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Alastair Goldfisher

If Mona DeFrawi stepped outside her Menlo Park, Calif.-based office today, she would have enjoyed a cloudless sky and 72-degree weather. That is quite a change from her environs a year ago when she was in Baltimore. But DeFrawi has been a little busy lately. As CEO of InsideVenture, DeFrawi is putting together the group’s […]
My theory on Super Bowl ads is not that they became the event to see in the mid-1980s when Apple launched its computer with its "1984" ad. No, the ads became the thing in the '90s when the games were lousy and we watched the Buffalo Bills lose four straight and there was nothing left to talk about at the watter cooler the next day except the ads. Last decade, we also saw the rise (then the fall) of dotcom companies, which raised huge sums of capital just to launch marketing campaigns. Unfortunately, a number of the ads were sophmoric, such as Buy.com's diddy in Super Bowl XXXIII when we saw a man sniff a dog's rear. Clearlake Capital Group threw the company a bone two years ago when it bought the company for $20 million. This was after Buy.com raised about $200 million from Mobius Venture Capital and others. To be honest, I thought the company was out of business until I Googled them this morning.
Kyle Lefkoff describes himself as an optimistic VC. And after I talked with him for a few minutes, it was easy to see why. Lefkoff, a general partner of Boulder Ventures in Boulder Colo., recognizes that the global economic crisis is weighing heavily on the venture industry, and he admits that the IPO market looks to remain lousy […]
In sunny Palm Springs, Calif., where the temperature was expected to reach a high of 78 degrees today, the Clean-Tech Investor Summit is holding its 5th annual conference. The two-day summit, co-produced by International Business Forum and Clean Edge, is chaired by Technology Partners’ Ira Ehrenpreis. The conference kicked off last night, which of course was […]
Just over a month ago, VC firm @Ventures published a critical report called "What's wrong with cleantech venture capital?" It touched on a number of concerns, such as how there is a lot of late stage funds going after companies with no exit opportunities on the horizon. But, to be fair, it said that the cleantech VC model isn't broken. Indeed, the bloom hasn't fallen off the cleantech rose. Last week, the Cleantech Group reported that while the overall volume of venture deals sank last year, investments in cleantech companies totalled $8.4 billion, up nearly 40% from 2007. In Q3, VCs poured $2.6 billion into cleantech, a quarterly record. In the fourth quarter, they invested $1.7 billion into the sector. I bring all of this up because yesterday I was at the VCJ Cleantech Breakfast in Menlo Park, and saw more than 120 people in attendance, eager to hear the panelists speak.
In a tough economy, nothing is safe from the chopping block. Not even the beloved Gary Snoman. Snoman is the digital creation of Blueprint Ventures, which for the past three years has produced humorous holiday greetings featuring the frosty character. The Snoman adventures started with him as an entrepreneur, selling snowman assembly packages to the masses. He then built off of that success and became a venture capitalist, armed with a BlackBerry and a full repertoire of VC jargon. When he last made an appearance 12 months ago, Snoman had become a global jetsetter, traveling to England, India and China. He also expressed some concern over the carried interest tax. However, he should have been more concerned
As the economy contracts and layoffs abound everywhere, the plight of one man seems hardly worth talking about. But on Thursday, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil complaint against William J. "Boots" Del Biaggio III alleging that he defrauded investors, banks and private lenders out of $65 million. According to the SEC complaint, Del Biaggio fraudulently pledged securities owned by innocent customers of a San Francisco-based broker dealer as collateral for more than $45 million in personal loans. The complaint states that Del Biaggio used $25 million of the loan proceeds to purchase an interest in the Nashville Predators professional hockey team, and used the rest
Washington Mutual Inc., the former owner of Washington Mutual Savings Bank, is aiming to sell its stakes in 10 venture funds, according to a bankruptcy court filing last Friday. The VC holdings include investments in Arch Venture Partners (Fund V); ArrowPath Venture Capital (Fund II); Digital Partners (Fund III); FT Ventures (Funds II and III […]
For the most part, the dozen or so venture folk I’ve talked with or emailed in the last week are a positive lot. They admit that the economy is awful and the situation looks grim for a few years to come, but they believe, among other things, that the souring economy will help bring a correction […]
Fund of funds plans mid-market co-investment vehicle targeting buyouts and growth equity

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