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, Topix.net, Digg and Memeorandum. I had written about it when the service entered a closed beta (and before I investigated a potential investment). It is now open to everyone… who speaks French. The English, German, Spanish and Italian versions of the service will be available later in the summer. I am pleased to do join my friends Loic Le Meur and Martin Varsavsky in this syndicate, backing Pierre Chappaz (founder of Kelkoo that he sold to Yahoo in 2004 for $600M) and a great product team led by Wikio founder Laurent Binard.