Friday, January 6, 2017 Raises $20M from VC provides online reputation management technology and services for businesses. The Redwood City, California-based company has managed tens of millions of consumer reviews and interactions across hundreds of thousands of online points of presence.  The investment was lead by Ascension Ventures and included Focus Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, August Ventures, Icon Ventures and Bessemer Venture Partners. 

Fugue Raises $41m in its Series D

Fugue in a cloud infrastructure management company based in Frederick Maryland and has now raised about $75 million in total funding to date.  This latest round of funding was led by New Enterprise Associates and included Future Fund, and Sovereign Wealth Funds among other.  The company was founded by Josh Stella, Matthew Brinkman, Andrew Wright and Dominic Zippilli.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

LOLA raises $7 Million for Series A

LOLA a tampon subscription service founded by Jordana Kier and Alexandra Friedman raised $7 Million for their Series A. The NYC-based company will use the funding to expand their team, product line, and customer reach. LOLA has raised $11.2M in total funding to date.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Investing Like A Fox: An Interview With Legendary Angel Investor John Ason

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John Ason has invested in over 80 early stage companies across a 20 year career, often as the lead angel and chalking up impressive exits such as, and This longevity is remarkable not only considering that angel investing is a notoriously high-risk field, but also that New York City’s tech scene is much younger than Silicon Valley and itself is only a few decades old. John spoke about what mental models he brings to investing, how to make an investment decision in one minute and why we need more women entrepreneurs.
What is your investing philosophy?
The great British political philosopher, Isaiah Berlin, expanded upon a Greek poet who said “The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing” to distinguish between two ways of seeing the world. “Foxes” have an outlook that is divergent, even contradictory, while “hedgehogs” relate everything to a single organizing truth.
An early stage angel investor needs to think like a fox as the process of creating new markets or disrupting existing markets will necessarily conflict with one’s initial assumptions. Most other investors and VCs think like hedgehogs, they are totally data driven and cannot accept anything that deviates from their usual metrics.
At the same time, startups are likes foxes—they are searching and experimenting with many different ways to make money. My job is to help a fox-startup become a hedgehog company—be totally focused on a customer segment to generate revenue—so they can attract hedgehog money to grow to scale.
How do you assess companies?
Almost all my investments are pre-revenue and pre-customer so I find business plans and those large lengthy presentation decks a complete waste of time—they cloud rather than clarify. Instead, I ask for a single page executive summary. I see about 4,000 of these pitches annually and will typically take one minute to make a decision to either meet the founders or reject. After meeting with the founders, about half I will invest in.

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