General Catalyst

14 stories
Backing Young Talent
Rough Draft Ventures offers student startups backing from their peers
Presenters, from left, Toni Oloko and Matt Neary pitch their business "PracticeGigs" to the weekly Rough Draft Ventures meeting at the offices of General Catalyst Partners. Photo: Erik Jacobs for the Boston Globe.
On a Monday evening in mid-March, Toni Oloko walked into the Harvard Square offices of General Catalyst Partners, a venture capital firm that has put up millions to back companies like Kayak, Snapchat, and Rue La La. The 18-year-old entrepreneur and his cofounder, Harvard freshman Matt Neary, fiddled with their MacBook as they prepared to pitch PracticeGigs, a smartphone app that finds tennis partners for players seeking to improve their game. If they seemed oddly calm, it was because they weren’t seeking millions from the fund’s partners. Instead, they were pitching to a panel of their peers — in search of cash, yes, but also access to a growing network supportive of Boston’s student startups. Read More
Mmmmm...Pancakes
Breakfast with some of Boston's most active venture capitalists
Photo via <a href="https://www.bostonglobe.com/2012/03/30/breakfastjointsgallery-gallery/yywbq3bTmwHlwqTC5gv1vI/story.html?pic=1#up">The Boston Globe</a>
In mid-April, TechBreakfast — a monthly opportunity for entrepreneurs, business owners, and investors to gather in an informal environment — is hosting its largest Boston-area event with its first local Ask a VC breakfast at Microsoft NERD in Cambridge. Read More
PayPal strikes again
Newton-based Paydiant acquired by PayPal for $300 million
paydiant_hq
On its way to being spun out as a standalone company, PayPal made a big move locally Monday, acquiring Newton-based mobile payments software company Paydiant. The acquisition comes a few weeks after PayPal laid off workers at its Boston office and ended support for its local startup incubator Start Tank. Read More
Deja vu all over again
Driftt, out to improve collaboration on documents, collects $15 million
The Driftt team, from left: David Cancel, Marshall Moutenot, Alden Keefe Sampson, and Elias Torres.
So much happens in five years... In 2010, I covered the initial funding of a Cambridge startup called Performable, which was out to help websites hold on to more of their visitors. In 2015, those same two entrepreneurs are collecting capital for a new idea, Driftt, from the same venture capital firm that initially backed Performable, CRV. Between 2010 and 2015, they got acquired by HubSpot for $20 million, helped that company rebuild its digital marketing product and grow its software development team, and left in September 2014, just before HubSpot's IPO. Read More
May the (Work)Force Be With You
OnForce, a pioneer in the 'gig economy,' at the forefront of what's next
<a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-110672432/stock-photo-closeup-of-fiber-optical-network-hub-and-cables.html?src=Lt0uSLKOXQx9eNMKqdwW_Q-1-28">Image 'closeup of a network hub' via Shutterstock</a>
Ten years ago, Lexington-based OnForce established itself as one of the first companies to take advantage of a shift in how organizations balanced in-house workforces and outside contractors needed for more specific and challenging tasks, often in the information technology field. Today, OnForce is at the crossroads of a generational shift in how workers and businesses connect amid a surge in freelance careers. Read More
Offshore entrepreneurs
Audio and pics from last week's Nantucket Conference: BOS + NYC
Shutterstock CEO Jon Oringer and Constant Contact CEO Gail Goodman, on stage at the conference.
The theme of last week's Nantucket Conference on Entrepreneurship & Innovation was "BOS + NYC," and the event brought together founders and venture capitalists from both cities. Thankfully, there wasn't too much sports trash talk, or comparisons of the startup scene in the two cities. Read More
Scandal or coincidence?
Charlie Baker brouhaha ignores the reality about General Catalyst
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I’ve been covering General Catalyst Partners for three years now, and Charlie Baker’s name very rarely comes up. Baker, a Republican gubernatorial hopeful in Massachusetts, has seemed mostly focused on political ambitions and has been far from a prolific investor for the Cambridge-based venture capital firm (three investments in three years).

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