Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

General Catalyst Heads West, to Find Some Young Men and Women to Fund

Go West, East Coast VC?

In fact, the 10-year-old venture capital firm General Catalyst Partners is moving out two of its partners from Cambridge, Mass., to Palo Alto, Calif.–just in time to avoid the Boston winter.

On Tuesday, I met up with Neil Sequeira, a managing partner at the firm, who arrived in town a few months ago and is focused on the social Web and new media.

Sequeira said his fellow managing partner Hemant Taneja, who invests in cleantech companies, will be joining him out here soon.

Sequeira’s kids are too young to be in school, he’s from the Bay Area and none of his portfolio companies are based in Boston, so for him it was a relatively easy move.

General Catalyst’s Palo Alto office will soon have 11 people, up from no presence whatsoever a year ago. Sequeira and Taneja account for about a third of the core partnership of the small VC firm.

Sequeira, whose investments include the Internet television delivery company Boxee and the social media marketing company Vitrue, recently had two of his companies sold–Hot Potato to Facebook and ScanScout to Tremor Media– so he’s looking to find a few more board seats to occupy.

He said General Catalyst was happy with its two-x return on selling Hot Potato to the social networking giant shortly after it invested. But to find the really big opportunities on the consumer Internet, the place to be is in Silicon Valley, he said.

I recorded a very quick interview with Sequeira in which he revealed he’s getting the hang of this Palo Alto VC thing pretty well: He’s already done a seed investment deal at the bustling Coupa Café, where we met up.

Here it is:


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work