Parker’s Project Agape = Friendster + Facebook? (VentureBeat)
Matt Marshall of Venture Beat wrote an interesting item on Sean Parker’s newest venture, Project Agape. One line (quoting Parker) in the post particularly struck my attention.
“The social graph,” he says, referring to the connection people have with others through multiple degrees, “is the critical ingredient.”
Thus, I found it fitting to illustrate Sean Parker’s network of relevant people, investor, and company connections in the Silicon Valley using LinkSViewer. Project Agape is still relatively stealth, but there are a few key points from Matt’s earlier interview: Sean Parker’s strong ties to Peter Thiel, and their VC Firm, The Founders Fund. From this limited info., I searched for and mapped Parker, Thiel, and The Founders Fund together (Source: LinkSV.com). First I looked at their People Map and then their Investment Map (Pendants dropped).
People Relational Map for Peter Thiel (Investor = Yellow; Outside Board Member = Peach), Sean Parker (Investor = Yellow; Management Team Member = Rose), and The Founders Fund (Tan) - Pendants dropped. Notes: (1) Related Outside Board Members: Michael Moritz, John Malloy, Roelof Boetha, Keith Rabois, Konstantin Guericke, Reid Hoffman, David Sze, Tim Koogle; (2) Related Management Team Members: Max Levchin; Matt Cohler; (3) Related Companies: Plaxo, Facebook, Friendster, PayPal, Poewerset, Xoom, Tagged, Slide, LinkedIn, Wink, Jaxtr, RapLeaf, Engage.com, Quantcast.
Aruba Networks’ IPO gets warm reception (MarketWatch)
Aruba Networks People Map (Companies filtered out) = Happy campers? This is Aruba’s current management team = inside board (blue links), outside board (red links), and investors (green links) (Source: LinkSV.com)
I have been keeping an eye on Aruba Networks’ IPO based on bullish predictions on the CapitalBLOG (2/7/07; 3/25/07). This was based on the relational capital of their investment network - related investor public company connections. Far from it for a trained electrical engineer to be self-aggrandizing, but I Called It (in deference to Stephen Colbert). Then again, I did not invest in Aruba - too bad, it is already on of the top IPOs for this year (after only 1 day). This being stated, I use this post to describe my experiences in following the Aruba IPO. The goal is to explore the anatomy of an IPO from an outsider’s perspective - I consider myself a network analyst, not a financial analyst.
Moritz Steps down from Google’s board (VentureBeat)
Before one reads too much into this, let’s look at Moritz’ current & former board maps for SV companies.
Michael Moritz Relational Map (Current Boards Only). Note how all companies are private (except PayPal).
Michael Moritz Relational Map (Former Boards Only, Active Companies). Note how all companies are public.
Michael Moritz Relational Map (All 25 Boards, Investors Filtered Out). Note how all inactive companies were acquired or went public (except Telegis).
Felicis Ventures Relational Map. Notes: (1) Investment ties to Web 2.0 companies Dogster, BuzzLogic, RapLeaf, & Feedster; (2) Co-Investor Ties to Web 2.0 Top Angels Gil Penchina, Ron Conway, & Jeff Clavier. The above map references the last map on our CapitalBLOG post combining Top Web 2.0 Angels w/ VC Firms.
Relational Map of Aruba Networks. Notes: (1) Public company ties to Sequoia and Matrix (Apple & SanDisk); (2) Public company tie to Daniel Warmenhoven (Network Appliance CEO). Reference CapitalBLOG post (2/7/07) comparing Aruba to BigBand and GluMobile (recent IPOs).
As posted in GigaOm, there has been a mysterious change of CEO at Stoke after completing a big ($50M) round of funding with the likes of Sequoia and Kleiner. Randall Kruep is out as the CEO and now listed only as a founder. Dennis Barsema, who was on the board, is now listed as the CEO. Here’s a look at the combined network for Barsema and Kruep - see how else they are connected, and what else is involved in their network.
(Click on the map to view a live version with legend)
Barsema and Kruep probably knew each other at Redback; Kleiner probably knew Kruep at Redback… so was it a secret? Was it a surprise? Om’s right when he says “Hmmm.”
At this rate, counting Web 2.0 deals will soon become meaningless because all Web startups will be Web 2.0 companies. You could argue that is already the case. The number of Web 2.0 startups out there is much greater than these numbers may suggest, because many of them are self-financed or take on only angel money.
I decided to investigate the following two questions using LinkSViewer maps: (1) What role did the top Angel Investors play in Silicon Valley Web 2.0 companies in 2006?; (2) How do they compare to the top VC Investors?
I first examined the top 15 SV Angel investors - these were individuals with two or more Internet companies funded in 2006. The resultant 15 individuals (alphabetically): Mark Andreessen, Ron Conway, Frank Caufield, Jeff Clavier, Auren Hoffman, Reid Hoffman, Mitch Kapor, Josh Kopelman, Mike Maples, Pierre Omidyar, Gil Penchina, Kenwal Rekhi, David Rose, Michael Tanne, and Peter Thiel. Click on image for Full-Size (navigable) LinkSViewer Map.
