After breakfast we drove to San Mateo to meet Vitaly Golomb at the Keen offices. He introduced himself and explained what Keen does: it is the first cloud-based services that allow companies to build and deploy an e-commerce driven web presence.
He talked about raising angel and seed investments and then raising Series A. He also talked a bit about investments and funds in Europe and about the lack of angel investments and seed investments.
It was nice to talk to Vitaly who on the one had is building his own successful company, but on the other had is also involved in investments and in mentoring other startups all over the world.
After the meeting with Vitaly, we drove to Mountain View, to the Eye-Fi office. We were welcomed by Ziv Gillat. Eye-Fi’s patented technology wirelessly and automatically uploads photos and videos from digital cameras and smartphones to online, in-home and retail destinations. The company’s executive team and founders have a long history of successful leadership. In 2012 they raised their Series D investment.
Ziv showed us around the office and also showed us how the cards are made in Thailand. He also showed us the heart for the U.S. distribution center, hundreds of boxes full of Eye-Fi cards, ready to be send to Amazon, Target, Best Buy,…
We also met the CEO, Matt DiMaria who joined Eye-Fi about one year ago. He used to work for Roxio and spend some time in Odessa while working for them.
Then Ziv told us about how Eye-Fi started: they wanted to be able to share their photos with their family easier. First they were thinking about an UBS device, but after a while the idea of a SD card with wifi was born. The first 1000 cards were sold in September 2006, and they had revenue from the beginning. They used the next few months production and in June 2007, they officially launched. Since then, their revenue has grown 2 times every year.
It was really interesting to hear Eye-Fi’s story from Ziv. This startup has been around for 9 years, has raised Series D and is still growing.
After the meeting with Ziv, we drove back to the city to have dinner with Mike Sigal, Scott Rafer and Won Hee Chang, they all have been involved in startups and investing for a long time. Mike had seven startups and had 3 small exits. According to Mike, startup is a career. They first talked about their experiences and backgrounds. They also talked to our investors about different kind of startups, different kind of investors (are they spending their own money or somebody else’s money). They all agreed that as new investors, it is important to focus on a sector. It was a nice meeting, with again a lot of great information.
This was the end of the first week, tomorrow there will be a workshop on Leadership by Oleg Afanasyev, and Sunday and Monday there will be some time to relax, as it is Memorial Day on Monday. On Tuesday, we will be ready for new meetings.