Pinnacle Ventures, Docomo Capital, Mayfield Fund, and Troy Carter.
This round serves as Fab’s Series C, and brings its total outside investment to nearly $160 million. It’s a major step up in size from Fab’s $40 million Series B round which closed just this past December.
Much like a marriage, a nine-figure VC investment is not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly. In his blog post, Goldberg made a point of tempering the flashy funding announcement with a statement of Fab’s grounded focus, writing:
“As we raise this enormous amount of money, we do it humbly. We’re just lucky and fortunate to be able to get up each day and do what we love and help people smile and laugh through design. It’s an amazing opportunity and a ton of responsibility that we take very seriously.”
This news is breaking right now, so we’ll be updating this post as more information comes in. Meanwhile, you can check out my backstage interview with Goldberg after his on-stage chat with Alexia at Disrupt NYC in May:
Recession? What recession? The Mayfield Fund, one of Silicon Valley’s leading venture capital firms, has raised a $365 million fund in just about 13 weeks.
“We’re extremely fortunate to have a fund close within a few months,” said managing director Navin Chaddha, who leads the fund, in an interview with VentureBeat. The company started its first set of fundraising meetings in the third week of April and had all financial commitments lined up within 6 weeks. The remaining few weeks were spent on legal issues, and the fund closed in the first week of July.
“It was a very, very quick process,” Chaddha said.
Mayfield XIV is the 43-year-old firm’s 14th fund and is its third consecutive fund under $400 million. Since its founding in 1969, the firm has invested in more than 500 companies, resulting in over 100 IPOs and more than 100 mergers or acquisitions, according to its press release. The last fund, Mayfield XIII, closed in September, 2008.
The relatively small size of the fund was a deliberate choice, Chaddha said, saying that it was oversubscribed: By raising a smaller fund, the firm is able to focus on early-stage investments and on backing entrepreneurs it believes in, rather than trying to pump hundreds of millions into oversubscribed late-round investments.
“We’re not chasing momentum. We’re not chasing late-stage investments,” Chaddha said.
The fund’s focus remains the same as previous funds:
- SaaS (software as a service)
- social for the enterprise, because social for the consumer is saturated
- big data applications
- energy efficiency
On the topic of social networking, Chaddha says the firm prefers to focus on enterprise applications, where there’s lots of opportunity, rather than on the already-saturated market for consumer social networks.
Regarding “green” technologies, Mayfield is interested in technologies that increase the efficient use of energy, but not in capital-intensive cleantech startups.
Like all VC funds, Mayfield is not actually collecting the $365 million in commitments right away. Instead, it will draw the funds from its limited partners over the 10-year life of the fund, as needed to make investments. It will draw about 10 percent of the fund in the first year and 10-20 percent in the second year. The goal is to invest 50 percent of the fund in the first four years, reserving the rest for follow-on investments (later rounds going to companies Mayfield has already invested in) in the remaining six years of the fund. Investments from Mayfield XIV will begin six to nine months from now.
Advice for entrepreneurs? If you have experience, Mayfield wants to hear from you. In fact, it makes 30-35 percent of its investments in entrepreneurs-in-residence, where Mayfield is essentially incubating their startups. These are individuals with a proven track record who Mayfield is investing in very early in their startup process, often before the entrepreneurs have even figured out what exactly they’re going to do next.
“We always make the bet on the jockey, not the racetrack,” Chaddha said. “We’re always looking for alignments with entrepreneurs early, before they’ve made their next bet. Our doors are open.”
Photo of Navin Chaddha courtesy Mayfield Fund
This sponsored post is produced by YetiZen.
YetiZen is having their “Get-In-The-Game pitch competition” at Casual Connect Seattle 2012!
On July 24th, YetiZen will be at Casual Connect Seattle 2012 hosting their third amazing Get-In-The-Game Pitch Competition! This is your chance to present to their incredible audience of investors, notable game industry CEOs, and entrepreneurs to jumpstart your fundraising and company building efforts. Showcase your creative juices to some of the most prolific people in the game industry!
YetiZen be choosing 5 finalists who will present live on stage at Benaroya Hall to a group of superstar judges.
