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Thomas H. Bredt

Partner Rating:

Un-rated

Partner Information:

Title:     Venture Advisor

Location:  Menlo Park, US West

Blog:      

Firm Rating:

Rated 3.4 / 5.0 by 49

Firm Information:

Company:   Menlo Ventures

Type:      Medium Private VC

URL:       Firm Homepage

PERSONAL SPECIALTY: None.

9
Agree
1
Disagree

Great Experience

Fund: Menlo Ventures

Posted by baho on 2008-03-13

PUBLIC:

We took a deal to Menlo and it was a very positive experience. New litigation stopped the term sheet, but until then the process was reasonably efficient. But I was particularly impressed with the quality of the people. Greatly enjoyed working with Shawn Carolan, but all the others involved were smart and challenging without being arrogant or condescending. I've since recommended several deals to Menlo, and continue to put them on the top of my list of quality VC's, based on my experience.

PRIVATE: Members Only

9
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4
Disagree

Will Suck You Dry with Requests

Fund: Menlo Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-05-04

PUBLIC:

Of the 20+ VC's I have engaged, nobody wasted our time as much as Menlo. Endless requests for information from Associates on long unknown time lines, and they do almost no math themselves. They only moved when told we were going with another firm, and only then did we find out that the partners weren't behind it.

Smart folks, but I would only consider them in a syndicate when (1) they aren't the lead, and (2) the partner is identified and excited.

PRIVATE: Members Only (163 Characters)

9
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2
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They Took the Time to Get the Whole Story

Fund: Menlo Ventures

Posted by barfly on 2007-01-08

PUBLIC:

Although they did not invest, they gave us a fair and thorough hearing, and were very helpful and open throughout the process.

PRIVATE: Members Only (51 Characters)

8
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4
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Sleeping on the Job

Fund: Menlo Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2008-02-07

PRIVATE: Members Only (473 Characters)

8
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4
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Time is Not of the Essence!

Fund: Menlo Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-01-04

PUBLIC:

Menlo Ventures has a decent reputation, but their elongated research/diligence by Associates is a killer. Expect to be sending a lot of information and answer a lot of questions to pursue an investment from this fund.

PRIVATE: Members Only (244 Characters)

7
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2
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CEO

Fund: Menlo Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-08-13

PUBLIC:

Like the firm and most of the partners. Have worked with a number of them in the past at a previous company with great success. Only downside is that the firm is growing so much there is always politics in getting a deal done with them. Found them to be very honest, upfront and in with the team for the long haul. Mark S, John J, and Sonja and class acts.

PRIVATE: Members Only

7
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3
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Don't Get It

Fund: Menlo Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-05-09

PUBLIC:

They tend to have a hard time understanding newer Internet trends.

PRIVATE: Members Only (138 Characters)

6
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1
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Herd Mentality

Fund: Menlo Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-08-10

PUBLIC:

We had the right introductions and got right in to see Hal Calhoun at Menlo. Hal was very intelligent and a very nice person. But if I had to hear "my partners are uncomfortable with the space" one more time, I'd rather walk across the street to SLAC and have myself irradiated

PRIVATE: Members Only (145 Characters)

6
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1
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Top Notch Investor to Have on Your Side

Fund: Menlo Ventures

Posted by anonymous on 2007-06-22

PUBLIC:

I have had the chance to work with many of the partners at Menlo Ventures and one thing that stands out compared to any other firm that I have worked with is the humility and lack of "I am god" attitude that you see in this business. I have also yet to come across another group that is as respectful of entrepreneurs as they are.

Most of the partners were hands on engineers or engineering managers at some point and I think this is a good explanation for some of the comments here. You are likely to receive feedback consistent with someone with a deep understanding of technology. If thats going to bum you out, dont approach them.

They are also a standup firm, they will not fund direct competition and most importantly for an entrepreneur - they have the staying power to ride out the tough times with you. I have experienced this personally.

Mark is a great guy to work with as are Shawn and John. I agree with the other comments that few work as hard as Shawn in helping the portfolio companies. John and Mark have a wealth of experience to derive from and the partnership works as a team to help portolfio companies. I routinely receive assistance from many of the partners there, not just the one on my board.

The one other thing that I have seen very few other posts address is how a firm works with you after you get funded. Frankly, this is where you want to spend the bulk of your time in selecting investors (assuming you have a fundable business). John, Mark, and Shawn are extremely helpful at the board level and never jump in with random ghosts to chase or "soup du jour" suggestions. The times they get involved have resulted in commercial partnerships or key hires. Nothing is a bigger drag on a CEO or management team's time than random board suggestions.

Oh and the size of the fund doesn't hurt either :)

PRIVATE: Members Only

4
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1
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A Positive Negative

Fund: Menlo Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-10-28

PUBLIC:

We didn't end up doing business with them, but they were courteous, didn't waste our time and were direct with their feedback.

