3 Websites for Early Stage Tech Investors

Peter Thiel reminded the TechCrunch audience this week how unique and impactful Silicon Valley is. He predicted it will continue to lead the world in innovation and disruption for at least the next two decades. He said he’d be “long on Silicon Valley” and “short on New York.” New York is developing a fantastic startup culture; but data shows that no one is close to Silicon Valley in attracting the best talent, churning out the best startups and attracting the most funding year after year.

Besides being the home of Y Combinator, the world’s most successful startup accelerator, there are many other websites and tools that originated in Silicon Valley/San Francisco which continue to make this the epicenter of entrepreneurship and venture capital in the world. Here are three really important ones, two of which got significant airtime at TechCrunch this year:

Crunchbase – What has been funded

Angelist – What is being funded

Product Hunt – What will get funded next

Crunchbase now has 2 million monthly users. They announced that 1,000 “Crunchbase Venture Partners” which include VC funds, accelerators, and incubators have agreed to keep their portfolio companies up-to-date on Crunchbase. It has the potential to be the broadest database of deal flow tracking as well as the most accurate. Spot checking it today I found several errors. But it is still the first source I check when looking up a tech company I haven’t heard of. Crunchbase then Wikipedia.

Angelist is now providing about $10 million per month in trackable funding. It has introduced a syndication model allowing groups of angels to pool capital into a “popup venture fund” that can provide significant funding comparable to a Series A round. The two largest deals so far have been close to $1 million, but it appears that Angelist has significant momentum and deal sizes will grow.

Product Hunt is a new San Francisco-based company which just raised close to $1 million in August. It provides an early warning radar system to identify on a daily basis new products that are being spotted which have potential.

 

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Announced: $23 million venture fund in Provo, Utah

This may not seem like a big deal to some of you. Silicon Valley has many billion dollar venture funds, after all. But for startups in Utah, this is huge news.

A $23 million fund focused on seed investments of $100k to $1 million can provided a needed boost to dozens of companies. If even a single startup funded by Peak Ventures follows the path of billion-dollar Utah companies such as Omniture, Vivint, Ancestry, InsideSales, or Qualtrics, the ripple effects will boost the economy and entrepreneurship for years to come.

Most large venture funds focus on later stage investments–not in the seed round. In fact, only 1.5% of the $13 billion in US venture funding last quarter was reported to be seed stage funding.

From the Q2 2014 MoneyTree Report:

“Seed stage investments rose 46 percent in dollars and 20 percent in deals with $189 million invested into 55 deals in the second quarter.”

In that context, a new $23 million fund in one of the hottest startup areas of the country is a really big deal.

One of the best venture funds in the country is First Round Capital with offices in Pennsylvania and San Francisco. They too focus on being the first money into new companies. They are now on their 5th fund and have invested in hundreds of companies, including some well-known companies like Mint, Warby Parker, and Uber, as well as one of my new favorites, Lob.

Huge congrats to Jeff Burningham, Sid Krommenhoek, and the other Peak Capital partners for getting this fund organized and announced yesterday!

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