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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No voice...

Istock_000002891120xsmall I spent all day yesterday on the phone. 12+ hours of phone conversations – and I went to bed last night with a sore throat. So when I woke up this morning with no voice, I wasn’t completely surprised.

I had two entrepreneur pitches and one board meeting in New York City today – and I felt OK – so I decided to take the meetings. Initially, I was extremely concerned that my laryngitis would dramatically reduce my effectiveness and productivity in the meetings. However, as the day went on, I noticed something interesting. Because it was so difficult for me to talk, it forced me to make every word count. Where I previously might have interjected with a question, now I was writing them down to see if they got answered elsewhere in the presentation. If I wanted to provide feedback or an opinion, I was much more concise than I otherwise would have been. And, I found that my meetings were just as productive/effective as they would have been if I could speak freely.

So what should I learn from this? Well, I guess it shows that I should talk less and listen more (something my wife has been saying for years). And when I do choose to speak, I should conserve my words. It will be interesting to see if I have the discipline to continue this when my voice returns…\

In and Out...

Some portfolio company news today.

Openads First, today we announced our investment in OpenAds, the developer of the leading free, open source adserving platform.  Already used by more than 20,000 publishers across 140 countries in 20 languages, Openads powers more publishers than all competing solutions combined.  What really excites me about OpenAds is that they are in a wonderful position to shrink the adserving market.  By removing the adserving costs, publishers can now focus on raising their effective CPM.  This is especially important for small and mid-sized publishers, who previously had a limited choice of adserving technologies – and no real ability to impact pricing.  I look forward to working with Scott and his team, along with our co-investors (Index Ventures, Mangrove Capital Partners and O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures) on this deal…

Second, as Techcrunch has reported, has been acquired by Rifftrax.  Although’s product has been praised for its ease of use and fun, the market for a stand-alone video editing site has quickly become very crowded and competitive.   And while this transaction was not the huge win we were playing for, I’m happy that Evan and his team were able to find a home for their business.  As I wrote back in March, the goal of a seed-stage investment is to validate (or disprove) a venture's hypothesis – and successful entrepreneurs will do so using as little time and capital as possible.  Evan Krauss and his team did just that. 

Some website upgrades...

As First Round Capital's portfolio has grown over the last few years, our firm's website has not grown with it.  That's why we recently decided that an overhaul of our website was necessary. So, in addition to the traditional alphabetical listing of portfolio companies, we decided to try something new. To help people better navigate our portfolio, we recently launched a tag cloud. This provides an interesting perspective on where we’ve concentrated our investments. We also improved the portfolio company detail pages – providing both company news and job openings…


In addition, we also just launched an experiment. For the last several weeks, I have been an active member of Ycombinator’s Startup News site. Like Digg, their site allows any member of their community to submit news items – with the best rising to the top. At First Round Capital, my partners and I have historically shared news stories using a common tag. Inspired by Ycombinator’s site, we’ve decided to experiment with allowing members of our community to submit stories on our site as well. I invite you to visit to submit, share, and vote on stories and websites.  We look forward to seeing the stories you find interesting.

Finally, I just wanted to thank my partner, Rob Hayes, and our west-coast office manager, Carly Spoljaric, for organizing a wonderful cocktail party last week. Pictures of the party available here.
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