Archive for October, 2007

October 31, 2007

Carbonrally

Company Name: Carbonrally

Company URL: http://www.carbonrally.com/

Citation URL:

Formation Date: 2007

Funding Status: ?

Investors: ?

Founders or Execs past companies: Orange

Industry: Consumer Web

Offering Description: Reduce global warming by taking quick & easy challenges.
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October 26, 2007

BigSwerve

Company Name: BigSwerve

Company URL: http://www.bigswerve.com/search/

Citation URL:

Formation Date: 2006

Funding Status: Seed?

Investors:

Founders or Execs past companies: EMC

Offering Description: BigSwerve is a great new service that organizes and captures what people say when they comment on blog posts. While reading blogs is a great way to get a fresh perspective or keep up on the latest events, you are missing half the conversation if you don’t read the comments. Until now, keeping up with comments or people whose comments you find particularly insightful has been tough to do … Bigswerve changes that.

October 24, 2007

Punchbowl Software

Genotrope Record: Punchbowl Software

Company URL: MyPunchbowl.com

Citation URL: http://venturebeat.com/2007/10/02/mypunchbowl-lands-seed-funding-for-online-invitations/

Formation Date: 2006

Funding Status: Seed Round

Investors: Intel Capital and eCoast Angels.

Founders or Execs past companies: Adobe, Bose Corp.

Industry: Consumer Web

Offering Description: a new web application for online invitations and party planning. MyPunchbowl provides software for every stage of planning. With MyPunchbowl.com you’ll actually enjoy planning while saving time.

October 23, 2007

Change is in the air for old guard Boston area VC’s

I just got wind of a new start up funding by a couple of venerable Top Tier Boston VC’s that blew my socks off. These are old school Communications infrastructure, Enterprise software kind of guys with Midas Touch rankings. They just ponied up on a round for a new company in a market that would make even PG smile. They also wrapped the whole deal up in a matter of weeks, with unproven founders, not in their stable of past deals. Maybe the local entrepreneurial community won’t have to automatically move to Silicon Valley if they want to fund a Web company.

I would love to spill the beans, but to do so would compromise my ability to gain info in the future. The company is in stealth for the time being but one of the founders is a known blogger, so I will let him break the story.

Update: The company is Viximo and is now well on it’s way.

October 22, 2007

Did Boston VC’s let the the seed corn rot?

I was speaking with Adam Green the CEO of Grazr recently and we were talking about what happened to all the boomer software developers. Conjecture was they either made their money pre bubble burst or became disenchanted when there wasn’t much interesting going on 2001 to 2006. The conversation then turned towards the root cause of their disappearance.

With the VC’s in Boston taking a powder, the field became infertile and now is in need of some serious fertilization. Adam pointed out that while the Boston VC’s waited out the downturn, the ecosystem withered. We know that while nothing was going on here, there was still activity in Silicon Valley, ie… PayPal IPO 2002, Google IPO 2004, etc… The end result is that Boston is now playing catch up in the Web space. Another issue that has compounded the problem is that the continued activity in Web businesses out West has created a class of investors that does not exist here. A lot of companies are funded by angel investors that are seasoned Web entrepreneurs using significant amounts of cash to seed the next generation of up and comers. We don’t have the equivalent here.

So on the one hand you hear “we didn’t get burned when the bubble burst”, what that means is that we didn’t participate in a major field of innovation (actually turned down deals that went to SV) and now we don’t have a bull pen of founders to build companies in this space.

October 22, 2007

Flimp Media Inc.

Company Name: Flimp Media, Inc.

Company URL: http://www.flimp.net

Citation URL:  http://inbrief.prweekblogs.com/2007/10/18/flimp-media-introduces-digital-canvas/

Formation Date: 2006

Funding Status: Privately Funded

Investors: Private Investors

Founders or Execs past companies: Environmental News Network (ENN.com), Lycos.com, Roots Inc (acquired by Novozymes), TJX Companies, Inc.

