Posts Tagged ‘Mint.com’

Correction to Mint.com Story; Shout-out to Felicis Ventures

September 21, 2009

I made a boo-boo on the recent Mint.com I wrote for BW. Turns out that Baseline Ventures did not invest in Mint.com. Ron Conway personally invested in the company as he was forming Baseline. However, Conway is no longer part of Baseline, Conway tells me via email. Over the summer, he started a sister investment firm called SV Angel LLC.

Credit to Aydin Senkut of Felicis Ventures for pointing out the error. Senkut says the organizer of STIRR, the networking event for entrepreneurs where Mint.com founder Aaron Patzer met First Round Capital co-founder Josh Kopelman, also referred Senkut to the deal after Senkut introduced Patzer to Conway and Paul Buchheit.

Buchheit is a rising star in the Valley, having coded Gmail as the 23rd employee of Google, coining Google’s “Don’t be evil” motto, and then co-founding social network aggregator FriendFeed, along with three other former Google employees. In August, Facebook acquired FriendFeed.

In other news, Senkut tells me that things are also going swimmingly well for this new firm. “Mint is my fifth exit in less than 4 years, allowing me to have a positive annualized IRR that’s right below the second highest in Cambridge Associates venture return study in 2008 (my firm was not included but it’s comparable),” writes Senkut. Way to go Aydin!

Mint.com: A Vindication of the Super-Angel VCs

September 16, 2009

Check out this follow-up story to the feature I wrote on super-angels back in May.

Mint.com: Nurtured by Super-Angel VCs
Intuit is acquiring a startup conceived by a “25-year-old kid” and funded by First Round Capital, a new breed of high-risk, early-stage venture capitalists

By Spencer E. Ante

Intuit’s purchase of Mint.com was a big win for Mint CEO Aaron Patzer and the rest of the 38-person staff he assembled to run the personal finance Web site. Yet the $170 million acquisition also vindicated a new breed of early-stage investor that is betting aggressively on startups while big-name venture capital firms conserve capital and shy away from risk. These so-called super angels are trying to reinvigorate venture capital by taking it back to its roots, when firms were smaller, nimbler, and more adept at helping to build companies from the ground up.

Mint.com owes much of its success to one such investor, First Round Capital, which opted to back the fledgling company at a time when other VCs demurred. Indeed, the Mint.com acquisition is First Round Capital’s largest exit, beating out the $100 million sale of portfolio company Powerset to Microsoft (MSFT). And although First Round Capital would not quantify the return on its investment, co-founder Josh Kopelman says the Mint.com deal generated the highest return of any deal the firm has done. Previously its best return came when eBay (EBAY) acquired StumbleUpon for $75 million, which generated more than 14 times First Round Capital’s original investment. “I don’t think this changes our strategy,” Kopelman says. “It is continued validation for our approach.”

Read the rest of my BusinessWeek story here.


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