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Howard Morgan

Partner Rating:

Rated 4.3 / 5.0 by 14

Partner Information:

Title:     Partner

Location:  San Francisco, US West

Blog:      Howard Morgan

Firm Rating:

Rated 3.7 / 5.0 by 64

Firm Information:

Company:   First Round Capital

Type:      Small Private VC

URL:       Firm Homepage

PERSONAL SPECIALTY: None.

FIRM DESCRIPTION: First Round Capital is an early stage venture capital firm managed by Josh Kopelman, Chris Fralic, Rob Hayes and Howard Morgan. We look to partner with entrepreneurs to build innovative technology companies. We are seed-stage investors, often providing a company's first outside capital, and are not afraid of investing in pre-revenue companies. We understand the challenges of launching a new product. We look to take an active role in most of the companies we invest in. We believe our experience, insight and expertise are far more valuable than our capital -- and we look for entrepreneurs who feel the same. We recognize that time is an extremely valuable resource for an entrepreneur -- and seek not to waste it. We operate as an entrepreneurial shop and are able to make quick decisions. No investment committees. No months of negotiations. If we're going to invest, we usually decide within days.

4
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1
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Josh and Howard are Awesome

Fund: First Round Capital

Posted by 750bat on 2007-09-27

PUBLIC:

I know Josh from his entrepreneur days and Howard from idealab NY and I can say they are, without a doubt, two of the smartest Internet guys out there. They're both investors (personally) in my company and I feel lucky to have them involved every time I interact with him. The only downside is their input is so helpful, you often find yourself wanting more and more of their time... and there's only so much time in the day.

PRIVATE: Members Only (349 Characters)

7
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1
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President

Fund: First Round Capital

Posted by Ken on 2007-07-20

PUBLIC:

They passed. I don't care. It was a great experience and I would recommend them to anyone. These guys are smart, and professional. They asked the right questions, got what we were doing, took less then 4 days and got back to us to say no, we didn't fit their business model. Just the fact that he took the time to call me back puts First Round ahead of 95% of the other VC's out there.

PRIVATE: Members Only (658 Characters)

7
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1
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Smart and Listened!

Fund: First Round Capital

Posted by Jakester on 2007-07-14

PUBLIC:

Met with Rob and pitched our deal. Though First Round passed on us it was clear he really understood our play and gave great constructive feedback. A smart fisrt rate team of accomplished business people!

PRIVATE: Members Only

7
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1
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If You Can Get Into This Club, Don't Hesitate

Fund: First Round Capital

Posted by Rooly on 2007-07-10

PUBLIC:

Josh understands Internet more than anyone I've met. We work with him and his team for almost a year - smart inputs, valuable networking and unlike most other investors, they let you work. If you can get into this club, don't hesitate.

PRIVATE: Members Only

11
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1
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Super Early Stage Firm

Fund: First Round Capital

Posted by slarsen on 2007-05-13

PUBLIC:

This is a great fund to have behind you. I know Josh, Howard and Rob (formerly at Omidyar) well and find them superb contributors at the board level (whether they've got a vote, or not) and in being willing to visit and talk things through with you and anyone on your team.

PRIVATE: Members Only (92 Characters)

5
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1
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Josh and Other Frc Partners Do Take Board Seats...

Fund: First Round Capital

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-05-06

PUBLIC:

...at least, on some deals. Other than that, I agree with sandhillpitcher's comments about Josh. He and the other partners at FRC are on a bunch of boards. I appreciate having FRC on my board and would do it again in a heartbeat. All I can say to sandhillpitcher is that I guess they think I need more help than you do, so they took a board seat on my deal and a more informal role on yours :)

PRIVATE: Members Only

6
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Bright

Fund: First Round Capital

Posted by schmoozer on 2007-04-19

PUBLIC:

they are smart seed investors.

PRIVATE: Members Only (293 Characters)

5
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1
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First Round Guys Seem Bright

Fund: First Round Capital

Posted by gabrielz on 2007-04-25

PUBLIC:

I think the title says most of what matters. Chris and Rob were on time for our meeting and asked a few good questions.
***Update*** Although they chose not to fund our company, their feedback from the meeting turned out to be useful and we took some of it to heart in our plan update.

PRIVATE: Members Only (28 Characters)

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Rude Process, Partner Checking Email During Pitch Beware Rob Hayes

Fund: First Round Capital

Posted by Anonymous on 2013-05-30

PUBLIC:

We recently pitched First Round. Overall I like their brand and what they stand for (first round), but it seems as though the firm is 'severely' slipping and is no longer top of mind for founders. I've heard negative feedback echoed across the board from friends.

We met with Rob recently. We had a 1hr meeting scheduled. He showed up late - ergh already. Was engaged for 10mins, pulled out his phone, starting reading email, looked up to seemingly pretend like he cared, and pushed us to speed up. The meeting ended early. We followed up with a "thank you for the time" style note, and no surprise, never heard anything back. Guy seems like a total arrogant ass, frankly. Sure, it's cool to pass on us (we raised a ~2m seed so we found plenty of others interested) but at least have the nerve to write us back. We spent our precious time (we're busy too) pitching you and speaking on the phone prior to the in-person, and yet you couldn't even write us back or take some time away from your email to listen?

Not impressed with my interactions, have shared the feedback with friends, who funny enough those that had also pitched first round, came back with similar feedback. Avoid.

PRIVATE: Members Only

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My Experience with First Round

Fund: First Round Capital

Posted by calico on 2011-08-19

PUBLIC:

After seeing everyone's response to First Round, I wanted to document our own experience with them from start to finish. We just reached out to them today and as we get responses - or don't - we'll post here.

