Learning from The Funded

Last week I was out of town and offline but still managed to keep up to date thanks to daily complimentary hotel copies of The Wall Street Journal and New York Times. Since I usually consume my daily news through RSS feeds they came as a welcome change and a great addition to the poolside lounge chairs.

TheFunded.comTechvibes focus on the Vancouver start-up scene made a WSJ article titled Website puts the Vent in Venture Capital particularly intriguing. Since March, TheFunded.com has been letting entrepreneurs rate venture capital firms according to five different criteria (track record, operating competence, pitching efficiency, favorable deal terms and execution assistance) and also write reviews of firms and their individual partners. You can imagine that this is making some Silicon Valley VCs somewhat uncomfortable.

TheFunded has become the talk of Silicon Valley. On Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park, where many venture capitalists have offices, some investors at their traditional Monday partner meetings gossip about their online ratings on the site and those of others. Firms like Sequoia have submitted “certified profiles” with basic, official information on their companies for TheFunded to put on the site. Emily Mendell, the head of strategic affairs for the National Venture Capital Association, the industry’s main trade group, says she has fielded calls from anxious firms asking how to respond to comments.

If you have plans to shop a business idea around in the near future, be sure to check out TheFunded. You can search by geography and Canada seems to be pretty well represented with JLA Ventures and Brightspark Ventures leading the way.