LinkedIn needs to sex up its pitch if they want a Facebook-sized valuation

Jackson West · 06/18/08 09:00AM

LinkedIn's $1 billion valuation certainly seems low only when compared to the stratospheric $15 billion Facebook is worth on paper. One reason why is because, frankly, college kids are sexy — as the VCs in the announcement infomercial prove irrefutably, business professional who use LinkedIn are not. So if you're going to announce a new round of venture capital with a video on YouTube, why not make it a music video? The kids love music videos. Hence, Valleywag presents "The Upside" featuring Jeffrey "Sand Hizzy" Glass, David "D-Cup" Sze, David "Dollar Billz" Cowan and Mark "Make Money" Kvamme over beats from EPMD. Recognize.

Will Ferrell's FunnyorDie takes HBO for up to $10 million

Jackson West · 06/11/08 02:40PM

Comedy-video startup FunnyorDie, a project cofounded by yuksters Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Chris Henchy with Sequoia Capital's Mark Kvamme, has sold an equity stake to HBO of less than 10 percent. (FunnyorDie was valued at $100 million after the last round of funding; the new valuation, and HBO's exact investment, wasn't disclosed — if you know, please tell us.) In exchange, HBO also gets five hours of programming from Ferrell, McKay, Henchy and recent addition Judd Apatow.

How Mark Zuckerberg missed his meeting with Sequoia

Nicholas Carlson · 05/28/08 06:40PM

Sequoia Capital never invested in Facebook. But Sequoia partner Mark Kvamme said at an ad conference today that the venture firm did take a meeting with founder Mark Zuckerberg early on. Problem was, according to Kvamme, Zuckerberg had forgotten about the appointment and woke up just before it started. So Zuck showed up at the meeting and made his pitch wearing pajamas. Sequoia passed — perhaps understandably, but definitely unfortunately, Kvamme told the crowd. "You kind of have to look past those things," he said. One could say the same about Kvamme's rewriting of history. We hear it's Facebook that passed on Sequoia — mostly due to a feud between the VC firm and Facebook backer Peter Thiel. (Photo by sunshinecity)

Sequoia clones unsuccessful search engine — maybe Google will buy it anyway

Nicholas Carlson · 03/11/08 01:40PM

Sequoia partner Mark Kvamme just plunked down $31 million on a company he also chairs, called Searchme. It's an image-based search engine. Search is a crowded field but Searchme CEO Randy Adams thinks there's room for innovation. "Search," he told BoomTown, "is still largely a text and list experience." True, but Snap CEO Tom McGovern told me almost the exact same thing in May 2006. Didn't work out for him. Now Snap is a site for bloggers. Below, a video demonstration of Searchme's "innovation" and another video showing two-year-old Snap doing pretty much the same things.

Will Ferrell's Funny or Die gets another $15 million

Nicholas Carlson · 12/20/07 02:40PM

Problem is, despite attracting talent such as Bill Murray, Jenna Elfman, John C. Reilly, Jimmy Fallon, Jeremy Piven, John Mayer, and a writing staff of 30, "The Landlord" remains Funny Or Die's only real hit. This despite 16,000 subsequent efforts by the company and its users. In fact, the video's sequel and the site's second biggest hit, "Good Cop, Baby Cop," (see above) garnered just a tenth as many views.

Sequoia keeps it in the family

Tim Faulkner · 05/10/07 03:57PM

Sequoia's Indian office recently led a $7m round for Minglebox, an Indian social network. Minglebox's founder is Kavita Iyer, who just happens to be the wife of Sandeep Singhal, managing director of the prestigious venture capital firm's Indian operation. Funny, that. But, before working one's self into a lather, best to remember that, back in meritocratic California, Mark Kvamme followed his father-in-law into the Sequoia clubhouse. Moral of the story? Merely, that Menlo Park is just as incestuous as Bangalore; and Sequoia faces fewer cultural divides, as the firm spreads outside the US, than one might think.