Vinod Khosla’s Pitch How VCs Think

Introducing – VendorDB

As I alluded to in an earlier post, I’ve been hard at work on a little side project for the advertising world which has now officially launched – VendorDB.

Developed with my good friend and former co-worker, Dan Murphy, VendorDB is the comprehensive database of vendors and service providers for the advertising industry. Access detailed vendor information, ratings and peer reviews. All for free.

The mission is simple – help producers, creatives and those involved in the creative production process research and find the best vendor for the job.

The site offers a number of great features that make the vendor hunt fast and easy:

  • Comprehensive vendor directory containing broadcast, interactive, print, radio, experiential vendors and more
  • Search by deliverable or keyword
  • Browse by tags
  • Read reviews from peers in the industry

If you’re curious about the tech behind it, here’s our stack:

And I can’t forget to mention a couple other amazing people who helped make this a reality – Mike Hansen (design), Jake Bellacera (front-end), Emily Green, Lindsay Langenburg. Thank you all!

More Trends with IPOs and VC Investment

Came across a few more tidbits since my previous post on IPOs. The first comes from Fortune’s Dan Primack who reported that “ten companies have priced U.S. IPOs so far [last] week, and each one has done so either at the bottom of their proposed price range, or below it altogether.” He thinks we’re moving into “trend” territory now.

On the flip side the latest MoneyTree report from PwC, the NVCA and Thomson Reuters reports that venture capitalists invested the most money since Q2 2001 last quarter. Overall, VCs pumped $9.5 billion into 951 U.S.-based companies last quarter, representing a 12% increase in dollars and 14% decrease in deals from Q4 2013.

The quarter included nine rounds of $100 million or more, including top raiser Dropbox ($325m). Software was the leading sector with more than $4 billion, followed by biotech (1.06b), IT services ($815m) and media/entertainment ($743m). Silicon Valley topped the pack regionally with a whopping $4.7 billion for its startups, followed by New England ($1.01b), New York Metro ($961m) and LA/Orange County ($519m).

Troubles in IPO Land?

USA Today reported that all three of the initial public offerings that started to trade last Thursday, lender Ally Financial and drugmakers Adamas Pharmaceuticals and Cerulean, all fell below their offering prices.

Ally Financial broke by falling 4.7 percent below its $25 a share offering price, while Adamas plunged 12 percent from its $16 a share IPO price and Cerulean lost 6.6 percent from its $7 IPO price… While it’s unusual to see three IPOs break in one day, the number of such troubled deals continues to mount. There are now 58 IPOs priced within the past 12 months that are trading below their IPO prices, says John Fitzgibbon of That means a quarter of all deals priced in the period are now broken.

The WSJ also reported last night that Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, sold fewer shares than expected in their IPO. The IPO price was $17 a share, in line with, but at the bottom of, the projected range of $17 to $19. The company sold 16.8 million shares, fewer than the 20 million expected.

So is this just folks tiring of new offerings or are we looking at the start of something bigger?

VC Round Sizes Continue Upward Climb

Pitchbook has come up with a first-quarter infographic that features a few surprises. First, four funds garnered more than 50 percent of the capital raised in the first three months of this year.

The first quarter also saw the most capital invested in a single quarter in the history of venture capital. And we’ve also just seen the most IPOs in a single quarter since the fourth quarter of 2007.

In fact, according to a new report by Thomson Reuters and the NVCA, 36 venture-backed IPOs raised $3.3 billion during the first quarter of 2014, a 50 percent increase, by number of new listings, compared to the previous quarter. The first quarter also marked the fourth consecutive quarter to see 20 or more venture-backed IPOs.

HipChat vs Slack – Part 2

UPDATE – If you’re interested in the HipChat Server beta, you can apply here.

UPDATE 2 – HipChat is now free for unlimited users. Read more here.

Both HipChat and Slack continue to evolve their product offerings with the most notable improvement being HipChat’s recent beta release of video chat and screen sharing. Here’s a quick rundown of the two offerings with a few important distinctions highlighted.

HipChat Slack
Pricing $0 per user (unlimited users, no limitations)$2 per user (HipChat Plus which includes video calling and unlimited, searchable message history) $0 per user (unlimited users, but limited to searching latest 10k messages, 5 integrations, 5GB file storage)$8 per user
Contract No No
Persistent Rooms Yes Yes
Private Rooms Yes Yes
1-to-1 Chat Yes Yes
Video Chat Yes No
Screen Sharing Yes No
File Sharing Yes Yes
Search Yes (launches browser) Yes (native)
Multiple Accounts No Yes
Google Authentication No Coming Soon
Guest Access Yes Coming Soon
SSL Yes Yes
UI Language English Only English Only
Self-hosted Option In Beta No
API Yes Yes
Integrations Lots Lots
Integration Limit No Yes (maximum of 5 on free plan)
Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, iOS, Browser Mac, Android, iOS, Browser