austin

Why B2C is so hard to get funded in Austin

Why B2C is so hard to get funded in Austin

My good friend and the founder of Capital Factory, Josh Baer, wrote a post last year saying that he will invest in your B2C startup. Well, so will we. We wrote the first check for ROIKOI, which went on to raise well over $1 million, and also made investments in Bigwig GamesBlue AvocadoDeep Eddy VodkaDropoff, and Threadover the past two years. We were also one of the first checks for Wisecrack, but that is based in Los Angeles, and invested in the Series A for talklocal, based in DC. And we are investors in several venture capital funds, including Lead Edge Capital, which holds early positions in Alibaba Group, BlaBlaCar, and other large-outcome B2C companies but these are not in Austin so I guess I'm diverging from my point of this post. In any case, that is a total of eight B2C company investments (if you include Wisecrack and talklocal) out of a total of 33 startups we are involved with, representing 24% of our portfolio (and 18% if you exclude Wisecrack and talklocal).Real Massive also has a kind of B2C dynamic, even though it is B2B, so maybe I should count them too as they are Austin-based. But our primary focus is SaaS, for which we have holdings in 19 startups (57% of our portfolio). Both Bazaarvoice and Coremetrics were/are SaaS businesses and we have the most experience to bring to that category. SaaS is also far less risky than B2C, and that brings me to the real point of this post.

Lola Savannah is the Buck's of Woodside in Austin

Lola Savannah is the Buck's of Woodside in Austin

The most widely shared Lucky7 post that I wrote last month was on the state of the tech entrepreneurship scene in Austin. But I realize now I was missing an important mention.

Back when Debra and I lived in San Francisco, there was a very famous place off the beaten path named Buck's of Woodside. It is a hook-up spot for investors and entrepreneurs. Many large businesses you know today credit Buck's to being one of the conduits to their founding or initial fundraising and Board of Directors formation. I won't give away the tales, but I encourage you to buy the founder's, Jamis MacNiven's, book, Breakfast at Buck's: Tales from the Pancake Guy. It is a fun romp through a slice of insider Silicon Valley history. Jamis is a regular TED attendee andhis blog is fun too. He's seen a lot over the years.