Angel Investing and the Devil in Gil

We've been lucky enough to have heard Gil Penchina opine a lot. Unfortunately, most of this was well before he became known for angel investing and his Angel List syndicate, and was usually about his failed romantic exploits. Whatever -- truth is we usually didn't listen anyway. But now we do, and gladly. Burnished to a brighter shine as one…

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Venture Capital: Variance, Speed and Volume

Looking at venture capital investment during the first half of 2016, Redpoint's Tomasz Tunguz has a nice piece (and several graphs) on the flux in the fundraising market -- early stage deals (Series A) have nosedived by a whopping one-third, as have later stage financings, while expansion stage financings (Series B) are up substantially. This view is a little bit…

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One Cool Thing: Upstart

One of the minor signs of professional accomplishment is that dreaded moment where some enterprising young person asks career advice. Often one has to balance between the practical (pursue a typical corporate gig to pay off student debt?) and the promise (start something new, and eat a lot of ramen?). But there may be another way.  A group of former Googlers…

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Venture Capital Duality

It's a theme as old as Dickens and reflects both a central tenet of biology and the basic economic belief that as an industry matures, it divides.  Fred Wilson sees the venture capital industry increasingly split into two parts: "The first VC industry is investing in software based businesses. The software VC business has been fundamentally altered by the massive…

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Pay to Pitch

An online brouhaha broke out over angel groups that charge startups to pitch potential investors. Led by media entrepreneur Jason Calacanis, and with an echo from Fred Wilson, soon a full chorus was reciting a litany of painful experiences.  The revelations are exacerbated as these "pay to pitch" sessions -- questionably effective in the best of times -- coincide with…

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