Judges at past competitions have included Terence Fung (Corporate Development at Zynga), Michael Chang (Director of Corporate Development at Electronic Arts), Tim Chang (original VC rockstar and Managing Director at Mayfield Fund), Michael Klein (Canaan Partners), and Rob Coneybeer (Shasta Ventures)!
The most promising startup will be selected based on the following criteria:
- Clarity of Business Model
- Presentation Skills
- Businesses plan for an exit
- Potential for business success (revenue, installs, and acclaim!)
Entrants must be a startup company in the mobile or social game space. Publicly traded or large, well-known private companies are NOT eligible.
To apply please visit:
Competition will begin on July 24th at 11:00am. The winner will be announced at 4:00pm and be invited to participate in our August Round for the YetiZen Accelerator Program, awarded OnLive consoles, and many many more prizes.
Deadline for submission is Friday, July 20th, 2012 at 5:00pm Pacific Standard Time.
We’re just over two weeks away from MobileBeat 2012, VentureBeat’s annual mobile conference, and we’ve lined up some of the biggest names in the industry to delve into the event’s core theme: “Design is the new battleground.”
We’ve snagged Navin Chaddha, managing director at Mayfield Fund; Michael Spiegelmanm director of product innovation at Netflix; Nancy Ramamurthi, vice president of product management and marketing at TripIt; and Mikkel Svane, founder of Zendesk; along with a slew of other great speakers.
MobileBeat 2012 takes place July 10-11 at San Francisco’s Palace Hotel. This year it’s taking place alongside our GamesBeat 2012 conference, which is focused on the “Crossover Era” of gaming. Register for MobileBeat 2012 here (you can also sign up for a combined GamesBeat pass at a discount).
Navin Chaddha is a proven serial entrepreneur and venture investor. He was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2009 and has ranked on the Forbes Midas List of top 100 dealmakers for several years. Navin invests in the consumer, enterprise, energytech, and telecom sectors in the U.S., India and China and is the founder of Mayfield’s dedicated India Fund, which he oversees. He currently serves on the board of directors of Brighter, Gigya, Pano Logic, StorSimple, and WideOrbit, is a board observer of Appcelerator, Consim, dealsandyou, ShineOn, SolarCity, and Tejas Networks and is also involved with Mayfield investments in Adchemy, Kiwi Crate, LatticePower, Pulse, SeedFund, and SMiT.
Michael Spiegelman is Director of Product Innovation at Netflix, where he oversees the website and tablet experiences. In this capacity, he led redesigns of the company’s streaming website and web video players. Prior to joining Netflix in July 2010, he spent six years at Yahoo!, most recently as Senior Director of Global Entertainment & Lifestyles products, running product management for the company’s music, movies, television, celebrity, games, video and lifestyles products. Previously, he was General Manager for Yahoo! Music, responsible for product development, editorial, content and operations of the second most-visited music website in the world.
Nancy Ramamurthi is the vice president of product management and marketing at TripIt. Nancy is as a brand evangelist, helping people discover the free TripIt app and making it easy for travelers to organize and share trips no matter where they book. She is also a product craftswoman, working with the team to hone and sharpen every aspect of TripIt to solve traveler problems with smart, easy-to-use and truly useful technology.
Mikkel Svane founded Zendesk in 2007 with the goal of making customer service not suck anymore. Today, the company is the epicenter of a customer service revolution, with more than 15,000 organizations worldwide, from Groupon to Hulu to Tumblr, using Zendesk to build tight relationships with their customers.
We want to thank the industry leaders that are supporting MobileBeat 2012: W3i as Platinum Sponsor; Flurry, Tapjoy & YouWeb as Gold Sponsors; Greystripe, Nokia Developer, LifeStreet Media & Sequoia Capital as Silver Sponsors; and Game Insight, Apsalar, Kontagent, GREE, Nexage, Pontiflex, Swrve, Urban Airship, PayPal, Betable and Xyologic as Event Sponsors.
