• Startups

    CrunchFund Backed LikeIt.com Will Shut Down April 30th

    According to a banner across the top of the company’s website, interest-based people discovery service LikeIt will shut down tomorrow. Originally called TheComplete.me, the company relaunched as LikeIt.com in late January of this year. Its Facebook app and shows ~1,000 monthly active users, and the website doesn’t appear to have ever had enough traffic to produce a traffic graph on Alexa. According to Crunchbase, the company raised $1.22M from Intel Capital, CrunchFund, and Plentyofish 1 year ago and received an additional $500,000 in January from Western Technology Investment. From my own experience it’s pretty difficult to burn through nearly $2M in a year with such a small team, so it…

  • Startups

    Mis-Management & Incompetence at Ecomom

    We benefit from a startup culture where it’s okay to fail, but that doesn’t mean we should avoid examining the mistakes that lead to the loss of capital, jobs, and the opportunity cost when increasingly limited venture capital dollars go to the wrong companies. It’s time for Silicon Valley to take doing business as seriously as we take writing code. Ecomom controller Philip Prentiss wrote a post-mortem of the company’s financial and managerial situation, chronicling how things fell apart in the months leading up to shutting down. His analysis ultimately points to Ecomom CEO Jody Sherman’s lack of business acumen: “He was not a numbers guy. I would bring the…

  • Startups

    Thoughts On YC Interview Prep

    Companies currently interviewing for Y Combinator have taken the Internet’s advice to reach out to alumni to practice before they present, but unfortunately we don’t scale very well. I’ve prepped with a dozen teams so far and will probably talk to a dozen more before the weekend ends, but that will hardly scratch the surface. I am asking them all the same questions, so I thought I’d sum it up here for people I won’t have time to chat with. My phone number is 425-698-7497. Call me for a 10 minute prep session. If I don’t answer just try again (or you could build a Twilio app to keep trying…

  • Posts,  Startup Index,  Startups

    Strikingly, BuildZoom and Bitnami Lead Hottest Y Combinator Winter 2013 Startups

    Tomorrow marks 1 month since Y Combinator Demo Day for the Winter 2013 class of startups, and since I’ve been tracking their progress for awhile now I have a pretty good sense of who has seen sustained interest, growing traffic, and increased audience through social media. The weeks after Demo Day were a strange time, in some ways anti-climactic as companies leave the YC nest but also exciting as they begin to close in on funding rounds which will be announced in the coming months. On 3/25, 4/7, 4/15 and 4/21 we measured of several data points for each company. For this ranking we use Alexa rank (traffic) scaled to…

  • Startup Index,  Startups

    Weekly Traction Tracker: Who Is Hottest Among 1,100 Startups?

    This post is part of a series on data-driven blogging which includes the Startup Index and Investor Index. I have quantified companies from 500 Startups, Y Combinator, TechStars, Andreessen Horowitz and First Round Capital and would love to hear your feedback on what I should measure next. I hate subjective top X lists as much as the next guy, and since I’m tracking ~1,100 companies now I thought it would be fun to share the fastest growing folks of the past week. These are this week’s movers and shakers. Top 20 Startups – Website Traffic Growth* Interstate PinMyPet Bitnami Proteostasis Therapeutics AstroWatt Backerkit MinoMonsters Where Berry ZeroCater BabyJunk Coinbase AccelGolf…

  • Startup Index,  Startups

    Startup Index: First Round Capital – April 2013

    This post is part of the Startup Index series, which ranks companies and profiles investor portfolios on a monthly basis. I have previously indexed Y Combinator, 500 Startups, TechStars and Andreessen Horowitz. Like data-driven news? Check out the Traction Tracker and the Active Investor Index, and be sure to let me know which portfolio you’d like to see me index next in the comments or by emailing morrilldanielle (at) gmail. Ask around when you’re raising a seed or Series A round, and First Round Capital is one of the first investors on the lips of many entrepreneurs. I tend to trust my friends when they recommend an investor, so I…

  • Posts,  Startup Index,  Startups

    Investor Index: Discover the Most Popular VC & Angel Blogs

    Looking for the music? I’m trying something new and have embedded the entire Darwin Deez album! Scroll to the bottom of this post to hit play, because music makes reading spreadsheet a lot more fun. Update: This post may have been more timely than I realized. I just noticed that David Hornik’s most recent post from early March talked about marking 10 years as a VC blogger. He says it best in his post: I had no idea ten years ago that VentureBlog would prove a catalyst for a whole industry of bloggers. But I am thrilled that it has. Not only has blogging provided us venture capitalists with the…

  • Posts,  Startup Index,  Startups

    Traction Tracker: 84 Y Combinator Companies With Significant Traffic Growth

    What’s this music thing? I pair music with my posts, as I find it makes digesting spreadsheets a bit more fun. Enjoy! I’ve been compiling stats about the Y Combinator, 500 Startups and Andreessen Horowitz portfolio companies to produce The Startup Index. Website traffic tells only part of a company’s story, but how it changes over time can reveal who is gaining momentum and attention online. Focusing on Alexa ranking deltas, rather than absolute numbers, also shines a light on enterprise, hardware and developer focused startups who would normally get pushed down low on any traffic-based ranking system. Imagine “Hot Companies” Lists Driven By Data, Not PR Have you ever…

  • Startup Index,  Startups

    Zombie VC Post – The Bug Report

    What’s this? I usually pick a song I feel goes with the post and expresses my mood writing it. Enjoy, I hope it will enhance your reading experience. I’d like to address some bugs from Yesterday’s Zombie VCs post, which provided a list of investors who were inactive in Series A deals in the past 6 months according to Crunchbase, a self-reported database of deals updated by startups and their investors as follow-up to a post about helping founders find active investors during the Series A crunch and avoiding taking meetings that are a waste of time. I would like to express my appreciation to O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, MMC Ventures,…

  • Startups

    119 Investors Actively Doing Series A Deals Since March 1st

    Strategy #1 for Surviving the Series A Crunch: If you must pitch, at least pitch investors who are doing Series A deals right now. It will save you time and heartache. Despite the doom and gloom predictions about Series A Crunch there were 119 institutional investors (according to Crunchbase) who participated in a Series A round since the beginning of March 2013. I have ranked them by historical deal involvement size, and as a rule of thumb companies nearer to the top of list list are more likely to lead Series A rounds and companies lower on the list are more likely to participate (there are tons of exceptions) updated…