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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25 First Round Capital Cyber Monday Deals

Cyber Monday HomepageAt First Round Capital, we’ve been big believers in the future of online commerce - and over the past few years have invested in many eCommerce companies, all at the seed stage.  These companies have now gone on to to raise over $350,000,000 in follow-on capital and will be shipping hundreds of thousands of products this holiday season to customers all over the world.  Whether it’s Birchbox with discovery through subscription, Fab with curation, Warby Parker building a vertically integrated brand, or Modcloth inverting the supply chain, these companies have set out to redefine traditional eCommerce models while building a product consumers truly love - and we couldn't be more excited.

Today I'm thrilled to announce that over 25 of our portfolio companies have come together to make gift giving just a bit easier and cheaper this holiday season.  And we put together a small site showcasing these exclusive Cyber Monday offers.  We hope you’ll take advantage these offers today – before it’s too late.  Go check it out and give a more unique gift to your loved ones this holiday season:

And no - this isn't meant to replace our annual holiday video.  Stay tuned ;-)

Telling the First Round Capital story...

It is a busy day today.  In addition to announcing Bill Trenchard’s arrival at First Round Capital, we're also excited to share a new website experience with the world.

Coming into this redesign we knew we wanted to do a few things differently.  Almost all websites for venture funds focus on partner bios and logos of their portfolio.  For us, we had a few unconventional goals in mind - we wanted to:

  1. Create an experience that goes beyond learning about partners and companies - we wanted to share the knowledge our Community and collaborators produce to help people build better products and companies
  2. Help tell the stories of the people and companies we've been fortunate enough to partner with over the past 7 years
  3. Tell the First Round Capital story and how we help our 150+ companies win
  4. Open up our previously closed Community (just a bit)

Keeping these objectives in mind - and utilizing an entirely new visual design – we built out a few areas of the experience that we think are different:

Homepage: the new First Round homepage is a dynamic collage of our companies, entrepreneurs and content we produce.  It’s up to date and will change multiple times a day - always showing what's new and important.  Coming to the homepage, you might find breaking news about First Round companies, a recap of a recent workshop we held or a new article from our Library that’s authored by a First Round Founder.



Library: every year we put together over 40 different events for the First Round Capital Community.  We bring in dozens and dozens of speakers that range from CEOs of the largest technology companies in the world - to marketing and engineering practitioners; all with the goal to help our companies and entrepreneurs win.  We’re excited to begin to share some of this content with the world - that was previously only accessible to our entrepreneurs – and think it will help make the whole startup community better.  We hope this becomes an area not just to learn about First Round, but to also learn about the latest in engineering, marketing, management and entrepreneurship. 



Company Profiles: We rethought what a company profile page could be in an effort to better tell the stories of our companies.  When you go to a profile page, you'll be able to learn more about what each company does, learn about the founding team, see relevant videos, milestones and key press about their progress. It really is the history of the company in one page.



About: We do a lot of things differently at First Round - and the way we support our companies through our partnership and platform is a core part of what makes us unique.  As a part of the site redesign, we wanted to begin to better tell our story and how we work with our 150+ companies.  You'll have a chance to learn about how we help our companies recruit world-class talent, learn from one another, leverage pooled data through our research team and connect with each other through Network.  You'll also get to see a bit more about how our investment team engages with our companies and the stage we invest. 




We hope you like what we've built, but this is by no means a finished product.  Just like the companies we work with, we'll be iterating and changing parts of the product in the coming months - so do let us know what you like, but most definitely what we can do to make this experience even better.


Welcoming Bill Trenchard

Bill Trenchard_HeadshotI’m super excited to announce that Bill Trenchard has joined First Round Capital as a partner in our San Francisco office.  I’ve known Bill for almost 20 years – first meeting him when he was a student at Cornell and his web development company did work for my first company.   And we’ve remained close as he started Jump Networks (which was quickly acquired by Microsoft), joined idealab! (where he worked with my partner, Howard Morgan), founded CallCast (in which I invested – and merged to become LiveOps.  Bill ran LiveOps until 2007, scaling it to a $100M run-rate with 250 employees), and at Readyforce (in which First Round Capital invested).

Bill is an experienced entrepreneur and investor (he’s done angel investing on his own – and previously was affiliated with Founders Collective).  And he has been a mentor and advisor to countless startups – and knows what it takes to be a successful founder.   Bill has begun a blog where he plans to share lessons learned, tips, tricks and other insights into entrepreneurship.  His first post is here.

While we did not have any plans to hire an additional partner at this point in time (having just promoted Kent and Phin to partner positions), when we heard that Bill was considering taking a full-time venture job, we knew we had to try to get Bill to join First Round Capital.  Bill shares our values – he’s founder-focused, he understands seed-stage, he can empathize with founders because he’s been in their shoes, he works hard to help his companies succeed, and he is an all-around-great person.  

After Bill spent the summer “in residence” with First Round, we were even more convinced that Bill is a great addition to our team.  He’s already led two (still unannounced) investments for the fund – and has brought a number of great ideas on how we might expand the suite of products and services we offer to our portfolio companies.   And since our partnership is now larger (by around 15%), we’ve decided to increase the size of our current fund (FRC IV) by approximately 15% as well.  This is the first significant fund-size increase we’ve made in over five years – and it does not reflect any change in our strategy. 

In fact, today we’ve also announced the launch of our new First Round Capital website to better communicate our strategy, values and value-add.   We wanted to tell the First Round Capital story and how hard we work to help our 150+ companies win – and to begin to share the knowledge our Community and collaborators produce to help people build better products and companies.   Check it out here