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Very Helpful, Very Good VC

Fund: Alloy Ventures, Inc.

Posted by twsavage on 2012-10-03

PUBLIC:

I'm posting this for my fellow CEO Eric Filseth of Ciranova. His company and mine (IPextreme) were both Alloy portfolio companies and Dan Rubin was on my board as well and I can concur on much of Eric's comments.

Warren Savage
IPextreme Inc.

------

At Ciranova Inc we had an extremely good experience with Alloy Ventures and Dan Rubin. They were an early investor, and over several years until our exit (acquired in July 2012 by Synopsys Inc) Alloy helped us with much more than capital. They are smart people with deep real-world operating experience and a pragmatic, long term perspective. They were neither skittish in difficult times, nor irrationally exuberant in boom times.

I want to comment specifically on their experience, their integrity, and their leadership with the other investors we had.

You expect VC’s to be experts on startup finance, and Dan and the Alloy CFO, Tony Di Bona, are. But Dan’s operating experience was even more helpful; time and again he gave us smart ideas and astute advice on matters unrelated to financing, such as complicated major-customer interactions, a few tricky HR issues, and a variety of strategic choices. A great “been-there” person to help you think through a problem.

My experience with Alloy is they are very high-integrity people working in a sometimes harsh industry. Anybody who’s been through this stuff understands that all kinds of things happen during financing activities and exits, and there are inherent conflicts of interest which can’t be completely avoided. Throughout the time, Alloy consistently looked out for the best interests of the group, including the employees; and the needs of building the company. Very, very solid people, and much appreciated.

Finally, we had several investors, both professional VC’s and strategics, some of whom were also competitors. It was a good board, but this dynamic made for interesting board meetings, especially during the early days of the downturn in 2009, when it looked like the entire semiconductor industry might even implode. Dan was the guy who consistently led the other investors to consensus on sound decisions, even when there were tricky shoals and conflicts to be navigated. Just a really good, fully-engaged person to have on your board. (Our attorney Bob Latta also extremely effective for this.)

Overall I can’t say enough good things about our experience with Alloy Ventures. I’d recommend them without reservation to any entrepreneur looking for capital, and more. If anyone wants to discuss in more detail I’d be more than happy to do so; you can reach me at efilseth@gmail.com.

Eric Filseth
CEO, Ciranova Inc

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