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Hi, I’m Brad Feld, a managing director at the Foundry Group who lives in Boulder, Colorado. I invest in software and Internet companies around the US, run marathons and read a lot.

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Amazon Acquires Shelfari

Comments (5)

Congrats to Josh Hug and the gang at Shelfari for joining the Amazon.com family.  I was an early angel investor in Shelfari and have been a long time avid user of the service.  Amazon was an investor in the first round and the two companies fit naturally together.

I invested in three vertical social networks in 2006 – Shelfari (books), Dogster (dogs and cats), and Enthusiast Group (sports).  So far I have one win (Shelfari) and one loss (Enthusiast Group).  Dogster is doing great and looks like it’ll be a nice winner also.  I made these as small angel investments to learn about the dynamics around vertical social networks.  I’ve learned a bunch from Josh and from Ted Rheingold at Dogster.  It also looks like I’ll have a nice "aggregate financial outcome" for my investments in this area.

Well done Shelfari!

  • http://friendfeed.com/theedge Mark L

    now i know who to send my executive summary to :)

  • Aziz Grieser

    Congrats to Josh Hug. I thought he was very kind, open, and candid with us.

  • Kyle S

    Hi Brad,
    Interesting you mention this on the same day that the Insight folks' angel round investment in Photobucket got a writeup in the WSJ. What's your take on when you need to consider taking an investment to Foundry vs making it yourself? Is it based on the investment size? I imagine Foundry doesn't (isn't allowed to?) make investments below a certain size and that you do it that way. Do you see the potential conflict of interest inherent in investing on your own vs for your investors as a big deal now or in the future?
    Thanks,
    Kyle

    • http://www.feld.com Brad Feld

      I’ve only been active as an angel / personal investor during two periods.  The first was pre-1997 before I co-founded what become Mobius.  Once we’d raised our first fund, I stopped making new angel investments.  The second period was 2006 and 2007.  The investment period for our last Mobius fund ended at the end of 2005.  Once Mobius was no longer in the market for new investments, I made a number of investments (like Shelfari) with my own money.  Once we had raised the first Foundry fund (end of 2007), I stopped making new angel investments.

      • Kyle S

        Thanks for the response, Brad. You seem to take potential conflicts very seriously. If I were one of your LPs, I'd feel good about that. It does seem like a problem that could get bigger for other VCs in the future who plan on doing angel investing as the capital requirements for early stage venture rounds start becoming hard to distinguish from heavy angel rounds…

  • http://mindtouch.com/blog Aaron Fulkerson

    I'd like to proudly point out that a sizeable chunk of Shelfari (unbound section – author profiles) was built on MindTouch Deki: http://www.mindtouch.com :-)

    GJ Shelfari.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/aziz_griese5636 aziz_griese5636

    Congrats to Josh Hug. I thought he was very kind, open, and candid with us.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/bfeld bfeld

    I’ve only been active as an angel / personal investor during two periods.  The first was pre-1997 before I co-founded what become Mobius.  Once we’d raised our first fund, I stopped making new angel investments.  The second period was 2006 and 2007.  The investment period for our last Mobius fund ended at the end of 2005.  Once Mobius was no longer in the market for new investments, I made a number of investments (like Shelfari) with my own money.  Once we had raised the first Foundry fund (end of 2007), I stopped making new angel investments.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/kyle_s10731 kyle_s10731

    Thanks for the response, Brad. You seem to take potential conflicts very seriously. If I were one of your LPs, I'd feel good about that. It does seem like a problem that could get bigger for other VCs in the future who plan on doing angel investing as the capital requirements for early stage venture rounds start becoming hard to distinguish from heavy angel rounds…

  • Aaron Fulkerson

    I'd like to proudly point out that a sizeable chunk of Shelfari (unbound section – author profiles) was built on MindTouch Deki: http://www.mindtouch.com :-)

    GJ Shelfari.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/kyle_s10731 kyle_s10731

    Hi Brad,
    Interesting you mention this on the same day that the Insight folks' angel round investment in Photobucket got a writeup in the WSJ. What's your take on when you need to consider taking an investment to Foundry vs making it yourself? Is it based on the investment size? I imagine Foundry doesn't (isn't allowed to?) make investments below a certain size and that you do it that way. Do you see the potential conflict of interest inherent in investing on your own vs for your investors as a big deal now or in the future?
    Thanks,
    Kyle

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