Is Venture Debt On The Rise?

Venture debt appears to be gaining in prominence this year as companies such as Atlassian, Box and HubSpot raise final rounds of traditional equity financing before launching IPOs.

Timehop Closes Seed Round

New York-based Timehop has closed a seed round of $1.1 million. The investment was led by Bryce Roberts of OATV (O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures) which focuses on seed and early stage investments among technology early adopters. Also in the round is Spark Capital represented by Andrew Parker. Several angel investors also participated in the round including […]

Facebook Said To Acquire Gowalla As Internal Hiring Expands

With Facebook preparing what could be one of the nation’s largest-ever IPOs, the company appears to be bulking up its technology arsenal by acquiring location-based startup Gowalla and hiring thousands of new workers. The news of the acquisition was reported late Friday by CNN Money, which said most of the small Austin-based company’s staff would […]

Union Square Closes on $116M for Third Early Stage Fund, Has Commitments for Rest

Union Square Ventures has closed on more than half of a new, $200 million early stage fund, raising $116.5 million of fresh capital, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Rumors of the close began to spread last week, with two sources close to the company confirming the commitments. The SEC filing says another $83.5 million of the firm’s third early stage fund remains to be spoken for, though one source said it too has been sold. Sources say Union Square drew its capital from existing LPs with few if any new investors invited.

The apparent ease of the fundraising isn’t surprising given the success of Union Square’s first two early stage funds. Those funds invested in a number of notable Internet companies, including Twitter …

U.K. Prime Minister Joins LinkedIn, Foursquare

David Cameron, the U.K.’s prime minister, has joined LinkedIn and Foursquare, according to a blog from the PM’s office. The social media move is part of the PM’s effort to “engage further with with citizens and businesses using digital communications.” According to the blog, Downing Street will use LinkedIn to connect with people and businesses that the prime minster meets regarding UK business, enterprise and manufacturing.

VCs Sidelined on SecondMarket Buy-side to Start ‘11

High net worth individuals are in and VC firms are out. That’s the showing from SecondMarket’s Q1 private stock data, which the auction system released today. After making 40% of investments conducted on SecondMarket’s platform in the fourth quarter of 2010, VC firms accounted for none of its transactions to start 2011. High net worth […]

Turing Fellows Seeking Tired, Poor, Huddled Masses of Tech Talent

The NYC Turing Fellows program wants to bring talented computer science and engineering students to New York in droves, and they’re planning to place them at some significant Web businesses including SecondMarket, Foursquare and Tumblr. Canaan Partners’ Warren Lee —whose firm has become one of the latest in a series to open its doors in the Big […]

Mobile Commerce Is The Future, But Customer Acquisition Is Street By Street

Foursquare Labs, Yammer, Groupon. Social mobile media is hot, especially if it targets ecommerce and the enterprise. So how does a tiny next generation startup compete with today’s more entrenched players? That seemed to be the unanswered question at the Under the Radar conference today in Mountain View, Calif. The conference brought together more than […]


New LBS-Based Startup DeHood in Market for VC

“It’s hot as hell here,” said Babak Hedayati, CEO and founder of DeHood, a startup that combines location-based services and social networking for neighborhood communities. Hedayati was referring to yesterday’s record-breaking heat in the San Francisco Bay Area, but he could have just as easily been referring to his own company, which he says has seen its […]

Checking In With Whrrl Mastermind Jeff Holden

Pelago has the distinction of being the first company to raise money in 2008 from the iFund, the Kleiner Perkins fund that backs products that run on the iPhone, iTouch and iPad. What’s remarkable about that is that the Seattle-based company was initially seeded by individual investors in 2006, a year before Apple’s iPhone was […]


It’s Official: Foursquare Gets a $20M Venture Round

It’s official: Highly-hyped location-based startup Foursquare just closed on a $20 million round of funding at a $95 million pre-money valuation. Andreessen Horowitz led the round, with previous investors O’Reilly AlphaTech and Union Square Ventures also participating.

Foursquare famously materialized from the vestiges of Dodgeball, a mobile service cofounded by Dennis Crowley, who sold the company to Google in 2005. When the search giant killed the service, Crowley, who’d logged roughly two years at Google, quit and quickly revived the idea. Today, the 18-month-old company employs 27 people and has attracted 1.7 million users. It’s also in a race against a growing number of location-based services, including those of Gowalla and Loopt, and soon to include Twitter and possibly Facebook.

A few moments ago, I talked with Marc Andreessen about why his venture firm, Andreessen Horowitz, was so hot on the deal despite all that competition, whether he or Ben Horowitz use FourSquare, and how he’ll reconcile his involvement with the startup with his role as a director at Facebook, which is widely believed to be developing its own location-based service.

Read the Q&A after the jump…

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