Of the handful of Tesla Roadster coupes on America's byways, guess where you can find two parked side by side? At the office of Tesla Motors investor Draper Fisher Jurvetson on Sand Hill Road. They even have matching paint jobs! Mock away your envy in the comments — best effort becomes the new title. Yesterday's winner was UTnick with "This banner printed in Mexico." (Photo by Steve Jurvetson)
Roger Ehrenberg wrote a popular post-mortem on Monitor110, a news aggregator for investors he'd backed. It burned through $20 million in funding before finally dying this summer. We'd learned that Ehrenberg had omitted a key detail from his history of the company — that it had sought a bridge loan from Draper Fisher Jurvetson, a VC which had invested in the company, gotten a promise of the money, spent it, and then seen DFJ renege on the loan and fund a competitor Skygrid instead. We contacted Ehrenberg for comment before running the story, and he passed up an opportunity to deny any of the facts. We ran the story. Now Ehrenberg writes: "Few things irk me more than shoddy journalism, lousy research and bad intentions, and these three neatly came together in a piece by Nicholas Carlson published today in Valleywag." He then proceeded to confirm everything we reported. "Here are the real facts," he writes:
Why did investor-news aggregator Monitor110 go under, taking $20 million in funding with it? Read early investor Roger Ehrenberg's surprisingly humble and informative blog post about the ordeal, titled "Monitor110: A Post Mortem," and it sounds like the startup fell prey to the usual pratfalls — too much PR, weak leadership, and a confused product vision. Probably all that's true. But what's also true, a source tells us, is that Monitor110's own investors, specifically Draper Fisher Jurvetson, which invested most of that $20 million, ensured Monitor110's failure during its final months.
Her favorite quotes:
Draper Fisher Jurvetson general manager Steve Jurvetson was wallowing in Estonian pride on Friday at a party held by the Swedish ambassador. Sidling up to chess-playing überhottie Carmen Kass, he even managed to elicit a smile from the thin minx, who is most often pictured with the professionally dour expression demanded on the runway. But just in case the intimate moment might be misinterpreted, Jurvetson seems to be holding up his hand to make sure the photographer catches the glint from his wedding ring. (Photo from Steve Jurvetson)
The New York Times reported earlier today that local electric car manufacturer Tesla Motors is suing Fisker Automotive, alleging breach of contract by a designer who took his trade secrets to the upstart rival. Earth2Tech pointed out that the two startup automakers are the pet projects of rival VCs, including Draper Fisher Jurvetson on Tesla's side and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers on Fisker's, making for a classic Valley catfight. But that's not the only case bedeviling Tesla.
Sometime actor Andrew Shue, pictured left, is best known for playing Billy Campbell, the most boring character on '90s nighttime soap opera Melrose Place. Less well known is his status as cofounder of CMI Marketing, the parent company of social networks ClubMom and CafeMom, the latter of which recently received $5 million in funding from VCs Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Highland Capital Partners. Unknown is the relationship between CMI's two mom-affiliated sites, ClubMom, founded in 1999, and CafeMom. Moms or not, we have a great idea for how to get more traffic on the CafeMom site: Post pictures of Andrew Shue, who's still listed as a member of CafeMom's management team, in his underwear. We bet he'll pose for new ones in exchange for just a few extra stock options.