Apr 29 2005

Catching Up

Nothing like a long, trans-continental flight to give me some time to think and write. I’m having a long travel week (first part of the week in CA and now a trip to Boston for a couple of days), but it’s a productive one.

Apologies for being silent for a while – there’s been quite a bit going on. Here’s a quick round-up: Newsgator closed its Series C financing round led by Masthead Venture Partners. David Beisel from Masthead wrote a great post on it here. Here’s also a link to Brad’s post on the subject, which gives a nice background of how this round came together (which I won’t repeat here). Feedburner is growing like crazy (hit the 50,000 feed mark) and recently announced a partnership with 20six (a European blog hosting company) and is in the process of releasing enhanced stats to their site (I’ve been using these for several weeks – they are fantastic).

Feedburner also announced support for AdSense in RSS. I’m sure this won’t be universally popular, but ad support is critical in my mind to the widespread adoption of RSS (more on that later).

Many of the other companies I work with just finished up great quarters and generally I’m feeling more bullish on the markets (which starts with sales in my world and steamrolls from there). I was remarking to a colleague recently that when I started in venture in late 2001 (4 days before 9/11, in fact) things like outside-led financing rounds and up-round financings were not common in my vocabulary. This year has seen companies beating revenue and bookings plans, unsolicited outside financing offers and an overall feeling that the market for early stage companies is on the mend. Companies that conserved capital and built strong foundations for future growth over the past few years I think are in very good shape . . . that’s my mantra at least, and I’m sticking to it.