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Perspectives on entrepreneurship, startups and venture capital from K9 Ventures.

Category archives: News

A VC trick and a related startup mistake

There is a fundamental information imbalance in the startup world that stems from the fact that most  founders are raising money for the first time, but most investors are not investing for the first time. This used to be a much bigger issue ten or fifteen years ago, but these days, it is possible for […]

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4 Rules of M&A for Startup Founders

The following post was written by @TomioGeron for ExitRound based on an interview with me and was published on the ExitRound blog on January 9th, 2014. It is being reproduced in its entirety here with permission from the author… Manu Kumar, founder of seed stage venture firm K9 Ventures, focuses on investments that have a hard science […]

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Producers and Consumers on Social Media

I’m making a concerted effort to start blogging again on a more frequent basis. It’s not that I have suddenly discovered lots of free time. However, I’ve decided that it’s time to change priorities. In my attempt to keep up with the demands of work and home I had mostly given up on blogging. Part […]

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Protip for nascent startups on payroll cycles

If you ask most startups how often they run payroll, the most common answer will be: “Twice a month.” Now ask them why they run payroll twice a month, and they will give you a puzzled look and then probably respond with, “I thought that’s how it’s supposed to be,” or, “That’s how often I got […]

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The problem with getting an MBA

I was reading Dan Primack‘s Term Sheet this morning and saw the part about Chamath Palihapitiya making waves at HBS by telling current MBA candidates that “the overwhelming majority of us would not look favorably on a company started by one of you.” Chamath is correct in making that statement, especially if you’re careful to […]

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Watch out for the Board Observer request

Ah, I love it when someone cancels a meeting with me at the last minute. It’s like found time. So liberating to have an unscheduled hour that I can use for whatever I like. Anyways… I wanted to use some of this time to briefly make a point that I’ve made very often to K9 […]

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An Email Apology

Those that know me well know that I’m generally quite anal about email. To date, I’ve never declared email bankruptcy — despite being advised numerous times to do so. I read every email I receive (excluding obvious spam and mass emails) and make a sincere effort to respond to as many as I can. It’s become […]

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Coin: the missing link in payments

It’s 2013. We have a super computer in our pockets (or purses), but the way we pay for things hasn’t changed a whole lot. Yes, we don’t carry a lot of cash any more, but we all carry multiple credit cards. And the credit card hasn’t changed all that much since its introduction in the […]

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Announcing K9 Ventures II – A $40M technology-focused micro-VC fund

I am pleased to announce the formation of K9 Ventures II, L.P. – A $40M technology-focused micro-VC fund. This new $40M fund is backed by several high quality institutional limited partners including university endowments, foundations, family offices and fund of funds and key individuals.

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‘Capital Efficiency’ doesn’t exist

“There is no such thing as a capital efficient company (at least in Silicon Valley). There are only two types of companies — those that attract capital, and those than don’t. And you obviously want to be the former.”

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Congratulations IndexTank!

IndexTank (@IndexTank) has been acquired by LinkedIn! Huge congratulations to the entire IndexTank Team and especially to IndexTank’s founder Diego Basch (@dbasch).

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Fifteen Years Later

Fifteen years ago, in 1996, while I was still a student at Carnegie Mellon University, I wrote an article (blog post in today’s parlance) about the future of computing…

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Welcoming @Occipital!

Today, I am pleased to welcome Occipital in to the K9 Ventures portfolio. The company announced today that it is raising $7M in a Series A led by the Foundry Group.

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Congratulations @BackType!

I’m pleased to announce that K9 Ventures’ portfolio company BackType (@BackType) has been acquired by Twitter. Huge congratulations to the founding team of Christopher Golda (@golda) and Michael Montano (@michaelmontano)!

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card.io: Like Square, but without the square

card.io lets any phone with a camera now become a credit card scanner! Or as I like to say: it’s Like Square, but without the square.

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The Making of Lytro

The impact of Ren’s technology is so fundamental that, if successful, it will completely change an entire market. Photography and imaging will never ever be the same again. What used to be “Ren’s Camera” is now the Lytro camera. Congratulations to Ren, and to the entire Lytro team. It’s been a phenomenal journey so far, and we’re just getting started.

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Ideas Matter

The idea is the seed. It is the kernel that is the start of something new.
Ideas are powerful because they invade the mind. Once you are introduced to an idea, you cannot get it out of your head.
Ideas are what provide that little twist of ingenuity that can make or break a company.
Sometimes ideas are not revolutionary, but they get the ball rolling and without them, that wouldn’t happened. The best ideas are often simple ones. Maybe that is what a revolutionary idea is — an idea so simple that it sparks a revolution.

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Startups: Just say NO to outsourcing, contracting, and distributed teams

If you are a tech startup, where the technology is your business and not just supporting your business, then you shouldn’t be relying on any outsourcing, contracting, or distributed teams for developing your core product. I believe that the chance of success of a team is an order of magnitude higher when the entire team is local, in one room and working closely with each other. Bottom line: “When you stick a couple of smart people in a room together good things happen”

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Investor Nomenclature and the Venture Spiral

In the venture industry, the only way for a venture fund to grow, is to move upstream and start managing a bigger pot of money. It is the natural evolution of the venture business and funds. This is what has happened with a lot of the institutional funds over the past decade. This gradual upstream movement in the venture industry, is what I refer to as the Venture Spiral.

The angels of today, will become the super angels of tomorrow. The super angels of today will be the uVCs of tomorrow, and the uVCs of today, will become the early stage venture capitalists. The institutional venture funds will morph into what we used to call growth funds.

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Our latest investment: iWalk

K9 Ventures is pleased to welcome to its kennel, our latest portfolio company, iWalk, Inc. iWalk is founded by industry veterans Caesar Shepherd and Sarah Husky, both of who have 7x the experience in the space compared to any other hot dog. Mr. Shepherd complete his PhD from a top school in Munich, Germany. Ms. Husky recently moved to the Bay Area from Juneau, Alaska, from where she could see Siberia. She is fluent in Russian.

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