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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Monthly Archives for 2010

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Looking back at 2012

I’m a startup guy.  And from day one, we’ve always viewed First Round Capital as a startup. We're building First Round Capital just like any entrepreneur would build their business.  We are a company - not a “firm” or a collection of independent partners that come together for Monday meetings.  We have customers (our entrepreneurs) and shareholders (our Limited Partners).  In every part of our business, we try our hardest to innovate and delight our customers - and think differently about what a venture fund could be.  Whether it's public initiatives like Dorm Room Fund or internal products like our propriety online collaboration tool, FRC Network, which connects the 7,000+ employees across our investments - we try to push ourselves every year to move faster and faster - and come to the office willing to invent (and to fail).

As each year comes to an end, we do our best to take stock and plan for the future.  As companies mature, they often begin to solidify this process in an annual report - where they publicly share what happened in the previous year.  For the first time ever, we're choosing to do the same thing.  To open up our community and share where we've been and what we've done.

In the process of crunching the data and reflecting on the year, it's clear it was a busy one.  This year was filled with 37 new companies in our Community, the addition of 5 new members to the First Round team, more than 50 new software product features built and shipped for our proprietary FRC Network, 55+ company only events, a ton of additional services, thousands of new relationships and one new fund.

You can find more details on all of those key milestones in our 2012 Annual Report (a huge thank you to our design partner on this project, Alice Lee - she really helped turn data into beauty) - and also some really interesting data - here are a few of our favorites:

  • First Round Capital companies raised a total of $910,000,000 in 2012
  • 5.5% of all dollars invested in Tech/IT companies by every venture firm in the country went to a FRC company
  • The First Round Capital companies that exited (through M&A or IPO) in 2012 were worth 2,500,000,000+ at the time of exit
  • The most common CEO name in our Community is David - there are 11 Davids
  • The First Round Capital Holiday Video was viewed over 100,000 times, that's 164.2 days of human attention
  • Every dollar First Round initially invests in a company is typically followed by $36 of follow-on capital from other VCs
  • 2012 was the first year in our history where consumer companies represented less than 50% of our initial investment dollars
  • Our partnership flew over 480,000 miles in 2012

So as we start 2013, we sincerely thank the 7,000+ employees across our community who worked millions of hours to help our 300+ founders build industry changing companies. We're excited to have the opportunity to support you in the year to come.

You can see our entire Annual Report here: www.firstround.com/annualreport2012 (and be sure to check out the premier of "The Making of Call Me First Round Style" at the very bottom).

Announcing our latest investment, Flatiron Health

It's always exciting to get the chance to publicly share a new investment - but today is even more exciting given this is the second time we've partnered with serial entrepreneurs Nat Turner and Zach Weinberg.  Nat was one of First Round Capital's first interns ever and built our very first website.  He then went onto intern at a First Round company, then called VideoEgg (now Say Media) and soon after, with Zach, came up with the idea for a company focused on algorithms and ad targeting called Invite Media (acquired by Google in 2010).


Nat and Zach are the kinds of founders we love to partner with, they're heat seeking missiles.  With Invite Media they pivoted away from their original product and essentially invented what is now known as a Demand Side Platform.  They are insanely effective executors and learners, resourceful and constantly curious.  For example, while they were not ad tech domain experts when they founded Invite Media, they immersed themselves in the space, accumulated as much knowledge as possible and ultimately discovered an opening in the market at the right time and rapidly grew the company before exiting.

So when the guys told us they left Google to dive into an entirely new space -- healthcare -- we were instantly excited and thrilled to participate in their initial round of financing.  Their new company is called Flatiron Health and it's focused on bringing the power of big data to the healthcare space.

I always seem to hear how a ‘cure for cancer’ is right around the corner, but the clinical trials to bring drugs to market is such a long process that 'the corner seems' seems to retreat farther and farther away.  Or, to be more precise, eight years away – the time it takes to test each potential cure.  While part of this time period is required (it can take years before we see the results of a cancer treatment), there has to be a way to make this process quicker.  In other industries, we've seen Big Data help buyers, sellers and everyone in between make more efficient decisions.  Yet Big Data has only just started to make it's way into MedTech.

Flatiron Health, based in New York City, is building an “oncology data platform”, which allows cancer care providers to aggregate, structure and mine their clinical oncology data (they call it "making cancer data actionable"). Flatiron’s platform integrates a cancer center’s disparate data systems to provide a truly longitudinal and comprehensive view of the patient population. Through the platform, administrators and clinicians gain deep analytics for business and clinical intelligence, resource utilization, treatment patterns, network management and research. Cancer centers can also monitor their adherence to national cancer care guidelines and benchmark their performance.  Flatiron is currently in private beta.

Nat and Zach join a number of other First Round companies focused on the healthcare IT space - including DNAnexus, Mango Health and Sherpaa.  Please join me in welcoming Nat, Zach and the entire Flatiron Health team back into the First Round Capital Community.

Oh, and if you're interested in joining the team and changing the world for the better, they're hiring for insanely good engineers and product managers - you can learn more here: http://www.flatiron.com/careers/open.html