Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

LAL Raises $5M Led by New Andreessen Horowitz Partner Jeff Jordan

LAL (a.k.a. LikeALittle), the service that originated with flirting on college campuses and is now trying to enable connections with any nearby people, has raised a $5 million Series A round led by its seed investor Andreessen Horowitz.

One interesting aspect of the funding is that it was led by Jeff Jordan, the former OpenTable CEO who has now officially joined Andreessen Horowitz as its fifth general partner (as AllThingsD had first reported).

In explaining the LAL investment, his first for AH, Jordan said, “The central theme is connecting with people around you and enabling seamless communication with them.” He also said he liked LAL CEO Evan Reas’ product sense and his team’s speed of innovation.

The Series A round includes angel investors such as TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington.

Andreessen Horowitz’s Marc Andreessen, meanwhile, jumped in to answer my questions about how LAL compares to the competition and AH’s other investments.

Regarding Foursquare, for which AH just led a $50 million round, Andreessen said, “Foursquare is much tighter tied in with the social graph and people you already know. LikeALittle is people you don’t know. LikeALittle is a lot closer to craigslist, and Foursquare is closer to a definitive relationship with your environment.”

What about Color, which has also promised to connect users with interesting people around them?

“That depends what Color is,” Andreessen replied (which seems like a fair way to evade the question!).

Jordan said that in keeping with his experience at OpenTable, eBay and PayPal his venture investments will focus on e-commerce, mobile and consumer tech companies. He noted that prior to joining Andreessen Horowitz he had already been an active angel investor and start-up adviser to about 14 companies.

Further reading: My extended take on how LikeALittle-style proximity-based relationships are a promising alternative to Facebook friending, and coverage of LAL’s seed funding including a video interview with Reas.

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— Valleywag editor Sam Biddle