Upfront Ventures leads $2 mln seed funding in Ferris

Upfront Ventures has led a $2 million seed funding round in Ferris, a mobile video company. Allen DeBevoise, founder of Machinima, also participated in the round. Mark Suster, managing partner of Upfront Ventures, joined the board of directors.

Upfront Ventures raises $280 mln for fifth fund

Upfront Ventures has closed $280 million for its fifth fund, Mark Suster, a general partner at the Los Angeles-based venture firm confirmed in a blog post. The pool’s LPs include university endowments, foundations, insurance firms, banks, family offices and fund of funds. According to Suster, the fund will continue the firm’s previous investment strategy of focusing mostly on Series Seed and A deals, with half based in Southern California and the other half nationally. In 2012, Upfront raised $200 million for its previous fund. To read more details about Upfront’s fifth fund, visit here.



Upfront names Kara Nortman as partner

Upfront Ventures has added Kara Nortman as a partner, according to a blog post from Partner Mark Suster. Nortman is presently board chair at Seedling and previously co-founded Moonfrye. She spent nearly seven years at IAC where she was SVP at Urbanspoon and Citysearch, and earlier co-headed the M&A group. She also spent time at Battery Ventures, Morgan Stanley and Microsoft.

Is Gowalla a Sign of the Times for Investors?

On Monday, more than 500 outlets reported that Facebook is acquiring the location-based startup Gowalla, which will shutter in January. Gowalla’s team will now work on Facebook’s new Timeline feature. The acquisition was unexpected for several reasons, including that Austin-based Gowalla has been eating Foursquare’s dust for some time. There were also niggling questions over […]

Mark Suster Has Internet TV on the Brain. Should You?

For VCs in search of the next hot investing trend, Mark Suster has two words: Internet TV.

Not that anyone has been paying much attention to him, Suster told a crowd at the Venture Alpha conference held yesterday in San Francisco. “I’ve walked up and down Sand Hill Road and not a single person agrees with me.”

Suster thinks this “means I’m on to something.” But it’s easy to see why others might not agree, beginning with the enduring popularity of good old-fashioned TV. According to the Nielsen Company, Americans watch 5.3 hours of television every single day, and every year, they watch just a tiny bit more than the year before. Indeed, in its latest report….

Top 10 Hub Posts this Week Focus on Shindig Pics, CalPERS’ IRRs, Zynga and Striking Similarities Between KP and A16Z

Catch up with what your peers found most interesting on peHUB this week. The top 10 posts that garnered the most pageviews from regular readers from June 27 to July 1 include GRP Partner Mark Suster’s take on how changes in the software industry will impact venture investing, a giant slideshow of photos from our Chicago Shindig, IRRs from CalPERS, the uncanny similarities between Andreessen Horowitz (aka A16Z) and Kleiner Perkins and the biggest owners of Zynga (which filed to go public today).

1. Slideshow: Chicago Shindig Photos — Lots of ‘em, by Lawrence Aragon
2. Slideshow: IRRs From CalPERS’ Brand Name Venture Funds Underwhelm (Part I), by Mark Boslet
3. Slideshow: CalPERS’ Recent Vintage Brand Name Venture Funds Show Promising IRRs, Largely (Part II), by Mark Boslet
4. Slideshow: Top 10 PE-backed Deals This Year, by Luisa Beltran
5. Kleiner Perkins and Andreessen Horowitz: Separated at Birth?, by Connie Loizos
6. Understanding the Changes in the Software & Venture Capital Industries, by Mark Suster, general partner with GRP Partners
7. Slideshow: Who Are Zynga’s Biggest Shareholders?, by Lawrence Aragon
8. Slideshow: 10 Largest Pending Q2 LBOs, by Bernard Vaughan
9. Here Comes the Deal That Will Save Kleiner Perkins’ Bacon, by Connie Loizos
10. Slideshow: Accel-erating Returns at the Top-Tier VC, by Jonathan Marino (subscribers only)

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Concern Grows Over Founders Cashing Out Too Much, Too Early

Six months ago, economist Paul Kedrosky found himself in a curious situation. After being introduced to a new service, along with several other potential investors, the founder of the service announced that as part of any seed-stage deal, he expected immediate liquidity for up to 25 percent of his shares. Kedrosky, a seed investor in […]

WorkforceGrowth: Making Dreaded Performance Evaluations Less Dreadful

Earlier this week, Andreessen Horowitz’s newest general partner, Scott Weiss, sang his new employer’s praises, telling me that Andreessen Horowitz is a well-run organization that solicits 360-degree reviews of its GPs yearly, including from its CEOs and (presumably anonymously) other employees within the firm, including its other GPs. The firm isn’t the first. Tens of venture firms […]


5 Questions for Mark Suster: VC, Entrepreneur & Blogging Phenomenon

Mark Suster is a venture capitalist, serial entrepreneur and owner of one of the best office views in Los Angeles. He also has become a blogging phenomenon, joining the pantheon of VCs whose every word is devoured by startup CEOs.

He and I have spoken a few times informally, but it was about time to put something on the record. So what follows are 5 Questions for Mark Suster:

GRP Partners once was known as Global Retail Partners, and is best known for deals like Starbucks, Costco and P.F. Chang’s. What’s a tech guy like you doing there?

I’d love to set the record straight on this. We did a lot of that retail and consumer stuff in the 1980s and early 1990s, but our first independent fund was in 1996. Since then, We’ve backed Overture, CitiSearch, LastMinute.com, DealerTrack, Bill Me Later and more. We invested in HealthDataInsights, which is just ripping it up. We also did Qualys, a software-as-a-service company that’s got double-digit millions in revenue run rate.

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