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Please take a moment and make a financial contribution to TheFunded. If we have helped you, help us with resources to further grow the both the site and our entrepreneur training program, The Founder Institute.

Timothy C. Draper

Partner Rating:

Rated 3.2 / 5.0 by 12

Partner Information:

Title:     Managing Director

Location:  Menlo Park, US West

Blog:      

Firm Rating:

Rated 3.1 / 5.0 by 50

Firm Information:

Company:   Draper Fisher Jurvetson

Type:      Medium Private VC

URL:       Firm Homepage

PERSONAL SPECIALTY: None.

FIRM DESCRIPTION: Draper Fisher Jurvetson is the pre-eminent venture capital firm with global presence through a network of affiliated funds, with offices in more than 30 cities around the world and over $4.5 billion in capital commitments. DFJ's mission is to identify, serve, and provide capital for extraordinary entrepreneurs anywhere who are determined to change the world. Over the past twenty years, DFJ has been proud to back more than 300 companies across many sectors including such industry-changing catalysts as Hotmail (acquired by MSFT), Baidu (BIDU), Skype (acquired by EBAY), United Online (UNTD), Overture (acquired by YHOO), Interwoven (IWOV), Four11 (acquired by YHOO), Parametric (PMTC), and Digidesign (acquired by AVID).

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Josh Stein is a Class Act: One to Try to Get Into Your Company

Fund: Draper Fisher Jurvetson

Posted by jasonlk on 2007-10-04

PUBLIC:

I actually cannot speak to all of DFJ, but Josh was pretty unique when we pitched him. First of all, he was both confident and thoughtful enough (a rare combo) to listen to a pitch and during it go from disposed against investing to disposed in favor. That's rare. Second, in what sounds like a small gesture but was a first for me, he liked our deck enough to ask if he could share it with another non-competitive portfolio company. I've seen so many 'confidential' decks passed around over the years -- but Josh was the first to actually ask if he could forward. Class act.

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Opinions

Fund: Draper Fisher Jurvetson

Posted by startupguy on 2007-03-14

PUBLIC:

Get them if you can.

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Ravi Belani, Josh Stein

Fund: Draper Fisher Jurvetson

Posted by Anonymous on 2008-06-05

PUBLIC:

While I have met and had multiple meetings with many top tier VCs, I could not have been more impressed with DFJ. First, I have to agree with the prior comment that Ravi Belani is a rising star. He is insanely smart, has a deep understanding of his industries and is well connected. I was further impressed by his interest in doing the right thing. In this case, it included introductions to executives at companies funded by other VCs, and bringing in a key strategic investor that would limit his ownership stake, but substantially improve the company going forward. Another unique trait is that he is focused on empowering and advising the entrepreneur, not controlling and overpowering the executive team. DFJ moved very quick -- after an initial meeting, they assembled the right people and quickly arrived at a decision. I appreciated the speed with which they reached a conclusion and was impressed by their bench depth--everyone I met including Josh Stein, Steve Jurvetson, Andreas Stavropoulos and Emily Melton (to name a few) was an A player as well.

I am confident that we choose the right partner in growing our business. I would definitely put DFJ on your short list of VCs to talk to provided that they have deep expertise in your particular market space and that you establish a good relationship with the partner taking the lead.

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Great Knowledge of Web 2.0 and Willing to Take Risks

Fund: Draper Fisher Jurvetson

Posted by Anonymous on 2008-03-04

PUBLIC:

I have pitched several companies to DFJ over the years and Emily Melton's knowledge of companies and business models in the web 2.0 space is second to none. I would value her advice on any consumer/web business plan.

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Tim is Awesome but Don't Get Bogged Down with Associates

Fund: Draper Fisher Jurvetson

Posted by Anonymous on 2008-02-10

PUBLIC:

Tim may come off as a bit crazy but I really liked him when I spoke to him. He's sincere and really believes in what he's doing. He said that when he asks entrepreneurs why they are doing their start-up, he doesn't fund the 8/10 who say, "To make myself rich" or the 1/10 who say "To make my investors rich", but rather the 1/10 who say "Something is wrong and I have to fix it." Tim is great.

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Leaning on CEOs for Personal Causes?

Fund: Draper Fisher Jurvetson

Posted by Krassen on 2009-01-14

PUBLIC:

On December 28th I posted the 'Avoid Fonstad' review of DFJ on this site. Within a few days seven people agreed with the review and none disagreed, and then the review rolled out of the front pages with no further feedback.

