Jason Ball's TechBytes

Technology & Venture Capital. Early stage venture capital news mixed with personal views and comments

Tiger Launch in London

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I stopped by the Apple store tonight for the Tiger Launch Party. These three pics show how the line wraps around the building… I decided the line was a little bit longer than I was willing to wait in. I’ll see if things are a bit calmer over the weekend

Filed under: Apple Computer

Encompass Music Festival

If you’re staying in London over the bank holiday weekend and you’re a fan of cutting edge electronic music, you might want to catch Encompass. It has been described as a London version of Sonar.

Via Urban Junkies

Filed under: Other

VC Investments: US vs. EU

The U.S.:
“VentureOne reports that the number of deals and amount invested fell 9% and 16%, repectively, from a year ago to 474 deals and $4.6 billion in the first quarter of 2005.” More

The EU:
“According to a new report by Go4Venture, a fund-raising specialist for European technology companies, a sudden jump in the company’s proprietary industry activity indicator shows that the slump in the European venture-capital market has come to an end.” More

I can confirm that London Seed Capital and London Business Angels are significantly busier than last year, which supports the EU case. Anecdotal evidence gathered on a recent trip to Silicon Valley suggests that seed and early stage fundraising in the US is difficult- and that VCs there prefer to support their portfolios, supporting the VentureOne report.

However, the fine print in the VentureOne report suggests otherwise for the early stage market:

Early-stage (US) deals are on the rise. They comprised 32% of all deals in Q1, compared to 30% in Q4. The amount invested in early-stage companies, $235.2 million, was the highest since the fourth quarter of 2000. It seems VCs are wasting no time putting all the new funds they’ve raised to work.

Lies or statistics? I would welcome your comments and feedback.

Filed under: Venture Capital

Kleiner Perkins’ Zazzle.com Investment

One of the “under the radar” businessness listed in this Deal Flow article has me scratching my head:

Zazzle.com — Kleiner Perkins and Google board member Ram Shriram invested $16 million in the series A round of this Menlo Park, Calif. startup, which provides a marketplace for buying and selling custom goods on the Internet. Consumers can use the site to design a custom T-shirt, poster, print, or card and make money every time it sells. Zazzle was founded in 1999 and launched its service in 2003. Kleiner Perkins managing partner John Doerr and Shriram serve on the board.

A $16 million Series A round for a T-shirt site? With all due respect to KPCB, because they deserve it, an investment of this size in this space baffles me. From a London persective, it looks like they’re partying like it’s 1999 over in California.

Filed under: Venture Capital

Kleiner Perkins’ Zazzle.com Investment

One of the “under the radar” businessness listed in this Deal Flow article has me scratching my head:

Zazzle.com — Kleiner Perkins and Google board member Ram Shriram invested $16 million in the series A round of this Menlo Park, Calif. startup, which provides a marketplace for buying and selling custom goods on the Internet. Consumers can use the site to design a custom T-shirt, poster, print, or card and make money every time it sells. Zazzle was founded in 1999 and launched its service in 2003. Kleiner Perkins managing partner John Doerr and Shriram serve on the board.

A $16 million Series A round for a T-shirt site? With all due respect to KPCB, because they deserve it, an investment of this size in this space baffles me. From a London persective, it looks like they’re partying like it’s 1999 over in California.

Filed under: Venture Capital

Kleiner Perkins’ Zazzle.com Investment

One of the “under the radar” businessness listed in this Deal Flow article has me scratching my head:

Zazzle.com — Kleiner Perkins and Google board member Ram Shriram invested $16 million in the series A round of this Menlo Park, Calif. startup, which provides a marketplace for buying and selling custom goods on the Internet. Consumers can use the site to design a custom T-shirt, poster, print, or card and make money every time it sells. Zazzle was founded in 1999 and launched its service in 2003. Kleiner Perkins managing partner John Doerr and Shriram serve on the board.

A $16 million Series A round for a T-shirt site? With all due respect to KPCB, because they deserve it, an investment of this size in this space baffles me. From a London persective, it looks like they’re partying like it’s 1999 over in California.

Filed under: Venture Capital

Apple – Hot News

Thumbs up to my friend CK. He’s on the Apple – Hot News page.

Trent Reznor’s GarageBand Release

“Trent Reznor just did one of the coolest things an artist could do,” writes C.K. Sample, III, for tuaw.com, “and he did so in a specifically Apple-centric way. He released Nine Inch Nails’ new single, The Hand That Feeds, as a 70MB stuffed DMG file containing the entire song in GarageBand format with a note from Trent himself.” [Apr 17, 2005]

Filed under: Apple Computer

Back from Paris

ParisI just got back from Paris, and I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. The people were quite friendly- in contrast to the typical image that Parisians are rude and refuse to speak English. Everyone that I asked (in awful French) “Parlez-vous anglais?” Answered “Yes”.

So, a tip of the hat to Paris. I just wish it hadn’t been freezing cold.

Filed under: Other

European Tech Wire, New VC Blog

I stumbled upon European Tech Wire the other day. Looks like they have been going since late last year. Glad to see this site.

Also, there’s an article at the European Venture Capital Journal that flags up a few French VCs for those interested.

Filed under: Venture Capital

Venture Index Launch

Logo_viThe founders of VCR Directory have launched the new Venture Index tracking early stage VC in the UK.

“Venture Index today launches the UK’s first index designed to lift the lid on investments in small, unquoted UK companies. Venture Index is the first market indicator to accurately and transparently track “equity gap” investments of under £1 million across mainland UK. Updated each quarter, Venture Index will provide a 12 month rolling index of investment activity which gauges investor confidence in UK companies.

Sub £1 million deal information has been collected by Venture Index since October 2003 to provide an accurate historical context for its launch. Over this period, the data gathered shows that both the total number of deals and total amounts invested in smaller, unquoted UK companies has trended downward from a peak of £51 million invested in 287 deals in the twelve months to October 2004 to £40.3 million invested in 264 companies in the year to end of February 2005. This represents a fall of 21% in total value and 8% in volume. The average investment amount for companies raising capital at this end of the market has fallen from just under £178,000 to just under £153,000. However, it is worth noting that although the average investment amount has seen a drop, median investment size in the last quarter rose to £125,000 as opposed to only £118,163 in the last twelve months”

Filed under: Venture Capital

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