Posts Tagged ‘Digg’

Need Money for Your Startup? Meet the Super-Angels

May 24, 2009

Need money for your startup? Then you should read my new feature, “These Angels Go Where Others Fear to Tread,” in this week’s issue of BusinessWeek.

The story is about a new and increasingly prominent class of investors, which I call super-angels, who are financing startups as big-name venture capital firms conserve their cash. Over the last few years, these firms have funded hundreds of startups, including top outfits such as Facebook, Digg and Twitter.

My story focuses on First Round Capital and its co-founder Josh Kopelman. But there are a growing number of these firms, including Baseline Ventures, Soft Tech VC, Maples Investments, Felicis Ventures, True Ventures, and others.

[Risk-takers: First Round’s partners Howard Morgan, Chris Fralic, and Rob Hayes]

Since there seems to be more super-angels popping up every week, I am going to start a sort of wiki list of the firms, which I hope you all will add names to. Check out the story here.

I also sat down with BusinessWeek assistant managing editor Jim Elllis for an interview about the story in our new weekly video podcast. Check it out here.


Were Digg and Web 2.0 Over-hyped?

December 19, 2008

If you haven’t read my story on Digg and the momentary decline of Web 2.0 companies then you should. It’s gotten a lot of pick-up and play today, with links from CNET’s Caroline McCarthy, Valleyag’s Owen Thomas, TechMeme,, Venture Chronicles and other places.

Click here to read the story, which reveals Digg’s financials for the first time and also has solid sourcing for its valuation during its most recent round of venture financing.

I don’t think my story is the definitive statement on Web 2.0. It’s just an interesting snapshot in time. A few years from now, the Web 2.0 generation of companies may very well have ended up fulfilling their promise. But for now, those hopes look unfulfilled and a bit over-hyped.

Digg: Not For Sale

December 2, 2008

Today, BusinessWeek published my story on Digg, the popular news aggregation Web site.

In the piece, CEO Jay Adelson says Digg is no longer for sale and he details the company’s drive for profits amid the recession (now that it’s official and all).

Here’s the lead:

“Over the last few years, Digg has become Silicon Valley’s version of the boy who cried wolf. Like the child who warned local villagers that a wolf was about to attack his flock of sheep, potential buyers of Digg have repeatedly leaked reports that the company was about to be sold, but a sale was never consummated.

Not anymore. In an interview with BusinessWeek, Digg Chief Executive Officer Jay Adelson says the popular news aggregation Web site is no longer for sale, and the focus of the company is to build an independent business that reaches profitability as quickly as possible. That means the four-year-old startup will dial back some of its expansion plans, instead prioritizing projects that generate revenue and profit.”

Click here to read the rest of the piece.