Redeye VC

Josh Kopelman

Managing Director of First Round Capital.

espite being coastally challenged (currently living in Philadelphia), Josh has been an active entrepreneur and investor in the Internet industry since its commercialization. In 1992, while he was a student at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Josh co-founded Infonautics Corporation – an Internet information company. In 1996, Infonautics went public on the NASDAQ stock exchange.

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Watch out Sand Hill Road...

First Round Capital is now on 1-800-FREE-411...Watch out Sand Hill Road!

Listen below:

powered by ODEO

(NOTE:  1-800-FREE411 and Odeo are portfolio companies).


Robert Tsai


That audio stream is short and sweet, dramatic and funny - and I think we all "get" the service from just that little clip. I love the gauntlet you've thrown down to the Sand Hill VCs.

I suspect the call-through (click-through?) rates will be a little higher for the retail and food service vertical markets than for the venture capital market, though you never know. Maybe that entrepreneur will be swayed by the audio clip, cancel his 2 p.m. with Sequoia, fly to Philly and raise his series A from First Round Capital.


That is an absolute riot.


Talk about a low cost - high return advertising investment...WOW! I think Josh and company are the first funding org to promote via telephone ad. Not sure that that is an accomplishment but great gimmick to pitch Jingle.


Very, very funny. But also very poignant display of the power of free411

leonard boord

It's good to know that VC's have a sense of humor!

Unintended consequences... Entrepreneurs might think you (First Round) actually want calls to your office...


Very funny Josh. Seems like we are circling the same castle in different ways :-)

Type "3000 Sand Hill Road" in Google and check out what ad you get. And don't click on it!

Martin Kristiseter


Sean Ammirati

Really fun, but do you really want entreprenuers to cold call you?

I've always been under the impression it is a basic prerequisite to get an introduction to any top-tier VC like yourself.


Freaking hysterical! Love it.



You might know this, but company in competation with Free411, 411 Metro has this new service which would ask you if u want to get SMS on the information rather than redirected to advertiser. In this case advertiser will pay less for SMS. This is another great innovation in space. There are lots of other things which could combine what we call as old generation market + new generation market (Old + Youth) and one source destination is natural progression.
By the way, like other authors you don't have your email on the blog.


My bad, seems Free411 added the SMS service but no sp. news mentioned on site.


cute, but i do wonder about the reaction of the listener.

1) wtf? did i just get connected with the wrong company (reflects badly on the service)

2) wtf? why am i listening to this long advertisement? i'm hanging up (reflects badly on the service)

3) don't listen closely, press 1, get wrong company. wtf? what is wrong with this 411? (reflects badly on the service)

anyway, i'm sure there are positive spins on this... but hijacking 411 calls from customers who aren't savvy probably isn't the right message.

i'd suggest a more positive example that's complementary, rather than directly competitive.

example: i make a call to find out info on babysitter service, and i hear an ad for diapers or bottles or BabyCenter products.

i know you're just trying to get attention, but this could be the wrong kind...

my .02,

-d ave


Good points, Kedar.

Nat Turner


Good points. I think one aspect of the service, however, is that you're giving them something free that actually used to cost them money, and that can go a long way. I know several people who were not-surprisingly very keenly aware that there was a significant cost to using the traditional 411 service. Now that they can avoid not only that cost but also the emotions of paying sometimes a dollar for just a number, they'll have less of an issue with acknowledging and understanding an advertisement. This goes heavily with your second scenario, as many users of Free 411 are switchovers from traditional 411 services and understand the tradeoff for it being free. In regards to your third point, I certainly agree that a miss-step in terms of process can frustrate and alienate a user. I would also add, however, that not only can these things be addressed by careful thought, but users are also very alert when using such a service (they have a strong intent to correctly get their number). I could be wrong, but also just my two cents!

Lee Hower

That's hilarious Josh... LOL :)

hermes birkin

did i just get connected with the wrong company

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