Fund: Seraph Group
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-07-15
If you're reading reviews of Seraph without being logged in (so you can see the private portions), you really should log in. Even most of the positive reviews were requested and have a lot of caveats.
What I've heard from friends who've taken funding from them is Seraph will not add value, negotiate aggressively and behave badly on the board. Before you're tempted to take their money, call the founders of their portfolio company.
Also, a quick google search for "Tuff Yen" brings up this article from 2003:
Where Are They Now?
Dollars to Yen
A man of mystery who capitalized on his credentials as a former member of the San Francisco-based investment firm that helped launch Amazon.com, Tuff Yen dazzled locals with visions of Silicon Valley-like returns on Nashville dot-com startups. But in less than two years time, Yen had come and gone from the Nashville investment scene like a bad case of the flu.
Reached at his home in Atlanta, Yen told Nashville Post that he is currently the founder and CEO of Seraph Group LLC, an investment firm he claims has offices in San Francisco, New York City, Los Angeles and Atlanta. “Seraph Group invests in high-growth businesses across all sectors and industries,” Yen says. He declined to specify a Seraph Group investment. Investment firm sources in Atlanta tell Nashville Post they do not recognize the Seraph name and have not heard of Yen making any news in their area in 2002. Web searches turned up no information about Seraph in any of the markets that Yen mentions.
Yen left Nashville in 2001, quickly landing as a partner with Total Technology Ventures LLC, an Atlanta investment firm with an eye for mid- to late-stage privately held companies. But Yen left the firm in December 2001 after only a few months on the job. A TTV official says that they “are not talking” about the circumstances that led to Yen’s departure. “For various and sundry reasons, it didn’t work out,” the TTV contact states. “It might border on the personal.” Yen counters, “With regards to my reasons to depart from Total Technology Venture—[I left] to pursue my own investment firm. Wish me luck!”
Earlier in 2001, Yen’s departure from Nashville and split from fellow fund manager of Titan Ventures, Bobby Frist, was sudden. At the time, Yen and Frist were halfway toward their goal of raising a $15 million fund for IT startups in Nashville. Speculation swirled that Yen left after beginning to simultaneously raise money for a similar fund in Atlanta.
True or false, the departure of Yen, who initially looked like a prescient investor on the local venture capital landscape, ended a period of brisk activity by Yen in Music City.
In addition to his work with Titan Ventures, Yen also started Internet incubator IdeaMachine, which funded planetWE.com, a multi-service online management company catering to small businesses like PayMaxx in Franklin. Yen dissolved the company when he left Nashville. IdeaMachine was also an investor in BlueStar Communications, a high speed digital subscriber line (DSL) provider destined for a national roll-out and a $175 million IPO before it was purchased outright by Covad Communications for $202 million in stock.PRIVATE: Members Only