Approximately two years ago, two startups that had yet to launch products raised more than $40 million, respectively, based almost solely on the track records of their founders. Both companies went on to stumble badly, but only one of them was pilloried for its failings.
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Entrepreneur Scott Kurnit regularly places his 18-month-old, pre-revenue, “platform” startup AdKeeper in the same company as Facebook, Twitter, and Google, and people don’t spit out their coffee at the suggestion. It begs the question of whether Kurnit, 57, is a brilliant salesman, a visionary, or both. According to Kurnit, the technology behind New York-based Adkeeper [...]
People familiar with the venture industry know of Oak Investment Partners’ reputation as a gunslinger that likes making outsize bets. Still, on Monday, when New York-based AdKeeper announced a $35 million round of funding led by Oak, jaws around venture firms everywhere dropped – or at least they should have. AdKeeper is just 10 months old. [...]
In 1996, Scott Kurnit founded the company that would become About.com and managed it into one of the most popular Internet startups in the U.S., before staging an IPO in the spring of 1999. More impressively, Kurnit sold the company to the publisher Primedia for $690 million in late 2000, as the dot.com bubble was [...]