In 2008, just as the global economy was collapsing, one of the most storied venture capital firms in Silicon Valley, Sequoia Capital, gave a presentation that encouraged entrepreneurs to raise as much money as they could, and hunker down for a nuclear winter.
Three years later, the startup economy is zooming along. Many young companies large and small have been raising money at significant (and arguably exorbitant) valuations. A new breed of angel investor -- the 'super angel' -- has emerged, buoying the market for startup capital. And thanks to secondary markets for private company stock, founders and early employees at some of the most successful companies have been able to obtain liquidity.
But are the good times coming to an end, again?
Times are good for internet entrepreneurs. VC money is flowing again, supporting a startup boom the likes of which hasn't been seen since the late 1990s.
Large companies aren't shy about acquiring technology and talent, and for the most promising companies, the public markets are once again open for business.
Although much of the startup investment activity and buzz is focused on startups in Silicon Valley and New York, Europe isn't without startup action of its own.
Online takeaway ordering service Just-Eat has just secured $48m (£30m) in funding which will allow the company to consolidate its position in the UK and accelerate its expansion into other markets.
The funding round was co-led by Greylock Partners and Redpoint Ventures, with support from existing investor Index Ventures.
Founded in Denmark in 2000, the company partners with small takeaway restaurants and allows them to display menus and take orders from online customers.
At one point in the no-so-distant past, Digg was one of the hottest
startups on the internet. The Web 2.0 boom was in full swing, and Digg
and its founder Kevin Rose were the poster children for the next
generation of companies that would ride the wave to fame and fortune.
Digg, of course, rose to popularity by providing a platform that
democratized the news. Why rely on editors to determine what's
important and what's not?Let the wisdom of the crowd works its magic.
It was a simple idea, but a powerful one.
Startups looking for funding increasingly have a new class of investor
to pitch: super angels. These are individual angels who have raised
money from others in the hopes that their smallish funds will serve as
the basis for an investing model that merges the best of the angel and
The value proposition to entrepreneurs looking for funding: we're as
nimble and friendly as angels, but we have more money available if we
decide to make a big bet. But is this all a facade?
Starting a new business is a positive action, and in my experience most entrepreneurs are positive people. But sometimes that positivity can mask harsh realities that many entrepreneurs would rather ignore, and can lead them to buy into ideas that are detrimental to success.
Here are ten dangerous ideas that many startup entrepreneurs buy into that they shouldn't.
Mobile app store GetJar announced today that it has received $11m (£7.4m) in Series B funding from Accel Partners.
GetJar is the second largest mobile app store. and unlike Apple, it is an open ecosystem, providing apps for smartphones and feature phones across a range of platforms.
While browsing through my RSS reader earlier, I came across an interesting post on PaidContent: a Facebook app called Second Porch raised $1m in funding from an angel fund.
I immediately scratched my head and asked myself: do most entrepreneurs behind individual Facebook apps like Second Porch really need to raise funding for their app businesses? It's a question that I think is increasingly important as more and more entrepreneurs launch their ideas on Facebook, not as standalone websites.
Jason Calacanis has declared war on organizations that charge
entrepreneurs to pitch investors on their startups. With "boiling
blood", he used a post on his blog this weekend to shame these
organizations and to threaten them with extinction.
Singled out: a number of groups, including the well-known Keiretsu
Forum. All of which charge entrepreneurs fees to present their
businesses to "rich angel investors" who Calacanis believes are
exploiting "poor" entrepreneurs.
Popular microblogging service Twitter is the Silicon Valley equivalent of a Hollywood celebrity that the paparazzi can't stop following. And it doesn't look like that's set to change anytime soon given that the company may be on the verge of raising another massive round of funding.
According to TechCrunch's Michael Arrington, multiple sources are indicating that Twitter CEO Evan Williams disclosed a new $50m (give or take) round of funding at a company meeting. And the valuation for the round will be four times the previous round's $250m valuation. Yes, $1bn.