Industry: B2B, Web Video Marketing Technology

Offering Description: Flimp Media, Inc. develops next generation hosted software platforms for web video and rich media direct marketing, sales and communications. We also provide web video marketing services and technical support to clients. Flimp Media’s patent-pending Digital Canvas video microsite technology provides users with the ability to quickly create and distribute self-tracking rich media (flash) microsites called Flimps without any programming or technical skills.

October 19, 2007

EnvIO Networks

Company Name: EnvIO Networks

Company URL: http://www.envionetworks.com/

Citation URL: http://www.dmwmedia.com/tags/envio-networks

Formation Date: 2007

Funding Status: Series A, Stealth

Investors: Matrix Partners, North Bridge Venture Partners

Founders or Execs past companies: Winphoria, FusionOne Networks

Industry: Mobile Application

Offering Description: We’re delivering a product that defines a new category of mobile application, bringing content to subscribers in new and innovative ways. Socially Oriented?

October 17, 2007

StylePath

Company Name: StylePath
Company URL: stylepath.com/shop
Citation URL:

Formation Date: 2007
Funding Status: Self-funded
Investors: Self-funded
Founders or Execs past companies: Smarter Living, Lycos, Ascend, Lucent, Gap, Opt-Intelligence
Industry: Consumer Web, ecommerce
Offering Description: StylePath’s visual search technology matches people to products based on their personal taste, and creates social networks for people of all styles. This patented process simplifies on-line shopping by offering more accurate product recommendations.

October 16, 2007

Genotrope integrates BUZZ in theHUB

We are pleased to announce that BUZZ in theHUB is now a part of Genotrope the job website. Genotrope is focused on opportunities at Boston/Cambridge area start-ups and emerging technology companies. Registration takes 30 seconds and an email address. Put in your profile data and check it out. The Research Company page with the Company Tree graph is fun to explore.
Genotrope’s novel approach uses the concept of “corporate DNA” to match individuals and companies. Find a company first, then find a position in the company.

October 16, 2007

Paul Graham Gets Vague when Boston needs analysis

Paul Graham, founder of Y-Combinator, chief driver of the Boston Web 2.0 scene and accomplished essayist has long been chastising the Boston Venture community. Mostly he points out how conservative and tentative they are when it comes to investing in Web 2.0 and Consumer Web companies. He encourages his fledgling companies to relocate to Silicon Valley where the VC’s are more aggressive and understand start ups better.

I believe he is referring to his type of start ups which are mostly Web 2.0 consumer plays, but the Boston start-up market would be better served if he used his powers of analysis to more thoroughly evaluate the issue. Just making a general statements about Boston VC’s not understanding start ups, will not move the mountain. It reminds me of Scott Kirsner prodding the top tier Boston VC’s to open up to entrepreneurs and start blogging, when the old guard is rolling in IPOs from Airvana, Starent Networks, Bladelogic, Netezza, Constant Contact, AcmePacket and the Q2 IPO numbers are equivalent to Silicon Valley. Things are changing but it is hard to see it when the old ways have been successful.

I am hoping that if he can delve into data regarding the price of slaves in ancient Greece and Rome to support an essay regarding the variations in income in modern society, then a more thorough analysis comparing the Boston and Silicon Valley VC communities could lend more credence to the discussion than generalities. My wish list would include topics such as sector preferences and expertise, per-capita and company density comparisons to IPO or funding levels, and a discussion on why the perception is that CA. can market and Boston cannot. Could there be some insight into Microsoft’s problems and the fact that is run by people from the Boston area? So many possibilities!

I always look forward to a new essay at http://www.paulgraham.com/index.html and if a future article can shed more light on improving the Boston start-up market, I am all for it. I realize that Mr. Graham may not take up the challenge presented here, so if anyone else would like to delve into the details, please do so, as it is well beyond the scope of my abilities to attempt the project. I look forward to the results.