PRIVATE: Members Only (390 Characters)

4
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3
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Firm Understands Its All about People and Markets

Fund: Menlo Ventures

Posted by pmelampy on 2007-08-15

PUBLIC:

This firm above all others understands that is the Leadership of enterprises that matters -- how well they get along -- how they understand and react to market forces -- how they use invested funds to deliver value.

PRIVATE: Members Only (330 Characters)

3
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0
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Positive Feedback, No Deal

Fund: Menlo Ventures

Posted by rfr on 2008-04-28

PUBLIC:

Pitched to them twice, did not end up doing business with them but found them courteous, interested and candid about their feedback. Specially enjoyed working with Hal Calhoun

PRIVATE: Members Only

3
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0
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Long Relationship, Outstanding Experience

Fund: Menlo Ventures

Posted by Mihir Parikh on 2007-12-31

PUBLIC:

I have been extremely fortunate to have worked with Menlo Ventures. In 1984, they funded my first company Asyst Technologies, Inc. and remained patient supporters & investors until I took Asyst public in '93. I stayed on as CEO of Asyst until '02 with revenues of over $500M. Since my 'retirement' from Asyst, I kept in touch with them and they have since funded my second company, Aquest Systems.

My experience with Menlo has been truly outstanding. In particular, DuBose Montgomery has been a true partner in my building Asyst and now in building Aquest. My long and fruitful experience with DuBose & Menlo Ventures, truly dispel the disparaging monikers occasionally given to VCs. In fact, I cannot over-emphasize the support they gave me during the long gestation we had at Asyst and now their continued trust & support in my second time to bat - at Aquest.

I will be pleased to respond to any questions/comments from fellow entrepreneurs via e-mail at mparikh@aquestsystems.com

PRIVATE: Members Only

3
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1
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Great Anchor Fund

Fund: Menlo Ventures

Posted by tklopack on 2007-08-07

PUBLIC:

Doug Carlisle has been a pleasure to work with - Menlo was an investor from the early days. Doug has stuck with the company through some tough times and has been operationally helpful, particularly on the big picture view.

PRIVATE: Members Only

3
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2
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Founder & CEO

Fund: Menlo Ventures

Posted by ron@playphone.com on 2007-06-28

PUBLIC:

I have been working with Menlo Ventures and specially Shawn Carolan for about 1 year. Menlo was the lead investor in the series B and also participated in the series C. It has been very enjoyable to have Menlo as partner of our mobile media company. Shawn has great market intelligence and solid Internet/mobile business know-how. Without a doubt a great asset for any CEO in the Internet/Mobile space.

PRIVATE: Members Only

3
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2
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Very Enjoyable and Helpful Relationship

Fund: Menlo Ventures

Posted by hpjin on 2007-06-27

PUBLIC:

I have been working with Menlo Venture, and Shawn Carolan, for about 1.5 years since they lead our latest round of $30M financing. Menlo has a very strong portfolio in Wireless, including MobiTV, the leading provider of TV on mobile phones, and TeleNav, the leading LBS player in US. As a active investor, Menlo coordinate networking events to help its portfolio companies and share connections, insights and best practices. I have benefited quite bit in these. Also I work closely with Shawn in business ideas and strategies. He has strong knowledge and experience with wireless and internet space. Plus he is very smart and strategic. He is not really push as a board member. He is very responsive to my request, making introductions and respond to my business ideas. I consider him as a great friend and business partner to bounce idea with. Always get great perspective from him. He might be the youngest managing director in Silicon Valley, but he impresses me quite often with his maturity and depth of thinking. For our last round of financing, we had 4 termsheets from top Sand Hill VCs, and we choose Menlo. Overall I am very happy with choosing Menlo as our major investor, especially working with Shawn. Zero regret.

PRIVATE: Members Only

2
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0
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In for the Long Haul

Fund: Menlo Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2008-03-03

PUBLIC:

Menlo invested in my last gig in one of the last of the bubble craziness in early 2001. The strategy was always compelling and so Menlo helped us through a massive resizing and the raising of additional rounds. John Jarve was our board member and was always very straight, very gentlemanly and extremely sharp. He and the Menlo partnership were always there for us. If you can get John to invest in your company, especially in the first round, you won't regret it.

PRIVATE: Members Only (508 Characters)

0
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0
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Outstanding Partner Though Challenging Situation

Fund: Menlo Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2011-07-01

PUBLIC:

I cannot imagine a better VC partner. I joined as CEO during a rough transion, at a point when most VCs would have probably abandoned our ship. Mark Siegel is an extremely effective board member and advisor. He never forced any issue, and was highly effective asking the right questions and offering advice while we worked our way through a complex situation over an extended period of time. Menlo's partners blew us away when our management team went to them to report that we had to execute a significant "pivot" and needed them to provide additional bridge financing to do so. They deomnstrated a keen understanding of our market, poked hard at our assumtions and plans, and stuck with us when we needed them most. Ultimately we found a buyer and managed a decent exit. I'll take my next opportunity to them first.

PRIVATE: Members Only (159 Characters)