Lately however, there have been five disagreements with my review, as well as several comments supporting of DFJ/Fonstad , plus one additional review in support of DFJ. Similarly, Jennifer Fonstad's personal profile featured only negative ticks at the time of my review, but recently there were three positive ticks, along with a couple of positive comments. This was all happening while my review was off the front pages, so I doubt the activity was some form of spontaneous reaction of disagreement upon stumbling on my review.

I suspect that the pattern is indicative of a campaign to raise the profile of DFJ and Fonstad on The Funded. There are a couple of problems with that:
(1) CEOs who are currently in the DFJ portfolio are in position of dependency and subordination relative to DFJ and can be leaned upon to comment against their true opinions. (Interestingly, all of the new supportive comments are authored by identifiable monikers, and not by Anonymous, so they can potentially point out and receive credit for their effort)
(2) There is a built-in asymmetry if there is a concerted campaign underway to raise the profile of a firm. Contributors with negative sentiment are not organized by a unifying force and comment at a leisurely, random and intermittent pace; likely only when prompted by another review on the front pages, or after a meeting or other interaction with DFJ. This is reminiscent of voting on a proposition where only one side actively campaigns and not the other.

The political/electoral analogies I used are not casual. People should know that Mrs. Fonstad is an experienced political operative, who ran Mitt Romney's Senate campaign in 1994 and was the Co-Chair of Women for Mitt in this past election cycle. Obviously she has good skills as a political organizer.

This recent activity helps me better understand why my CEO, H.Perry Fell, donated maximum contribution to Mitt Romney's presidential campaign in 2007, when Fonstad was fundraising. In 2004 Fell was very adamant about voting for Kerry; I can potentially see him voting for Romney, but I have a very hard time seeing him give cash, since the guy is extra careful with money (this was actually a good thing for NanoString). Now I suspect that he was leaned upon by Fonstad.

So, if you sign with DFJ, you may have to be prepared to fork cash for their political candidates and to write positive comments here.

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Get on Tim's Radar

Fund: Draper Fisher Jurvetson

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-01-08

PUBLIC:

DFJ is an excellent fund and very professional. They will leave you alone, if that is what you want, and they are very responsive to getting paperwork done on your behalf. However, they have a lot of contacts that could prove useful...

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Ravi Belani: Insightful and Helpful

Fund: Draper Fisher Jurvetson

Posted by Anonymous on 2008-07-21

PUBLIC:

I recently met with Ravi to discuss a nascent new business concept that's promising but still a bit fuzzy in the details. Ravi got it immediately. He quickly began offering very creative insight that helped me flesh out the concept, explore related ideas, and understand my most important next steps. True to DFJ's reputation, Ravi was particularly insistent that I 'think big' and consider ways to turn this concept technology into a platform. He was also very considerate to my position as the entrepreneur and respectful of my role as the keeper-of-the-vision. Overall I came away very impressed with Ravi's intellect and creativity. I would be very pleased to have Ravi on my board and I'm looking forward to formally pitching DFJ.

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Be Cautious

Fund: Draper Fisher Jurvetson

Posted by mobileceo on 2007-03-19

PRIVATE: Members Only (203 Characters)

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Rolodex to Die for

Fund: Draper Fisher Jurvetson

Posted by Y2K on 2007-03-16

PUBLIC:

Tend to back what originally seems like a edgy or out there idea. Tim Draper is definitely a unique character. Tend to see ahead of the curve and adventurous e.g. investing in Vietnam and Ukraine. The sort of people you WANT to work with.

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Good Feedback and Pleasant Experience

Fund: Draper Fisher Jurvetson

Posted by Anonymous on 2012-08-03

PUBLIC:

Good overall experience of pitching to them and getting valuable feedback from them. Partner was attentive during the presentation and asked follow up questions. He also followed quickly on next steps.

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Efficient Evaluation, Solid Terms, and a Quick Close

Fund: Draper Fisher Jurvetson

Posted by Alex Edelstein on 2010-08-19

PUBLIC:

We (CloudCrowd) have just closed on a substantial investment from DFJ. The process was extremely efficient. The time from Signed Term Sheet to Deal Funding took all of 9 business days (which boggled our lawyers). We feel that DFJ was quite reasonable with the deal terms, and are satisfied with our valuation. We've really enjoyed our interactions so far with the DFJ team, particularly with Andreas Stavropoulos, Don Wood, and Josh Raffaelli.

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No Alpha Wolves, Part of the Pack

Fund: Draper Fisher Jurvetson

Posted by Anonymous on 2009-12-22

PUBLIC:

We met with Tim and a number of other folks in the firm to look for an early stage investment.

