FormFactor Completes Microprobe Acquisition

FormFactor has completed the acquisition of MicroProbe. Headquartered in California, MicroProbe is a provider of advanced SOC wafer test solutions. The company’s backers include Flywheel Ventures, Intel Capital and Gemini Investors.

TrackVia Raises $7.1M From Longworth, Fairhaven, Access, Flywheel, Others

TrackVia said it raised $7.1 million in a fundraising round led by Longworth Venture Partners and Fairhaven Capital, and joined by Access Venture Partners, Flywheel Ventures, Draper Associates and Allen & Company. The funds will go to expand sales, marketing and engineering operations at the applications development services company.

FormFactor to Acquire MicroProbe

FormFactor is to acquire MicroProbe for $100 million in cash and $16.8 million in stock, subject to customary adjustments. Headquartered in California, MicroProbe is a provider of advanced SOC wafer test solutions. The company’s backers include Flywheel Ventures, Intel Capital and Gemini Investors. PRESS RELEASE FormFactor, Inc. (NASDAQ: FORM) today announced that it has signed […]

Flywheel Ventures Backs Cinnafilm

Flywheel Ventures has invested in Cinnafilm. Financial terms weren’t announced. Albuquerque, N.M.-based Cinnafilm provides video optimization solutions for television, film, and multimedia. PRESS RELEASE Cinnafilm, Inc., a leader in file-based image processing technology, announced that Flywheel Ventures has recently completed an equity investment in Cinnafilm. As broadcasters and media providers realize video quality and processing […]

TerraEchos Inks $1.55M

Missoula, Montana-based online security company TerraEchos has raised $1.55 million in seed financing led by Flywheel Ventures. S&K Technologies and GCS Research also contributed to the round. PRESS RELEASE TerraEchos announced today that the company has closed on $1.55 million in series seed financing, led by Flywheel Ventures. The funding also included participation from strategic […]

Tribogenics Closes on $2.5M

Tribogenics has raised $2.5 million from Flywheel Ventures and undisclosed angel investors. The company said it will use the financing to commercialize its X-ray technology. Founded in 2009, Tribogenics is based in Marina Del Rey, California.

Flywheel Backs AfterCollege

Flywheel Ventures has put an undisclosed amount into AfterCollege, the creator of a professional talent network for college students and recent graduates. No terms of the round were released. AfterCollege says that its service is used by more than 3 million students and recent grads.

Flywheel Ventures Brings Aboard David Jargiello as Venture Partner

Flywheel Ventures, a seed and early-stage venture capital firm in Albuquerque, N.M., has hired David Jargiello, who joins the firm as general counsel and venture partner. Jargiello has long been a Silicon Valley attorney, helping form Venture Law Group with Craig Johnson in 1993, as well as Johnson’s Virtual Law Partners, founded in 2008. Jargiello […]

Flywheel Ventures Raising Fund Two

Flywheel Ventures is seeking $35 million for its second venture capital fund, according to a regulatory filing. The Sante Fe-based firm invests in seed and early-stage information technology and physical sciences companies in the Southwest/Rockies region. Recent backings include Lingotek, a Salt Lake City-based developer of collaborative translation technology. In January, the firm gained an […]

VC Braves Congress To Testify Again

Even though not all Senators believed him last month when he told a Senate subcommittee why venture capital funds should not be regulated like other private equity funds, Flywheel’s Trevor Loy was back in D.C. last week to continue to hammer on his points.

Here’s his testimony before the House Committee on Small Business, explaining how the Form D that VCs already have to file with the SEC could be modified to satisfy regulators who are worried about another meltdown of the worldwide financial system:

Do VCs Belong In Cleantech? Maybe

Plenty of people over the last couple years have said not — that VCs don’t like to stick with investments that take a lot of money and time, that they don’t understand the issues, that they don’t know the ways of Washington, D.C., that they’re too used to cranking out IT startups according to a fast-growth, low-investment formula that worked well in Silicon Valley when times were good.

Mike Kanellos over at GreenTech Media says they’re wrong. (Disclosure: I used to work with Mike at CMP Media). In a long post this week, he cites several high-profile, clean-tech disasters but then lists all the reasons why VCs are good for clean tech:


As Venture Funds Shrink, So Will Salaries

Or so a couple of investors predict, a prospect that no doubt thrills Limited Partners.

Former venture capitalist Chris Dixon (he worked at Bessemer) argues that VCs raise bigger and bigger funds and push more and more money at startups — for the same valuation, even when those startups don’t need it — so they can keep justifying their management fees, which Dixon points out can add up fast when you take 2 percent of a $500 million fund every year for 10 years.

Dixon’s latest project is Hunch, a startup he co-founded that teaches machines how to help people make decisions. It appears not to have taken venture capital. He calls for VCs to adopt performance-based compensation — not just for their startups, but for themselves.


Startups Should Be Careful About Seed Rounds

More venture capitalists are going to seed as a way to test out startups, according to Wilson Sonsini partner Caine Moss — giving a small amount of money and then stepping back to see “if these guys can turn the idea into something.”

If the entrepreneur shows enough progress, the VC will do a more conventional Series A round and get more actively involved.

Sometimes this works out well (for the entrepreneur). For example, take WaterCooler, a startup that builds online communities of sports fans and TV shows. It raised $4 million in a Series A funding this way from Canaan Partners. (disclosure: the investor here is Moss’s wife).

But it can backfire if the startup doesn’t show progress and the VC decides to drop the company. One big problem, according to Moss and several others, is that seed investments are not low-risk. They require investors to roll up their sleeves and get heavily involved in companies, and not all VCs are used to doing this — nor do they have time because they’re busy tending their other companies.

Lobbying Congress: A Personal Tale

Venture capitalists seem to be universally opposed to the Obama administration’s proposal to regulate private equity if venture capital funds get caught in the net.

Last month, while testifying before a Senate Banking subcommittee on behalf of the National Venture Capital Association, Trevor Loy — the founder of Flywheel Ventures — said he patiently explained to Senators why venture capital funds are not like hedge funds and why the regulations as they’re now proposed could put some VC firms out of business. (See his testimony below).

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