Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Hello, Brooklyn! You’ve Got Your Very Own VC Fund.

We’ve seen a whole lot of “seed stage” venture funds crop up in the last few years. But Brooklyn-focused seed stage funds? Nada.

Here to rectify that is Charlie O’Donnell, who is rounding up investors for Brooklyn Bridge Ventures, which he’s describing as “the first venture capital fund to be based out of Brooklyn.” (Google points to a Brooklyn Ventures, whose logo alludes to the borough’s famous bridge. But the company appears to be Dutch, just like Brooklyn’s early residents.)

O’Donnell is a former principal at First Round Capital; his resume also includes a stint as an analyst at Union Square Ventures, as well as at Path 101, an unsuccessful “career discovery” start-up.

He says he’s closed a first funding round, but won’t identify his backers or say how much they’ve put in; people familiar with O’Donnell’s plan say he’s trying to raise a total of $7 million to $10 million.

You could argue that focusing on a single slice of New York is a bit narrow, but O’Donnell’s kickoff announcement explains that he “will generally invest in the Greater Brooklyn Area.” So even if you’re based in Hoboken or Yonkers, pitch away.

Bigger picture: A slew of zippy start-ups have cropped up in New York over the past five years or so, including some that have quickly made money for their investors (see: Invite, GroupMe, etc.) and some that haven’t exited yet but may eventually do so at a very big price if things go right (see: Tumblr, Foursquare, perhaps AppNexus, etc.). So it’s easy to see why some people would be willing to make a bet or two on the city.

(Image courtesy of Wikipedia)


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