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Jason Calacanis has declared war on organizations that charge entrepreneurs to pitch investors on their startups. With "boiling blood", he used a post on his blog this weekend to shame these organizations and to threaten them with extinction.
Singled out: a number of groups, including the well-known Keiretsu Forum. All of which charge entrepreneurs fees to present their businesses to "rich angel investors" who Calacanis believes are exploiting "poor" entrepreneurs.
Popular microblogging service Twitter is the Silicon Valley equivalent of a Hollywood celebrity that the paparazzi can't stop following. And it doesn't look like that's set to change anytime soon given that the company may be on the verge of raising another massive round of funding.
According to TechCrunch's Michael Arrington, multiple sources are indicating that Twitter CEO Evan Williams disclosed a new $50m (give or take) round of funding at a company meeting. And the valuation for the round will be four times the previous round's $250m valuation. Yes, $1bn.
There are signs that the global economy may be stabilizing and recent M&A activity in the tech sector offers hope that tech will be closer to the front of the pack. But that may not be much consolation to many UK startups that are hurting for cash.
According to Jonathan Kestenbaum, CEO of the National Endowment for Science, Technology, and the Arts (NESTA), as many as 800 young companies face an "unimaginable dilemma" that threatens their survival. The cause of this dilemma: a frozen market for venture capital.
As far as VCs go, Sequoia Capital is a legendary firm. The startups it has funded include Apple, EA, Yahoo, YouTube and a little company called Google.
That last company seems to be the inspiration for Sequoia's newly-redesigned website, which now sports little more than a search box on its homepage.
PROfoundersCapital is a venture capital fund established for entrepreneurs in the digital media space, and backed by investors including Brent Hoberman and Michael Birch.
I've been talking to General Partner Rogan Angelini-Hurll about the aims of the fund, and what he will be looking for in entrepreneurs seeking investment...
Less than a year ago, it would have been hard to imagine that Google would be trudging along, eking out bottom line growth primarily by cutting expenses. And it would have been hard for some to believe that the hottest startups would seemingly be no closer to solving their monetization questions.
The reality: the internet economy is a lot like the rest of the global economy.
If you're an entrepreneur looking for VC funding, times have been better. The dour economy has caused many VCs to tighten the financing spigots and raise their standards.
But that's only part of the story. The truth is that venture capital, like so many industries, is undergoing some major changes. Marc Andreessen, a veteran entrepreneur who is most widely recognized for helping create the Mosaic web browser and founding Netscape, is hoping his entrepreneurial prowess that has served him so well in creating startups can give him a leg up in the world of funding them.
Bad luck to Andy Cockburn and the Wigadoo team, following the news that it is closing down.
I really liked the Wigadoo model, and so did the likes of Brent Hoberman, who backed it. Wigadoo basically helped people to go Dutch online, for group outings such as events. So rather than having one person pay for four tickets, each person could chip into a central pot.
Simply put, the company ran out of time and money, and the appetite from the investment community wasn’t there to issue a new round of funding to take the business forward.
The current state of the financial markets has made it very difficult for startups to go public. Even startups with significant revenue and bright futures have no guarantee that they'll be able to go public anytime soon.
The dismal IPO market is taking its toll on venture capitalists, who invest in companies that they expect, if successful, will be liquid within some years.
It's not the best time to be an internet entrepreneur if you need funding. Thanks to a global recession, investment is pretty hard for most new startups to come by.
In the United States, which has the most robust VC market, investments by VCs plummeted in Q1 2009, reaching their lowest level in 12 years. VCs are focusing on their existing investments, being far more conservative when it comes to making new investments and are increasingly asking more of entrepreneurs, both in terms of investment criteria and deal terms.
The IPO market for technology startups seems all but shut these days thanks to the recession and financial system meltdown.
The bar has been raised very high; much higher than most tech startups are confident they can reach.
It may be a tough time to raise money if you're a young startup but that doesn't mean that funding isn't out there.
Bit.ly, the rockstar URL shortening service that we've profiled on the Econsultancy blog before, proves that; it just managed to raise $2mn from private investors.