Design is determining the winners in everything mobile. The most successful players are focusing on one thing: How to make products, services, and devices as compelling and delightful as possible — visually and experientially. MobileBeat 2012, taking place July 10-11 in San Francisco, is assembling the most elite minds to debate how UI/UX is transforming every aspect of the mobile economy, and where the opportunities lie. Register here.
At VentureBeat, we come across a lot of funding news every day. In order to bring you the most information possible, we’re rounding up the quick-and-dirty details about the funding deals of the day and serving them up here in our “Funding daily” column.
Singly snagged $7M for a simpler social API
A form D tipped us off to the news that Singly has raised $7 million in funding. Singly helps people build apps that integrate with social networks, such as Twitter, Foursquare, and Facebook, without multiple application processing interfaces (APIs). The company’s services are still in private alpha and Singly is hosting hackathons to improve its offerings. A blog post from the Foundry Group confirmed the venture capital firm’s participation in the funding round.
ScienceLogic grabs $15M from Intel Capital
IT cloud services startup ScienceLogic has raised a $15 million round of funding. The startup provides a variety of data center and cloud environment services that can work with outdated in-house IT systems. Intel Capital led the round, with participation from previous investor New Enterprise Associates.
Moat raises $12M for advertising analytics
Ad tech startup Moat has attracted $12 million in a second round of funding. In addition to advertising analytics services, the company has a display ad search, which shows where ads are being placed and how well they do on certain websites. Mayfield Fund led the round, with participation from prior investors including SV Angel, Founders Fund, Lerer Ventures, Vast Ventures, Founder Collective, and First Round Capital.
If you’ve got funding news for us, send it to email@example.com.
Social circle in hands image via Shutterstock
Filed under: deals
Ad-tech may not be the most obvious face of digital advertising, but in a world in which the role of big data is getting ever more essential to how things work, it is taking up an increasingly important role. One sign of that comes from the funding that ad-tech players are getting in this space: today, ad-tech startup Moat announced that it has picked up a $12 million investment led by the Mayfield Fund and including existing investors.
The Series B investment takes the total amount invested in the company to $16.5 million with past investors including Ron Conway’s SV Angel, Founders Fund, Vast Ventures, Lerer Ventures, Founder Collective, and First Round Capital; as well as the WGI Group, an investment vehicle from Moat’s founders, Right Media ex-CEO Mike Walrath and brothers Jonah and Noah Goodhart.
As a result of the deal, Mayfield partner Tim Chang will join the board of Moat.
The news of Moat raising funds was first made public last Friday, in a Form D SEC filing, in which Moat noted it was raising up to $15 million. That filing did not mention the names of the investors or the amount of the VC investment and also included funds from previous rounds.
Unlike other ad-tech companies that also run ad networks, Moat has focused only on analytics that seek to take advertisers and publishers beyond the traditional metric of “clicks” as a way of gauging the effectiveness of a digital media campaign, which it offers in a software-as-a-service model.
Jonah Goodhart, who is also CEO of Moat, says that it is doing this in response to what he sees as possibly the biggest issue in digital advertising today — and you could argue the biggest gating factor restricting more growth. “What is clear to us is that there is a critical need to address how brand advertising is measured online,” he told me. “We hear that from advertisers, publishers, creative agencies, and ad exchanges. It is the topic of conversation at most advertising conferences and it is what everyone is talking about in the industry.” Even Google, he points out, has started to release its own non-click metrics, “which is
pretty remarkable given that the vast majority of Google’s revenue is based on ad clicks.”
Its Moat Intelligence product is now being used by 15,000 businesses including companies like Forbes and AOL (which owns TechCrunch). The newest product, a patent-pending analytics platform called Moat Analytics, follows campaigns in real-time and is based on engagement rather than simple clicks. So far it has measured billions of impressions on behalf of advertising and publishing clients. Moat says that today’s investment will be used to further expand that portfolio of products: the next will be a Premium Intelligence Platform due out later this year.
Goodhart says Moat it is not providing visibility on revenues at the moment, but that it is experiencing “very strong demand” for its SaaS business model, based on subscriptions rather than percentage of media spend. “I think clients are finding it refreshing to have a flat monthly price.”
What might be the next area to disrupt?
