First Round Capital’s Online Bazaar Hypes Its Investments on Cyber Monday

Venture capitalists often tell entrepreneurs that, beyond investing, a VC can provide a lot of value by giving advice or making valuable introductions.

Here’s one I hadn’t seen before: VCs promoting their portfolio companies to friends, families and associates as places to do their holiday shopping.

First Round Capital is launching a special site today, where more than two dozen of their investments are listing holiday deals for Cyber Monday. Companies participating include One Kings Lane, Kiwi Crate, Birchbox, Dog Vacay, Warby Parker, Fab.com, Threadflip and Hotel Tonight. The offers range from free shipping to $50 or 15 percent off, depending on the kind of products and services for sale.

First Round Capital is heavily invested in e-commerce, so it knows all too well what the holidays can mean to a young company trying to grow its revenue.

This year is promising to be a monster online shopping event, with record-setting days already taking place. The day after Thanksgiving, called Black Friday, turned into an online feeding frenzy, with consumers spending $1.04 billion, an increase of 26 percent over last year. Amazon saw the most action, as was expected, followed by Walmart, Best Buy, Target and Apple.

If First Round Capital’s companies can capture just a slice of that discretionary spending, it could mean a couple of good months to top off the year (which leads to higher valuations and happy investors). First Round Partner Josh Kopelman wrote a brief blog post directing people to visit the site, adding that the companies “will be shipping hundreds of thousands of products this holiday season to customers all over the world.” You can bet we’ll see other partners tweeting it, Facebooking it and sending it out via email, as well (not to mention tipping off the media).


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