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ViralGains raises $2.8 mln from investor group, rapper Nas

Hub Angels has led $2.8 million of funding in ViralGains, which provides an online video ad platform. The funding round included participation of 45 investors, including 500 Startups’ Dave McClure, Chicago-based Pallasite Ventures, Boston’s Launch Capital and Boston-based angels Ty Danco, Joe Caruso, Jay Batson and Semyon Dukach. Also, rapper Nasir ‘Nas’ Jones joined the investment group. ViralGains is seeking a total of $3.3 million in funding.

McClure raises $2 mil for 500 Luchadores

Dave McClure has raised just over $2 million from 24 investors for 500 Luchadores, a Mexico-focused seed fund, according to an SEC filing. McClure, founder of 500 Startups, began raising 500 Luchadores in November 2012. It has a target of $5 million.

500 Startups’ McClure To Manage Twilio European Fund

Twilio and 500 Startups said the newly formed Twilio Fund Europe 2013 will be managed by 500 Startups founding partner Dave McClure. The micro fund will provide seed funding to startups in Europe that make use of Twilio’s cloud communications APIs.

Video Ad Startup Virool Raises $6.62 Million

Virool, a year-old San Francisco-based video advertising startup, has closed on $6.62 million in funding from a long list of investors in what the company claims is the biggest seed round raised so far by a graduate of the the Y Combinator incubator program. (Virool came out of the program last summer.) The company’s institutional investors include Draper Fisher Juvetson and Menlo Ventures; individuals who contributed to the funding include Paul BuchheitDave McClure, and Yuri Milner.

CapLinked Launches Monthly “Pro” Subscriptions

CapLinked, an L.A.-based startup backed by investors Peter Thiel, Dave McClure, and David Sacks, among others, is launching new monthly subscription accounts to users of its proprietary platform, which connects privately held companies with accredited investors. The company, which has signed up more than 100,000 users, who currently use the service at no cost, will charge […]

CapLinked, Backed By Thiel and McClure, Gains Traction

Deal room software isn’t new. Companies and investors have long had online places to securely manage their due diligence, update investors, and bring in other interested parties. IntraLinks, a publicly traded New York company that is used by one million people every day, charges subscribers thousands of dollars each month to host their most critical […]

Twilio Raises Second MicroFund from Angels McClure, Conway

Moments ago at the Twilio Conference in San Francisco, 500 Startups founder Dave McClure announced the launch of a second Twilio MicroFund of $250,000 to invest in companies that are based on Twilio’s Connect platform. McClure and Ron Conway of SV Angel will each invest $125,000 in the fund. McClure will manage the investments, with […]

Are VCs Willing to Give Up Their Spreadsheets? One Startup is Counting on It

When it comes to keeping track of and referring potential deals, some VCs will never give up their coffee meetings, phones, or good old-fashioned spreadsheets. But CapLinked, an eight-month-old platform startup based in Santa Monica, is betting that a younger generation of investors will want to use new tools that allow them to more easily exchange […]

PayPal Mafia Funds CapLinked Social Network For VCs

More from the so-called PayPal Mafia. Several influencial PayPal alumni – including Peter Thiel, Dave McClure and Peter Lonsdale – have come together to fund CapLinked, a social network for venture capitalists and investors. In typical Mafia fashion, their $525,000 angel round will go to another former PayPal-er, CapLink co-founder and Chief Executive Eric Jackson […]

CapLinked Inks $525K in Angel Funding

CapLinked, whose collaborative platform is aimed at helping entrepreneurs, private investors and advisors build relationships and interact online, has raised $525,000 in angel funding, bringing its total financing to $900,000. The money comes from well-known Silicon Valley investors including PayPal founder Peter Thiel and 500 Start-ups founder Dave McClure. Palantir Technologies co-founder Joe Lonsdale; Aman Verjee, CFO of Sonos; and David Anderson, managing partner of 7th Rig, also contributed. CapLinked is based in Los Angeles.

Week in Review

My take on various PE and VC-related events and news last week. On Bubbles: Are seed stage valuations for hot Internet startups getting out of hand? That’s been the subject of raging debate across the venture pundit-sphere in recent weeks. Connie Loizos and Mark Boslet added their takes on the topic this week, looking at […]

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The Bubble Isn’t Bad News for Angel Investors Alone

For months, there’s been talk of a seed-stage bubble, and plenty of reason to believe it exists. Just one indicator is San Francisco magazine’s newly published cover story on “Tech’s New Angels.” It’s fully 15 pages long, thanks in part to the public’s growing fascination with Silicon Valley’s newest “moguls,” as well as the angels’ willingness to talk […]

Week In Review

My take on some notable PE and VC-related events and news in the past week.

Questioning the Fanboy Fascination with Andreessen Horowitz

In the last few weeks, I’ve friended an employee at Andreessen Horowitz, who I consider a smart guy and someone worth knowing and who always has smart tweets. By no fault of his own, he may be working at an overhyped firm. Or, at the very least, it’s a firm that has not yet generated the cash-on-cash returns that justify the amount of attention it has been getting.

At least that was my takeaway from reading a story about the firm from my colleague Connie Loizos, who took a look at the media frenzy surrounding Andreessen Horowitz since it was launched in mid-2009 with a $300 million fund. Connie talked to social psychologist Amy Cuddy of Harvard Business School, who recently produced research suggesting that people are likely to see someone as competent if they’ve demonstrated expertise in just one area, even if they later display incompetence elsewhere.

So whereas Andreessen and Horowitz are great technologists, the jury is still out on whether they’re investment geniuses. You be the judge on whether they’re overhyped.

The post drew 17 responses, most of them in agreement with Connie’s assessment. Reader Eric wrote: “Nice balanced article, Connie. It’s good to have at least one rational voice out there willing to do their own thinking, rather than simply serving up the pre-packaged PR flak that we seem to be getting from others. Kudos to Andreessen Horowitz for the savvy to tap the LP’s while they are enthusiastic for the unproven product, rather than waiting for the (possibly good, possibly bad) performance to manifest itself.”

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