Is August Capital bucking trend, or part of it?
Silicon Valley venture firm August Capital has made some notable moves recently, which could say something about the industry overall. First, here's our Mercury News story today (or here) about how August is in the black already on investments it made from funds raised during the crazy year of 2000 -- a rarity among VC firms.
We didn't have enough space in our dead-tree edition for these extra comments:
--The NVCA's Mark Heesen sees the venture industry bifurcating. The first group of firms, of which August is now a member, will be those managing funds of say $400 million or more, and are increasingly generalist, investing in everything from seed-stage start-ups to buyouts of public companies, internationally and across sectors. Note the news today (sub req) about Sequoia Capital's moves to raise another venture fund devoted exclusively to late-stage investments, and also another early-stage venture fund dedicated to Israel. The second group of VC firms, meanwhile, is staying small and focused on a particular geography, stage and industry.
--August tells us that it obtained agreement from its investors to remove all limits on the amounts it can invest from this fund in a single deal, thereby allowing more deals like the big $130 million Seagate one.
--August's David Hornik has been promoted to general partner, noteworthy because it finally shows that blogging can get you somewhere. Hornik was one of the founders of Ventureblog, and has helped August gain street-cred among the digerati and entrepreneurs. August has invested in companies like blog software company Six Apart, online dating site Tickle (sold to Monster.com), blog search engine Technorati and another company we know little about, Perform Local, which we'll try following up on.