Friday, January 4, 2013

Boston Micro-VC Series: NextView Ventures

NextView Ventures was formed in mid 2010 by 3 entrepreneur turned VC's, David Beisel, Rob Go and Lee Hower. Prior to being a VC each had previously been marketing executives at web start ups.
Beisel from Venrock had co-founded an email marketing company Sombassa Media which was acquired by Primedia. Go came from Spark Captital and previously worked at Ebay 2003-2005. Hower left Point Judith Capital and previously had stints at Paypal and LinkedIn, where he was on the founding team.
NextView came at a perfect time for Boston. There was a gaping hole in the eco-system for seed stage investors. Without any large post bubble Web companies like Google or PayPal, Boston didn't have an experienced web founder "mafia" with cash to invest and expertise to contribute. The established and highly successful Boston VC's lacked the motivation and expertise to move into the web market where companies had neither IP protection nor technology advantages.
The timing was also right because web companies don't require the massive amounts of investment at seed stage to test customer and market interest. When you add in the added benefit of better investor and entrepreneur allignment, you have a winning combination.

The final close of the initial $21M fund was February 2012. To date the firm has made 24 investments,of which two have already been acquired. As you can see from the 67B186B0-A58A-23D4-0846-CE415A1B28F8graph, their portfolio includes some of the most promising web startups in the Boston area. It is clear that Venture firms agree with the portfolio choices as two companies have already received a Series B investment and seven have completed a series A.
The NextView office is located in the the very cool Leather District on the edge of the "Innovation District. If you are a web entrepreneur in Boston, this firm should be on your pitch list. Plus you get to check out the collection of craft brew they have on display.

Take note that the graph covers only the east coast investments with the exception of the acquired RentJuice from CA.
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