I asked Goodhart about where he sees mobile today, an area that many thing has a bright future in digital advertising but has so far only represented a small fraction of overall media spend.
“It’s important from my perspective that we be able to measure apples-to-apples across different mediums as best we can. Each screen or platform has some unique features that are different but we should still be able to compare, for example, whether the ads were viewable by the user and for how long,” he said. He points out that its Intelligence and Analytics products already support mobile and tablet devices but “this is just in its infancy in terms of actual media spend today.”
[Image: Jim Mead, Flickr]
Thanks to an election year and a high employment rate, jobs seem to be dominating the headlines even more than usual. Now SmartRecruiters, a hiring startup recently backed by the Mayfield Fund, is trying to tap into that interest — and maybe do some good in the process — with a campaign it’s calling “Got Jobs?”
The company says that its technology is can help small- and medium-sized businesses, in particular, cast a wider net as they try to fill open positions. Rather than just posting their job listings to a few sites like Craigslist and Monster, SmartRecruiters customers can post to more than 100 job boards, including LinkedIn and Careerbuilder, then track applications and feedback. And SmartRecruiters is free to use. (It takes a percentage of the fee when you post to a paid job board or buy background checks from third-party vendor.)
With “Got Jobs?”, SmartRecruiters has paired its technology with a job creation message. Businesses looking to hire someone can visit the campaign site to quickly create a job listing and post it through SmartRecruiters. They can also grab an “I Hired” badge for their websites, showing how many positions they’ve filled through the service.
Oh, and if you think this is just empty marketing, and that a recruiting startup isn’t going to do much to fight unemployment, SmartRecruiters points to a recent government report showing that there are still 3.5 million unfilled job openings. So by making it easier for businesses to hire, the company argues that it can make a real difference.
Mayfield Fund managing partner Tim Chang is going long on the idea of the “quantified self,” which is about using the latest in both hardware and software technology to keep detailed tabs of people’s daily habits in the hopes of gradually improving their lives. Chang has written a three-part series of really interesting articles about the quantified self for TechCrunch in recent weeks, so we were pleased to have the chance to interview him on TechCrunch TV to hear him explain in a bit more detail about the space and where it’s going.
You can watch our full discussion in the video above, but here are a few interesting points he made:
- Numbers alone aren’t enough.
A lot of people today know the “quantified self” for health apps that track, say, the amount of calories you eat each day or how many miles you jog. But the real key in making these things successful is not just in, well, quantifying this data — it’s in parsing and packaging it in an interesting way. “Ultimately, people don’t care about data. They care about insights, meaning just tell me three fortune cookie likes things i need to focus on, then tell me what to do, and if you can, do it for me…. when you throw too much data at people it actually confuses folks. Although we think we want data, ultimately it’s not actionable and it’s not fun.”
Chang has years of experience investing in gaming startups, and he sees the principles of that industry as being key to making the quantified self really take off. “When you marry gamification with the quantified self, that’s where i think the real fun begins,” Chang said. “When it’s fun, people will care, they’ll stick around, and they’ll actually engage with these types of products. Data is not engaging by itself.”
- This goes way beyond health and fitness.
Though the quantified self’s roots are in “life hacking,” Chang thinks that it will eventually move beyond that to include nearly everything that people do — work, shop, talk to friends, read, write, surf the web, and much more.
“This notion of quantified self is not just about health and wellness. It’s about your consumer habits all throughout your day, from what sites you surf, what you buy, to what you like to brag about on your Facebook and Twitter,” Chang said. Measuring these actions can help make people more deliberate about their habits in all aspects of their lives. Even BranchOut, the professional social network in which Mayfield just led a $25 million investment, fits into this idea, Chang said.
- Quantifying yourself could help you meet others.
The more people dig into their specific habits and interests, the more appetite there will be for them to meet other people who share them. Chang sees a big opportunity right now for niche communities built on top of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social networks that allow people to congregate around these passions.
“I’m really big into vertical communities that are going to pop up around interests, or these other aspirational personas you have. Because if you think about it, people aren’t black and white,” Chang said. “We’re all like onions in the sense that we have all these sub-personas and layers to ourselves. There are a lot of interests that we have. Each of those interests have their own community, and you want to meet new people in those interests as well.”
