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Rustic Canyon Ventures  CERTIFIED

No New Investments Warning:
Members have submitted information that the following organization(s) may not be making investments into new portfolio companies. This warning can be contested by submitting proof of a completed investment in a new portfolio company within the last four weeks here.

Firm Rating:

Rated 2.9 / 5.0 by 30
Track
Record
2.5
Operating
Competence
2.9
Pitching
Efficiency
2.8
Favorable
Deal Terms
3.0
Execution
Assistance
3.2

Firm Homepage:

FIRM OVERVIEW: Medium Private VC founded in 1999 based out of Santa Monica, USA (US West)

FIRM DESCRIPTION: Rustic Canyon Partners is an early stage venture capital firm that invests in exceptional entrepreneurs building transformational companies. The investment team works collaboratively, drawing on experiences as entrepreneurs, executives, and strategic and legal advisors. With over $900 million in funds under management, Rustic Canyon is one of the largest firms based in Southern California.

TEAM MEMBERS: David Travers, Ed Fu, John Babcock, Jon Staenberg, Lee Bailey, Michael Song, Nate Redmond, Neal Hansch, Renee LaBran, Shoa Kai Liu, Tom Unterman,

0
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1
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Responded to Pitch Immediately

Fund: Rustic Canyon Ventures

Posted by ommegang on 2013-01-17

PUBLIC:

Pitched Nate Redmond - really liked him. He was on time, personable, seemed down to earth. He asked intelligent questions, understood our larger market fairly well, and drilled down on the right things. I think that's why I liked him most - he asked the right questions.

He gave me a quick no, said we were too early for their fund. Makes me think you need to be a solid A round (raising 2mm+) before they will invest.

PRIVATE: Members Only

1
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Great People

Fund: Rustic Canyon Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2011-03-07

PUBLIC:

We met with Tom Unterman and Ed Fu. Felt immediate rapport with them, they were both attentive and interested in our space. Would've liked to have worked with them, but a private equity investor literally swooped down on us and, after a week of email and phone discussions, worked over the weekend to give us a term sheet we couldn't refuse. Luckily they were very understanding of the situation, and there seems to be regret on both sides of the table at not having the chance to explore working together. Perhaps in the future tho.

PRIVATE: Members Only

2
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1
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Good Listeners,

Fund: Rustic Canyon Ventures

Posted by fundado on 2011-01-26

PUBLIC:

I pitched Nate Redmond and he immediately understood our business. He's very technical, but at the same time focuses on the business model and money issues. Strikes me as having a lot of honesty and integrity.

PRIVATE: Members Only (403 Characters)

1
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West Coast Focused

Fund: Rustic Canyon Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2008-03-25

PRIVATE: Members Only (104 Characters)

1
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0
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Renee Lebran

Fund: Rustic Canyon Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2008-01-30

PUBLIC:

Set meeting with Renee where she was a no show. We ended up conferencing her in with Danny Villanueva (he was in person) from Rustic's conference room. Although not optimum we pitched and received minimal feedback. They did some initial research and got back to us quickly with a pass due to the stage we were at.

PRIVATE: Members Only

3
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2
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Good First Meeting

Fund: Rustic Canyon Ventures

Posted by tomturnbull on 2008-01-09

PUBLIC:

Great first meeting with John Babcock. Questions were very positive and intelligent. Sent financial model.

PRIVATE: Members Only (120 Characters)

11
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4
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Staenberg: Worst VC Ever

Fund: Rustic Canyon Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-12-12

PUBLIC:

This was our worst experience with a VC in over 2 years. Jon Staenberg approached us for the meeting. He was 30 minutes late for the meeting and brought his laptop into the meeting and spent the entire meeting reading and responding to email. He was not in the least bit shamed when we tried to get him to focus on the presentation, arrogantly claiming with his schedule he had to multi-task. At the end of the presentation he asked only a few superficial questions before giving us his analysis of our business that showed he had hardly heard a thing we were saying.

