The New Kids on the Venture Block

A new

Ignition is part of a new breed of venture capitalist … Rather than investing in a range of business ideas, many of these so-called emerging funds are highly focused, concentrating on particular regions or industry sectors. So while Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the dean of the Silicon Valley firms, wagered on both social-networking Web site Friendster and the Segway scooter, Ignition has built a team of former Microsoft Corp. and McCaw Communications Inc. executives to focus on software and telecommunications businesses.

“We all want to find the new generation of Sequoias and Kleiners,” says Clint Harris, managing director of Grove Street Advisors, an investment-advisory firm for institutions in Wellesley, Mass., referring to Kleiner Perkins and another well-known venture firm, Sequoia Capital, that backed Internet search engine Google Inc. Staff turnover at some established firms and the poor performance of some of them also is prompting investors to shop elsewhere.


  1. Terry Foecke says:

    We do a growing amount of tech due dil for VCs and investment bankers and have sensed a shift in how they staff and support deals, as well as the investigation of deals. Industry experience and a robust Rolodex is assumed; now what they look for is a well-informed outsider’s perspective. This is especially true in looking at emerging technologies, where no one really has that much experience. Everyone wants an “expert generalist” on their team who can manage a a group of experts who can go deep and nail down everything from all-in costing to competing technical approaches. And the “young” funds we have been drawn into are even more that way, seeing it as a competitive advantage.

  2. A New Generation of VCs?

    Via Infectious Greed (and note the interesting first comment), the WSJ reports (paid sub. required) on a new generation of VCs that is starting to emerge:Rather than investing in a range of business ideas, many of these so-called emerging funds