The recent Venture One & Ernst & Young report on Web 2.0 notes $844.4M in Web 2.0 VC investments in 2006 (up more than double from the previous year, see VC Ratings Post). I set out to examine a slice of the Web 2.0 landscape using LinkSViewer. For this I used the Company Filter feature to only include Internet Sector companies that were last funded in 2006 for the three most active Web 2.0 VC firms: Benchmark, Sequoia, & Omidyar (the other top investor, DFJ, had only one connection to the network - Glam Media connection to Accel Partners). The resultant relational map is below (Click on image for fullsize view in a new window).
Top VC Web 2.0 Relational Map. Notes: (1) The inclusion of prominent Web 2.0 companies such as AdMob, Bebo.com, Digg, JAJAH, MetaCafe, Wikia, and YouTube; (2) The VC connections to Accel, Globespan, Fidelity, Bessemer, and Greylock; and (3) The Angel investor connections to Ron Conway, Marc Andreessen, Gil Penchina, Mitch Kapor, Josh Kopelman, Reid Hoffman, & Peter Thiel.
Commentary: The people, companies, and investors in the map provide an indicator of the key players in the Web 2.0 space. The filter of Internet companies funded in 2006 resulted in many companies in the Web 2.0 space - that the Internet and Web 2.0 are becoming more synonymous in recent times. Realize that this only includes Silicon Valley companies (although this accounts for about 50% of all Web 2.0 investments from the Venture One report). Realize that the maps would be different with other VC firms included, this is just a slice of the Web 2.0 space. Angel investors are more prominent in the Web 2.0 space because there is less money needed for a startup and this fact may result in actually more Web companies taking on capital from non-VC firms (see Business 2.0 Editor Erick Schonfeld’s blog for this initial observation).
Illustrating the connections in the above map in more detail, I used LinkSViewer to drop pendants or single-tie connections. I then separated the above map into investors (Investment Map preset tab) and inside and outside boards (People Map preset tab). The Investment and People Maps (with pendants dropped) ensue…
VoIP provider sets IPO terms (Venture Beat)
Veraz Network Investment Relational Map. Notes: (1) VC co-investment ties between Argonaut, Battery, KPCB, Levensohn, & Norwest; (2) Link to public companies Chordiant Software (Battery/Norwest), Extreme Networks (KPCB/Norwest), & Infinera (Argonaut/KPCB, recent IPO filing); and (3) Link to private companies Friendster & IP Unity (Battery/KPCB), KnowNow (KPCB/Levensohn), and Reconnex (Levensohn/Norwest).
Emergence Capital preparing 2nd fund (VC Ratings)
Relational Map for Emergence Capital: Notes: (1) Common investments w/ Foundation and TPG (Success Factors & Ketera); (2) Board Interlocks with Emergence’s Brian Jacobs (Forbes Midas List #70) and Gordon Ritter (Forbes Midas List #34); and (3) Despite only 7 active SV portfolio companies, Emergence had two of its partners on the 2007 Midas List.
Zazzle zooms in Alexa Rankings: The Top Alexa Mover and Shaker for the week moved up from 4,028 to 760 (granted, Alexa is only one measure). Zazzle personalizes t-shirts, coffee mugs, stamps, etc. The movement is in no doubt due to a big ad campaign, but they are nevertheless generating some pageview interest. Here is Zazzle’s Relational map:
Zazzle Relational Map. Notes: (1) Zazzle is funded by KPCB and Sherpalo (their only 2 investors); (2) John Doerr and Ram Shriram sit on the board (their only 2 outside board members); (3) Zazzle has capital relations with Google, Tellme, and Podshow (it is a full Kleiner-Sherpalo sibling); and (4) Zazzle and Google are the only two companies that have both Doerr and Shriram on their current board.
Cisco buys NeoPath, a network storage company (Venture Beat)
NeoPath Relational Map (Pendants dropped, Inactive companies included). Notes: (1) Cisco was an investor in NeoPath; (2) Cisco relational investment ties to August Capital = BroadLogic & Ubicom; (3) All of the active companies are private; (4) Only 1 inactive acquired company = Caw Networks; and (5) Cisco relational investment tie to Bill Joy (Caw).
VC Ratings @ thedeal.com reports on the company The Funded, which offers ratings for VC Firms. A blurb on the post that drew my attention:
While the news and opinion in this blog hopefully provide readers with a sense of which VCs are doing well (and badly) and why, there is little quantitative analysis that would provide statistical-backed insight into not just which firms are doing good work, but which individual partners adds value to those around them.
I believe that our Relational Capital Index would be a good metric along these lines. The main idea here is the quantification of network relations based on the strategic value of VC firm connections. More to come: (1) we plan on publishing our rankings of Silicon Valley Investment and People (Board) Relational Capital; (2) we will incorporate network metrics as an optional advanced feature on LinkSViewer. For those who want to learn more, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.