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Austin Ventures  CERTIFIED

Firm Rating:

Rated 2.6 / 5.0 by 21
Track
Record
3.2
Operating
Competence
2.4
Pitching
Efficiency
2.7
Favorable
Deal Terms
2.1
Execution
Assistance
2.7

Firm Homepage:

FIRM OVERVIEW: Medium Private VC founded in 1984 based out of Austin, United States (US Central)

FIRM DESCRIPTION: Austin Ventures (“AV”) has worked with talented entrepreneurs to build valuable companies for over twenty-five years. With $3.9 billion under management, AV is the most active venture capital and growth equity firm in Texas and one of the most established in the nation. With an investment focus on new media, Internet and information services, software, business services and supply chain, and Texas special situations, AV invests at all stages of company development, from $100,000 in “planned experiments” in early-stage ideas to $100+ million investments in expansion rounds, minority recapitalizations, and buyouts of lower middle market growth companies. AV’s strategy is to partner with talented executives and entrepreneurs through its CEO-in-Residence and Entrepreneur-in-Residence programs. Visit austinventures.com for more information.

TEAM MEMBERS: Basil Horangic, Blaine Wesner, Chris Pacitti, Clark Jernigan, Craig Milius, David Lack, Ed Olkkola, Jeff Garvey, Joe Aragona, John Thornton, Ken De Angelis, Ken DeAngelis, Kevin Lalande, Krishna Srinivasan, Michael Rovner, Mike Dodd, Mike Rovner, Thomas Ball, Venu Shamapant,

17
Agree
1
Disagree

Av Changing Name to "Austin Private Equity" to Reflect Corporate Direction

Fund: Austin Ventures

Posted by Anon Y. Mous on 2007-08-16

PUBLIC:

Venture capital investors are supposed to enjoy and be comfortable with (and, yes, mitigate) risk. But these guys have lost their balls.

The guys at AV are no longer in the "venture" game -- they would much rather make safer later-stage bets for their LPs, such as Staktek. There is nothing inherently wrong with that; they just shouldn't pose like they are entrepreneur-friendly. They're a private equity firm now.

Prestige" Absolutely. But in my opinion, AV's cost of capital is much too high, and I don't mean just financially. Dealing with their egos is DRAINING, trust me. One final note: Their reputation is that they will throw a founder out in less than 18 months and put in one of their CEOs in Residence. Oh, is that not what you signed on for"

PRIVATE: Members Only (251 Characters)

16
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3
Disagree

Is Austin Ventures Bad for Austin?

Fund: Austin Ventures

Posted by Anon on 2007-10-01

PUBLIC:

Are any other Austin-area entrepreneurs concerned about how AV has sucked the entrepreneurial climate out of Austin"! AV intimidates other/smaller funds and even their own LPs who want to invest in those funds. And, they really don't invest much in early stage anymore. Meanwhile, you look at the national trends (PWC MoneyTree) and Austin is being significantly outpaced by other areas with less conducive environments! This is Austin, Texas -- why do we lag other areas for VC investment"

Do the right thing, AV. Either step up and invest in our city's early stage deals or get the hell out of the way and let the other firms fill that void. Your city needs this for economic expansion.

PRIVATE: Members Only (207 Characters)

9
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0
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Private Party

Fund: Austin Ventures

Posted by pentimento on 2009-10-30

PUBLIC:

Austin and AV's glory days are behind it.

PRIVATE: Members Only (296 Characters)

6
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0
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A Pitch Too Far

Fund: Austin Ventures

Posted by WyattEarp on 2010-02-06

PUBLIC:

Was introduced by a "player" with some heavy influence in Texas.... Had a meeting with John Thornton scheduled; then re-scheduled; then re-scheduled again; then they said they would get back to me when the schedule cleared up. Never happened. I have no comment other to say that I expected better from a group of people that supposedly prides itself on helping Texas entrepreneurs.

PRIVATE: Members Only

6
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1
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Large Only

Fund: Austin Ventures

Posted by gsfeab on 2009-01-02

PUBLIC:

After pitching since October - its readily apparent that AV (and many others) are only investing in what is now termed early stage (with trailing revenues of $1-3 Million)...Boys, this isn't early stage. Time to revamp the web site and other materials that only late stage companies matter. With $900M fund wouldn;t you think this is a great time to invest in early stage ventures knowing that they will grow over 5-7 year horizon. The economy will get better by then and these companies will be the ones to shine.

PRIVATE: Members Only

6
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3
Disagree

Great Experience

Fund: Austin Ventures

Posted by Austin entrepreneur on 2007-09-23

PUBLIC:

I have had a great experience with Austin Ventures, specifically with Chris Pacitti and Tom Ball. I have found them both to be very smart and experienced. They have always looked out for the best interest of my company, and have always taken very good care of me.

PRIVATE: Members Only (143 Characters)

5
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2
Disagree

Quick Answer

Fund: Austin Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-05-13

PUBLIC:

The one thing I liked about these guys was that they were quick to say no. No screwing around, just a quick answer. Even though I would have liked a deal with them, it was just as nice to get a straight answer from them.

PRIVATE: Members Only

4
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0
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Same Name, but a Different Investment Strategy

Fund: Austin Ventures

Posted by been-there-done-that on 2009-04-24

PUBLIC:

PRIVATE: Members Only (1841 Characters)

4
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0
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Good Meeting

Fund: Austin Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-08-07

PUBLIC:

I have had one meeting with Tom Ball of AV (not listed above but he's one of the guys who concentrates on online services). I was pleasently surprised - after I had heard how rough AV was, we had a great meeting. He was very interested in the pitch and kept us an hour longer than we expected.

PRIVATE: Members Only (164 Characters)

3
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0
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Lots of Meetings, Lots of Good Questions

Fund: Austin Ventures

Posted by reinspruch on 2007-08-12

PUBLIC:

We dealt with Tom Ball exclusively. Tom will ask lots and lots of questions - some of which seem to be nitpicky, but in the end are not. Be prepared for a numbers driven conversation, but not in a confrontational, ugly way (like some West Coast firms).

PRIVATE: Members Only (300 Characters)

2
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1
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They are Machines

Fund: Austin Ventures

Posted by HankSeale on 2007-08-07

PUBLIC:

AV is a top fund because they are professional and by the numbers. Don't expect to sweep them off their feet with just a great idea. They might get more involved in your business than you want; but with their savy and resources worse things could happen.

PRIVATE: Members Only (441 Characters)

2
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0
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The Only Game in Town (In Austin Anyway)

Fund: Austin Ventures

Posted by Alexander Muse on 2007-05-04

PUBLIC:

In the late 90's I worked with Ed Olkkola, Venu Shamapant and Blaine Wesner. I really liked working with Ed specifically. AV provided a term sheet to fund our Series A, but the signature line included an addition to my title that I wasn't so excited about: "Interim" CEO

Now, I was only 28 years old and didn't have any business running the company, but that wasn't the point. In any event I ultimately accepted capital from a New York based fund that allowed me to run the company in the ground. I wrote about it here:

http://www.texasstartupblog.com/2005/...

PRIVATE: Members Only (228 Characters)

1
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0
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Mike Dodd

Fund: Austin Ventures

Posted by Anon on 2010-10-31

PRIVATE: Members Only (139 Characters)