In all of our experience, the best firms (notably First Round, Sequoia, and Benchmark) didn't have huge hierarchies and a phalanx of associates, juniors, principals, etc. It seems the larger the organization the more pack-like they become. DFJ is a perfect example of that. Getting them to pull the trigger will take a long time, so have them on your list of follow-on investors (as most people do). More importantly, when we pitched last year, they were at the end of the fund and it's likely that they have become even more stingy.

Tim Draper was cool to speak to, but he wasn't a genius. I don't think he prides himself on brilliance but on his coaching ability and loyalty, and you could see some genuine qualities to that.

Emily Melton was a great person to speak to. Honest and forthright with her comments. At the very least, she was clear on where we were.

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Hmmm...

Fund: Draper Fisher Jurvetson

Posted by Anonymous on 2009-07-09

PUBLIC:

Read on...

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Spray and Pray, Affiliate Funds Leaving

Fund: Draper Fisher Jurvetson

Posted by Anonymous on 2008-12-23

PRIVATE: Members Only (543 Characters)

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Training Wheels

Fund: Draper Fisher Jurvetson

Posted by hyperthread on 2008-11-30

PUBLIC:

A friend called in a favor to get me to an analyst. The pitch was fine--cordial--but I knew about 15 minutes into it that the two young gents in the meeting weren't really following me. Their questions did not suggest that they really grasped our business model. I tried to get a partner into the room, knowing that it was going to die otherwise, but to no avail. They passed for vague reasons. It would have been good practice had they asked better questions.

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Just Fyi, Proceed @ Your Own Risk

Fund: Draper Fisher Jurvetson

Posted by Anonymous on 2008-11-25

PUBLIC:

I know this fund has got a good history and has been relatively very good at generating $$. They seem to be doing better than many other firms, and I know that. So, proceed at your own risk.

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Quick Response, Useless Information

Fund: Draper Fisher Jurvetson

Posted by Anonymous on 2008-10-21

PUBLIC:

Submitted without reference. Quick to say no.

PRIVATE: Members Only (359 Characters)

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Focus on Getting the Deal Done

Fund: Draper Fisher Jurvetson

Posted by generalist on 2008-06-14

PUBLIC:

We have recently received a term sheet from DFJ. The term sheet was extremely clean, and focused on preparinf the company for success. No BS, no irrational preference, cleaned the previous investors' awful terms and pratically restructured the company in a way that made everyone focused on a large success.
During the negotiations they were very open, and agreed to many requests as long as they did not create a conflict of interest on the big items.
I look forward to get a closing. I will post another comment upon closing to describe that experience.

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Power Analyst

Fund: Draper Fisher Jurvetson

Posted by Anonymous on 2008-02-29

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Radio Silence...

Fund: Draper Fisher Jurvetson

Posted by Anonymous on 2008-02-07

PUBLIC:

After a review of our executive summary, was asked to send a detailed business plan, now over a month ago. No response despite email follow-ups.

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Dfj India

Fund: Draper Fisher Jurvetson

Posted by beaupeep on 2007-10-26

PUBLIC:

We've met all the big name VCs in India. We got termsheets from a couple & closed on one.

I met Tim Draper a couple of years ago, and he was bright. But, DFJ India's Sateesh Andra is the biggest loser I've seen amongs tens of VCs I've met. I'm not sure how such a reputable firm made him a venture partner.

As the VC process is fairly new in India, and what with the booming economy, He's basking more in the attention that he garners as a partner with DFJ, and not on bringing good deals to the fund.

Goto Mohanjit Jolly (newly stationed in Bangalore) if you can. Avoid Sateesh like plague.

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Might Waste Your Time

Fund: Draper Fisher Jurvetson

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-08-16

PUBLIC:

We got an e-mail of interest direct from Tim; directed us to work with Nate his associate. Never heard from Nate, then got an e-mail later from staff passing. Odd slightly schizo behavior. On the upside time wasted was not that much, just weird.

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Dfj Wants "Passion"

Fund: Draper Fisher Jurvetson

Posted by 5hundy on 2007-08-14

PUBLIC:

A few months ago we presented to Ravi Belani at DFJ. He's a really sharp guy, he got the idea and gave us some good insight. Later we came in for a second meeting (again with Ravi), were he told us they really loved the idea but they probably weren't going to do the deal because we didn't have any passion other than for making money.

Our business is a pure economic play - we are not making single moms happy or feeding the homeless. Their argument was that the companies they invested in that did really well were the ones that set out to change the world.

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Tim and the Gang

Fund: Draper Fisher Jurvetson

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-05-13

PUBLIC:

Tim does live up to the hype -- if you get to meet him. This firm does have have a phalanx of associates: treat them well, get them jacked up and then you get to meet Tim. They didn't do our deal, but will make intros to angels if they like you (like being weight-listed I guess)

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