Some background on who we are:

We are a mobile and social app company that specialized in really innovative solutions for market problems. Our philosophy is that there is no reason we shouldn't go after 10% of a market if that segment is underserved by the major players.

Our background is in anonymity, video games, marketing and monetization. We're currently raising our seed round for our first product which is releasing on Sept. 1st. We've gone through the Springboard incubator here in San Diego and now are intent on raising the funds to make our products hit the market and dominate the segment we are after :)

PRIVATE: Members Only

3
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Chris Fralic Pays Attention

Fund: First Round Capital

Posted by Anonymous on 2010-12-11

PUBLIC:

We've been keeping FRC in the loop on my start-up, and they've shown sustained interest despite our entry in the music space (which many VCs run away from quickly).

PRIVATE: Members Only (179 Characters)

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Smart, Insightful, Nice but Very Busy!

Fund: First Round Capital

Posted by MZThrasher on 2010-12-07

PUBLIC:

I've met and pitched to most of this team (Howard Morgan, Rob Hayes, Christine Herron, Kent Goldman, Josh Kopelman (virtually)...and I truly like each one of them. Josh, exactly as everyone says, gets it and is immediately granular. Rob is a very nice guy, attentive and responsive. Howard I can't say enough about - just a lovely man. Christine, Kent, both very knowledgeable. In each meeting, something helpful comes out of it. No, no funding yet. But the door is open so it's kind of up to us to push inside, if we even end up taking venture. But it stands out as one of the more credible, energetic and smart firms I've met with....and I've met with a few!

PRIVATE: Members Only (419 Characters)

5
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Casual Meetings Possible

Fund: First Round Capital

Posted by Anonymous on 2008-05-05

PUBLIC:

Willing to meet for casual discussions, but rescheduled a handful of times along the way.

PRIVATE: Members Only (336 Characters)

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Good Casual First Meeting

Fund: First Round Capital

Posted by speedy on 2008-04-29

PUBLIC:

We recently met with Rob Hayes. We aren't looking for VC funding yet, but will be, and we had a warm introduction. Rob struck is very positively, had good questions, and even has made an introduction to a potentially valuable strategic partner. I was left with a feeling that they could be valuable contributors to my company's future success.

I look forward to following up with FRC when we start our VC cycle.

PRIVATE: Members Only

2
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Honest and Straightforward

Fund: First Round Capital

Posted by DavidSiegel on 2007-12-11

PUBLIC:

Their web site says to network your way to them, which I did. After an email introduction, Chris agreed to take my call. We went through my pitch on the phone, and he listened and was familiar with the space. He said it wasn't in their sweet spot, because we weren't far along enough to show breakout potential, but he was honest and helpful. He invited me to contact him as things progressed. I later met him at a TED event and, even though he's a foot taller than I am, he never looked down on me. Seems to have a lot of integrity and respect for entrepreneurs. I'd go back to him for a later round.

PRIVATE: Members Only

2
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I'M Just Confused by the Interaction....

Fund: First Round Capital

Posted by GrowthCapital on 2007-12-04

PUBLIC:

I'm genuinely confused by my interaction with FirstRound.

I spoke with Rob Hayes quite some time ago - a fellow entrepreneur made an introduction to Josh Kopelman and Rob followed up. We had a very brief conversation in which I mentioned we were not yet looking for funding but I wanted to connect and introduce myself because we would be shortly. Rob asked some very reasonable, very standard checklist questions, and I thanked him for his time and indicated that I'd follow up when ready.

A couple of months later, I was about to reach out again when yet a different contact alerted me that he would write to Josh at FirstRound recommending us. I figured that another endorsement couldn't hurt. Out of the blue, I got a Facebook friend request from Josh (who I've never met and my only interaction was via the above introduction). I accepted his request and wrote back saying that while we'd never connected, I had spoken with Rob and our company was actually ready to look for Series A financing. Josh never responded to me at all. He did respond to the contact trying to connect us, saying simply that he looked in the database and "they had already passed." I never heard anything from him or FirstRound again.

It was just a totally different interaction than I've had with any other VC. If a VC isn't interested in my plan, that's fine. There was just something unsettling about the weird contact and the fact that they "passed" on our plan without being offered an opportunity to invest, and without ever telling us.

PRIVATE: Members Only

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First Round Has Worked Hard for Us... Glad We Got Them

Fund: First Round Capital

Posted by secondtime on 2007-10-25

PUBLIC:

I was just starting my second company and raising angel money (primarily from people who had invested in the first one), when I got an intro to Josh Kopelman. I arranged a call to get to know him, not to pitch him on the business. We spoke for 30 minutes, spent some time on what I was working on and he said they wanted in to the round. He outlined the due dilligence steps... Amazingly, from there things went very smoothly, we closed the seed round oversubscribed, and they have been a wonderful partner in working with us on a business that is notably more complicated than most of the other deals out there. If you're starting a company, I wouldn't hesitate to encourage you to get an intro to one of the guys at First Round Capital.

PRIVATE: Members Only (469 Characters)

6
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Pp

Fund: First Round Capital

Posted by anonymous on 2007-07-23

PUBLIC:

Polite & Professional-- a pass on an initial inquiry included a short phrase explaining why.

PRIVATE: Members Only (215 Characters)

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CEO

Fund: First Round Capital

Posted by bureauchief on 2008-03-31

PUBLIC:

First Round funded us in 2005. Josh and Howard went from introduction to term sheet in eight days, while Josh was on vacation. Howard is on our board and EVERYONE is actively involved when asked. If they are passing or giving you critical feedback...Take It! You might learn something. The day I sell my company, is the day I give the guys at First Round my money to invest (if they'll take it).

PRIVATE: Members Only