Blog Archives

Turning to page 40

It took me a few minutes to start writing something after putting in this title “Turning to page 40”. I re-read the many emails, Facebook private and wall messages, skype IMs, SMSs, twitter messages and greeting e-cards I received over the past 24 hours. I am grateful for all of these, a big Thank You to you all. One of my journalist friends nailed it: “Just wanted to chime in and wish you a great year … and decade, I suppose!”. A great decade is what I am wishing myself today, I guess for the first time. I only have a vague souvenir of my turning 20, I remember the 30 transition because of the great wines (and the headaches) we had, but for some reason I find that turning 40 is a bigger deal. Sort of not being old yet, but not being young any more. My good friend Reid Hoffman took the same turn a few weeks ago, … Read more »

AOL acquires Userplane to expand AIM network

A brief interruption of my holiday schedule to announce a great news: portfolio co Userplane has been acquired by AOL LLC a couple of weeks ago, and I just heard that the official press release is now up there. I started working with the three founders of the company, Mike Jones, Nate Thelen and Jave Hall, over a year ago, and it is really with delight that I am congratulating them, and the whole team, for such a great outcome (that I will not give any detail about, as AOL has elected not to disclose any financial information about the deal). So let’s just say: a great outcome for all involved.

Userplane is in the business of powering online communities with a suite of communication tools: Instant Messaging, Chat rooms, A/V Recorder – on a white label basis. The original model was to license these tools to very large social networking and dating sites (MySpace, Friendster,,…), … Read more »

Investment of the day: Mashery

Busy week: another of my recent investments was announced this morning. I have joined First Round Capital’s Josh Kopelman and my Search SIG co-chair Dave Mc Clure as founding investor of Mashery, Inc., a software infrastructure startup. We will actually not disclose much more than what Oren Michels, the CEO, has mentioned on his blog– but the company is essentially developing a much needed piece of functionality of the web services and mashups economy.

Our Mashery will be a resource for developers, API providers and mashup users. Over the next six months, we will release a range of services that will make it easier to develop, deploy and use mashups and other “user generated services”

I am excited to work with Oren again, who was the VP of Business Development of Feedster – of which Josh, Dave and I all were Angel investors.

Just to clarify by the way: it just so happens that four … Read more »

Two new investments: Rapleaf and Wikio

I was meant to mention it much earlier but last week went by so fast! I have joined the investors syndicate behind the Series A of Rapleaf, the startup headed by my friend Auren Hoffman. Rapleaf is looking at developing a comprehensive portable reputation system for Internet communication and commerce – a major piece of infrastructure that is yet to be built, and I am excited to be involved in that project. Matt Marshall has more about the funding, and the TechCrunch review is here.

Another investment that just closed (yes, I have done quite a few recently – more to be announced) is the initial round of financing of Wikio, a European startup that has developed a news search engine bringing together a number of functionality included in Google News,, Digg and Memeorandum. I had written about it when the service entered a closed beta (and before I investigated a potential investment). It … Read more »

Lightspeed-Gemini Internet Lab (LGiLab) launches with French TechCrunch Editor as General Manager

Blogging buddy Ouriel Ohayon, the Editor of the French version of TechCrunch and former ICQ Business Development director, has been appointed General Manager of a new seed stage Israeli investment vehicle, the Lightspeed-Gemini Internet Lab (LGiLab). The Lab is located in Herzliya (the Israeli equivalent of Palo Alto), and has appointed the former CEO of, Dan Ciporin, as Chairman.

Two well known VC firms, Gemini Israel Funds and LightSpeed Venture Partners, are funding the operations of the Lab and will be providing the capital to seed finance these companies. Their goal, I assume, is to efficiently support the development of a few projects in their initial phases, and figure out which ones make sense to invest in as VC deals. And they will be able to do so at a tiny fraction of the cost of Web 1.0 incubators that burnt through hundreds of millions of dollars.

Congratulations to Ouriel, and looking forward to hearing … Read more »

Off to NYC – might swing by Syndicate

For those of you who were expecting me in London to speak at Blogs and Social Media (and emailed to try and meet there), my sincere apologies. I had to cancel at the last minute to be in New-York for a series of meetings.

If I have time, I will swing by Syndicate, which seems to have a very interesting program over the next couple of days. Please keep me updated on the social gatherings of the conference at jeff [dot] clavier [at] gmail [dot] com .

Pictures of our new offices

Much of the week-end has been spent on packing and moving to our new offices, in downtown Menlo Park. There have a number of notable news over the past few days, but I have been very busy with mundane things like getting new furniture, Internet connectivity, a parking permit, etc… and a Verizon EVDO card (the Kyocera KPC650 – the one working fine on both PCs and Macs). Since the new office won’t be connected to the net for  a week, it seemed to be the perfect occasion to try EDVO. The result so far is conclusive: with compression turned on, effective bandwidth got close to 700 Kb – not too bad (!!!).

What I am not sure of is the drain on the battery generated by the card, and whether I should set the card so that it turns itself off automatically when a Wifi connection takes place.

Here are some pictures of the office “in progress”:

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Images of BlogHerCon


         Renee and JD                Pre-Conference Dinner          Business Blogging BOF


  Charlene after her BOF              Deborah Schultz             Patricia, Denise and Mary


Susan, Mary, and Christine      Elisa before her panel               John and Anina

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