David Teten Joins ff Venture Capital as Partner


Entrepeneur David Teten is joining the early-stage, New York-based venture capital firm ff Venture Capital as a partner, he announced today on his blog. Teten joins founder John Frankel. Teten is chair of Harvard Business School Angels New York and was most recently CEO of Navon Partners, a New York-based data mining and analytics company. According to his own announcement, Teten now becomes chair of Navon’s board.

NEWS:

I am delighted to announce that I’m joining ff Venture Capital as a Partner. Official blog post and more details here. In addition, Michael Yavonditte, CEO of Hashable, is joining as a Venture Partner.

Since 1999, ff has made over 100 investments in over 35 companies, and from the beginning has been highly focused on generating industry leading returns. Among the firm’s most successful seed investments that have reached maturity are Cornerstone OnDemand (which raised $137m in a March 2011 IPO, ticker CSOD) and Quigo Technologies (sold to AOL for a reported $340m). We have a large crop of exciting growth companies that are starting to come into their own.

I’ve known John Frankel, the firm’s founder, for a year and a half. I’m very impressed by the organization he’s built and his track record. I’m honored to be the second partner in the firm’s history.

Before making the decision to join the firm, I did some research on early-stage tech investing as an asset class. What was striking was what an attractive asset class it was. Although any given early-stage company is quite risky, when aggregated across a large portfolio, returns are very attractive. There is also low correlation to risks that investors inherently have in most of their other investments, e.g., interest rate volatility, exchange rates, macro factors such as unrest in the Middle East, commodity fluctuations, unfunded pensions, etc. In addition, angel investments historically have a low correlation level with other asset classes, given the nimbleness with which small companies can adjust to changes in the economy, and the great diversity of companies in the typical early-stage portfolio. As a result, various analyses have shown annualized returns of 18-37%, 27%, and 30%.

As part of my new role, my mandate is to continue the institutionalization of the Firm, accelerate the growth of our portfolio companies, and look for great entrepreneurs and companies with which we can work. In addition, we’re extending our successful summer intern program and looking for 1 additional summer and several fall interns . If you know of any companies or people with whom we should talk, please be in touch!

Due to my new responsibilities with ff, I’m transitioning to a Chairman role with Navon Partners, the startup that I’ve been working on with our all-star team for the last year.

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