Infopia raises $8 million

Congratulations to Infopia for closing on an $8 million funding round from Hummer Winblad and Trident Capital. Infopia is an ecommerce platform that helps customers get their products onto sites such as eBay, Amazon, Google, Overstock, Shopzilla and others. Bjorn Espenes and his partners have made some very powerful breakthroughs in e-commerce automation. This funding round is great to see.

Your Content Everywhere

Sling Media raised another $46 million to make your home entertainment content accessible wherever you travel.

I wonder what this means to Orb Networks, which I first saw at Always On in 2005, which also offers a way to access your home PC content (including TV) on your internet-connected PDA or mobile phone.

Here\’s an Alexa chart that shows how much web site traffic these companies are generating:

Angel Investors Acting Like VCs

A Business Week article (thanks John and Steve!) discusses that angel investors are banding together more often and investing larger amounts in less risky deals. The author mentions that more than 200 organized angel groups exist in the U.S. served by the Angel Capital Association.

I like seeing the growth from the organized angel groups.

FundingUniverse.com (one of our portfolio companies) helps by providing free online software (the DealFlow Suite) to help angel groups find quality business plans and growing companies that they want to learn more about.

Pitching VCs to Get Valuable Feedback

Even if you don\’t need to raise money, or if you know you probably aren\’t fundable, you should probably get in the habit of hanging out with and pitching VCs regularly. Why?

Because VCs have more meta-data about who is doing what than any one else in the business world. They are on the front line of all the emerging technologies, the best new ideas, and they know hundreds and hundreds of entrepreneurs and funded companies.

The Vision of Grow Utah Ventures

I\’m sitting inside the old greyhound bus station on Ogden\’s infamous 25th street.

But it isn\’t a bus station anymore. Utah visionary Alan Hall and his team at Grow Utah Ventures have purchased the old bus depot. They are renovating it and today are christening it the \”E Station.\”

E, of course, stands for entrepreneur.

Alan Hall\’s vision is for Grow Utah Ventures to be the most influential private sector force for economic development in the state of Utah, with a focus on Northern Utah.

Josh Coates: Disruptive Entrepreneur Speaks

If you are in Utah Thursday, you have to pay $10 to hear Silicon Valley transplant Josh Coates speak about how to start a company
and raise money. He is an incredible technologist with a disruptive
business model and he knows how to raise capital. He likes to challenge
the way the Utah angel and VC community fund startups. Josh likes the
Silicon Valley way. The event will be at Los Hermanos in Lindon at 3:30
pm. Don\’t miss this.

FundingUniverse.com

We are making serious progress with our FundingUniverse.com
business. Soon we\’ll announce some new capital, new leadership, and
some significant partnerships that will help this company move forward.
I love how the internet can create so much visibility for a new
business idea. What used to take years in business formation now takes
months.

If you know any angel investors or VCs, please encourage them to signup for FundingUniverse.com (it\’s free) and look at some of the 543 business plans that have been posted there in the last few months.

I\’ll be on a panel at the National Association of Seed and Venture
Capital conference in Philadelphia next week, primarily to demonstrate
the new DealFlow Suite (TM) which we make available to organized angel
investor groups around the country.

Finding Angels and VCs

I think LinkedIn.com is one of
the best ways to find angel investors in your area. With 3.5 million
members, including many investors, this is a great service and a great
way to get introduced through a mutual trusted acquaintance.

But in addition to LinkedIn.com, I have found value in owning a copy of
the 1998 Pratt\’s Guide to Venture Capital Sources, a 600+ page hard
bound book that probably cost about $50. Of course, this edition is
almost useless since it is so out of date. There are probably more
current editions. Vfinance.com sells a current database of venture
firms on CD ROM for $299.

It\’s much harder to find a directory of angel investors, and since they
are many times more likely than VCs to fund your startup company, it
can be frustrating if you are an entrepreneur looking for potential
angel funding.

Our solution? Let\’s all work together to create a free open-access

FundingChina.com

So we decided to launch our first FundingUniverse.com
international web site, and thought we would start with China, since
there seems to be a little economic activity going on over there these
days. 🙂

FundingChina.com is in
English for now, and it will be a matching service for entrepreneurs
with ideas and angel or VC investors who want to get involved in the
Chinese market. Later, hopefully, we\’ll offer Chinese language versions
(although I hear there are over one hundred dialects.)