Written by Anthony Noto for New York Business Journal
Is Silicon Alley becoming too much like Silicon Valley? Recently, I asked that question during a roundtable event hosted by growth equity firm FTV Capital. Here’s some of the feedback I received:
“When FTV opened their office here in New York [15 years ago] funding has grown many multiples probably at least 10x, in terms of dollars — and the number of companies, and the breadth of those companies as well,” said FTV partner Liron Gitig. “In terms of funding, exits and large companies that are poised to go public —certainly in ad tech and marketing, but across a lot of technology and infrastructure — the numbers clearly indicate that New York has grown and matured in a pretty meaningful way. That being said, there are definite differences in building companies in New York than other cities.”
“New York’s amazing,” said Matt Keiser, CEO of LiveIntent. “It’s a very active universe. Back when I did my first round of financing for LiveIntent, there were no more than half a dozen prominent firms in the early stage that you could approach as an entrepreneur — seven years ago. Today, there’s a proliferation. So, I would agree that it’s become Silicon Valley-esque.”
“The one other big thing that I’ve noticed in the past few years is that the ecosystem has now nurtured enough talent that you can actually, within New York, find people with, for example, SaaS (software as a service) sales experience,” says Newscred CEO Shafqat Islam. “Six, seven years ago there were no New York enterprise SaaS companies. If you needed to hire a sales leader, you had to go outside of New York. There’s been enough companies that have reached enough scale that you can find talent within the community, and that’s made a big difference… in terms of how quickly the companies can grow.”
Kudos to media brand Paste for having the guts to launch a print publication. The arts and lifestyle brand, which covers music and pop culture via its site, recently announced an Indiegogo campaign for what it hopes to be a new quarterly magazine. As of today, Paste raised 77 percent of the $100,000 goal. If you’re feeling generous (’tis the season) here’s a link to donate. Paste Studios, located in Midtown Manhattan, has hosted hundreds of artists over the years including The Zombies, Tom Jones, Colbie Callait, Passenger and Glen Phillips. Check out an amazing Paste recording session below, or click here.
This Week’s Venture Deals
The blockchain innovator raised $18 million in Series A funding from Wells Fargo and Euclid Opportunities, as well as Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Thomson Reuters, Andreessen Horowitz, FinTech Collective, F-Prime Capital Partners and Digital Currency Group. Axoni has raised more than $20 million in total.
The insurance software startup secured $7 million in a Series A funding round led by Vertical Venture Partners. Zipari hopes to use the funding to meet expanding demand for their suite of CRM-centered software as a service solutions for the health insurance vertical.
Amplify Partners led a $5 million Series A funding round for the software company. Work-Bench and previous investors Rally Ventures and Tribeca Venture Partners also participated in the effort. As part of the deal, Amplify partner Sunil Dhaliwal is joining Backtrace’s board of directors.
Explain Everything Inc.
The New York City-based interactive whiteboard for tablets and smartphones clinched $3.7 million in funding. EBRD Venture Capital Investment Programme led the round, and was joined by Credo Ventures, New Europe Ventures and RTAventures.
Link to the original article here.