BranchOut is officially going for the big time. The company, which makes a professional social network that runs on top of Facebook, is announcing today it has closed on $25 million in new funding, bringing its total venture capital investment to $49 million.
This latest batch of money, which serves as BranchOut’s Series C round, was led by the Mayfield Fund with the participation of previous investors Accel Partners, Norwest Venture Partners and Redpoint Ventures. Tim Chang of Mayfield will join BranchOut’s board of directors. The money will be used mainly for hiring more employees to add to BranchOut’s current full-time staff of 45, founder and CEO Rick Marini said in an interview, which you can watch in full in the video embedded above.
Big Funding Following Big Growth
At less than two years old, BranchOut certainly seems to be on a fast track when it comes to funding. But according to Marini, the money is only following the company's very real growth. BranchOut now has more than 25 million registered users, more than half of which — 13.5 million — are active on the app each month. To put those numbers into context, more than three new users are joining BranchOut every second. When BranchOut first debuted in July 2010, it was often characterized as a “LinkedIn for Facebook” — but it’s becoming apparent that BranchOut is carving out a very clear identity of its own. Marini explains its position like this:
“LinkedIn is a great company, and I think they do a really good job of addressing the ten percent of the global workforce that are white-collar executives. And we, of course, address that market as well. But if you think about the other 90 percent, these are the people on Facebook. So it’s anywhere from a recent college grad, maybe returning military [personnel], cashiers, customer service, all the way up to accountants, software engineers and CEOs. All of those people are on Facebook, and what we’ve done is finally given all of those people a professional identity for the first time.”
The real key to BranchOut hitting the tipping point in terms of growth has been its mobile app, which launched in December and is now driving 40 percent of BranchOut’s total traffic. That has helped the company grow both in the United States and internationally, Marini said, noting that today about half of the new users joining BranchOut are coming from outside the US.
Going Big, Exit Strategy-Wise
Right now BranchOut makes money in two ways: Through job postings on Facebook and its Recruiter Connect product. Marini declined to provide any specific revenue numbers or detail how close BranchOut is to profitability, but he did say the company is generally more focused on growth than on monetization at the moment. “I would say right now we’re in investment mode,” Marini said.
Large funding rounds like the one BranchOut just took on bring the topic of “exit strategies” a bit closer to the forefront. When asked if BranchOut could emerge as an attractive acquisition target for the likes of Facebook, Marini said that right now he’s all about staying independent — and alluded to being on the IPO track. “We are heads down growing a big company… We’re not even thinking about selling. We want to go big on this one.”
Make sure to watch our full interview embedded above to get Marini’s thoughts on how Facebook’s IPO will impact BranchOut and the larger startup ecosystem, how today’s tech atmosphere compares to 1999, and more.
In Town for GDC on March 8th? Got a mind blowing vision for a mobile, social or emerging platform game, gamification app or platform? Want to meet an audience of high level executives and investors from the game space? Compete in the YetiZen Get-In-The-Game Pitch Competition!
YetiZen is excited to announce our second annual Get-In-The-Game Pitch Competition on March 8th. Become a part of the next big wave in mobile and social game development by participating in a contest where you’ll have the opportunity to present your product to an incredible audience of investors, entrepreneurs and game industry CEOs. If you’ve been looking to jump-start your fundraising efforts or are looking to take that next step towards business development, here’s your opportunity to woo and wow some of the most influential individuals in the game space!
Seven finalists will be given the chance to present their product on-stage in front of a superstar team of judges that includes Tim Chang (Managing Director at Mayfield Fund), Michael Chang (Director of Corporate Development at Electronic Arts), and Terence Fung (Head of Corporate Development at Zynga). Only startup companies may participate, so no well-known private companies or publicly traded entities may apply; if you think your startup has the best new mobile or social game, gamification app or game platform, please don’t hesitate to apply! For contest parameters, information and to apply please visit http://yetizen.com/competition/. The deadline for application submissions is Sunday, February 26th at 5:00 PM, so apply today. May the best game win!
Filed under: VentureBeat