Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Venture Capital Firm DFJ's Next Bets

Draper Fisher Jurvetson, the Venture Capital firm that have struck gold with early investments in some stellar VC succeses like Hotmail, Skype and Baidu has been investing on some interesting startups in stealth mode.

Four-month-old Decentral.tv in San Rafael (Calif.) is developing what I will over-simplistically call social networking for television. Founder Daniel Graf calls it interactive Broadcast Broadband Communities, or iBBC. Graf was formerly a senior director at Phillips Consumer Electronics, where he developed the Streamium products and services.

DFJ stealth startup number two is one-year-old Celiro in San Jose (Calif.). It is developing software that personalizes the user experience on cell phones. Founder and CEO Ram Ramkumar was VP of engineering at antispam company MailFrontier, which was also funded by DFJ and sold to SonicWALL in February for $56 million. Celiro raised $540,000 last month in a series A round led by DFJ affiliate Draper Associates. Sean Fee, angel investor and interim marketing VP at Celiro, was formerly VP of marketing at Hotmail, DFJ's famous dot-com era investment. Jim Mansfield, also formerly of Hotmail, recently joined Celiro as marketing VP.[source]

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