Menlo Ventures has added Avery More as a venture partner and Alex Gorelik as an EIR, according to a blog post. More will source enterprise deals at the firm and Gorelik will incubate a company and offer advice on the cloud and big data investments.
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Despite the popularity of Facebook and Instagram, a growing number of smartphone users are clearly looking for alternative communications platforms. The question is whether such new apps are real businesses, or if they’re just as evanescent as the technology solutions they provide.
Providing what appears to be a sizable exit for Ignition Partners and other venture firms, Facebook today acquired startup Parse Inc., which offers a cloud-based mobile application platform. Ignition was the startup’s largest venture backer.
Menlo Ventures says it added Karl Mehta as a venture partner. Mehta will focus on sourcing investments and will advise portfolio companies in financial services, mobile payments, e-commerce and gaming. He was the founder and CEO of Menlo-backed PlaySpan, which sold to Visa. The Obama Administration named him as a White House Presidential Innovation Fellow in 2012.
Iranian-born entrepreneur-investor Shervin Pishevar has become a well-known brand in Silicon Valley in recent years largely because of his social entrepreneurship, not his startup prowess. His particular cause has been eradicating many of the hurdles that foreign-born entrepreneurs still face in entering and remaining in the U.S. But clearly, Pishevar’s social conscience has been good for business.
Menlo Ventures is bringing on veteran VC Venky Ganesan as a partner shortly after Managing Director Shervin Pishevar said he would reduce his role at the firm.
GroupTalent Inc., a talent-as-a-service platform that focuses on hard-to-fill software design and development roles, has secured US$1 million in a seed-stage financing round from a mix of Canadian and US investors. The Seattle, Washington-based GroupTalent, founded in 2011, was backed in a deal led by Vancouver, British Columbia’s Version One Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm launched last year, alongside Founders’ Co-op., Menlo Ventures and a number of angel investors.
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 Buchheit, Dave McClure, and Yuri Milner.
Menlo Ventures has announced Shervin Pishevar’s new strategic position at the firm as venture advisor. Since joining in 2011, Pishevar has focused on investments in consumer Internet, social web, mobile and the emerging collaborative consumption space.