PRIVATE: Members Only

9
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3
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Song Needs to Leave the VC Business

Fund: Rustic Canyon Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-11-03

PUBLIC:

Michael Song to be avoided at all costs. He wastes incredible amounts of time on drilling down into details that are irrelevant while missing the big picture altogether. I've dealt with well over 100 VCs in my career and this guy scores at the very bottom of the list in terms of how due diligence is conducted. Not a good listener and makes almost no eye contact during a meeting. Disrespectful of management team's time, like they exist purely for his exercises. Takes so many notes that he misses the big picture while capturing details that don't matter.

PRIVATE: Members Only (465 Characters)

4
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4
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Quick No, Good Experience

Fund: Rustic Canyon Ventures

Posted by Keys on 2007-08-15

PUBLIC:

Pitched team at Rustic Canyon with a prior company. They identified the positives in our business but also recognized some serious flaws in our model, which ended up being correct. Provided a quick no with a detailed explanation.

PRIVATE: Members Only (120 Characters)

2
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4
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A Unique Firm and Not Bush

Fund: Rustic Canyon Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-06-24

PUBLIC:

I have been on both sides of the table working with many venture funds. To be fair, I have rarely seen a "bush league" professional venture fund. Yes, you have to deal with some egos but then again, I haven't seen many good CEO's that don't carry a healthy ego when they need to. Sometimes, you need to realize that your business plan is not a match for certain funds and as such, you need to move on and find ones that are a better match.

In the case of Rustic Canyon, yes they did invest in my company but I can honestly say that their due dilligence process was extremely thorough and very analytical. The data was shared and discussed. I didn't necessarily agree with all of their findings but in the end, I could understand the logic they were using. This is in no way a Bush League operation. Post close, they, along with my other lead investors, continue to add value and have specific epertise on hand that I can (and do) leverage.

PRIVATE: Members Only

4
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A Unique Firm, and Not Bush

Fund: Rustic Canyon Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-06-23

PUBLIC:

These guys are unique but professional. Not alot of firms who have created a latin media fund, an alternative energy buyout fund and helped drive the recent restructure of the Tribune while still helping to create a number of very creative companies including some of the recent IPO's like Loopnet.

PRIVATE: Members Only (802 Characters)

7
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Got a Fast No

Fund: Rustic Canyon Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-06-04

PUBLIC:

Went thru pitch process and received a no quickly. Was treated with respect. Partner spent more time in our meeting than planned and asked very insightful questions, which was appreciated. No qualms or issues.

PRIVATE: Members Only (578 Characters)

5
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Great Firm in Media

Fund: Rustic Canyon Ventures

Posted by Sonny on 2007-05-12

PUBLIC:

This firm is extremely different than most venture firms even though they play in the standard venture arena. The media connections are long standing an unusual, the have a "financial engineering bent", and they are sometimes involved with firms over a very long time.

PRIVATE: Members Only (112 Characters)

9
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4
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Be Careful.

Fund: Rustic Canyon Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-05-10

PUBLIC:

Mediocre VCs that play hardball, put decent money, but do not provide much support. They are not very responsive during the pitching process and if they do decide to do a deal, they will beat you down pretty hard.

PRIVATE: Members Only (195 Characters)

2
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Mostly Good, But...

Fund: Rustic Canyon Ventures

Posted by startupcatch22 on 2007-05-09

PRIVATE: Members Only (114 Characters)

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Set in Their Ways

Fund: Rustic Canyon Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-05-02

PUBLIC:

Former LA Times venture arm. They like to do business with people they know.

PRIVATE: Members Only

3
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2
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Good but Not Great

Fund: Rustic Canyon Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-04-04

PUBLIC:

Good people but no one blew me away. Slow and complex to deal with if you are not working directly with their Santa Monica HQ.

PRIVATE: Members Only (286 Characters)