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Daniel I. Rubin

Partner Rating:

Rated 4.7 / 5.0 by 3

Partner Information:

Title:     General Partner

Location:  Palo Alto, US West

Blog:      

Firm Rating:

Rated 2.4 / 5.0 by 23

Firm Information:

Company:   Alloy Ventures, Inc.

Type:      Large Private VC

URL:       Firm Homepage

PERSONAL SPECIALTY: Semiconductors, cleantech, and software-as-a-service

FIRM DESCRIPTION: Alloy Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm with over $1 billion under management investing in Information Technology, Life Sciences, and Cleantech companies. For the last 30 years, the partners of Alloy have applied their operational experience, extensive networks and forward-thinking vision to help start and build over 200 market-leading companies, including Amgen (AMGN), Applied MicroCircuits (AMCC), Applied Biosystems (LIFE), Aspect Communications (ASPT), Barrx, CV Therapeutics (CVTX), Fluidigm, IDEC Pharmaceuticals (BIIB), Pacific Biosciences, ViVOTech, Nuance Communications (NUAN) and Octel Communications.

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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.

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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

PRIVATE: Members Only

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Great Experience

Fund: Alloy Ventures, Inc.

Posted by twsavage on 2011-11-18

PUBLIC:

Alloy led our Series A and Dan Rubin was a fantastic investor and board member that was able to go deep into the business and provide real guidance and advice that was very helpful as a sounding board but didn't try to get in the way of day-day business. As a firm, Alloy bent over backwards to help us through the hard times and were our greatest cheerleader when things went well. They seem to really understand that there is no such thing as instant gratification in this business and are in it for the long haul if that's what it takes. I've love to work with them again someday.

PRIVATE: Members Only

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Too Early for Them, but Had Best Meeting Ever Anyway...

Fund: Alloy Ventures, Inc.

Posted by sfossel on 2010-11-04

PUBLIC:

I pitched Scott Johnston and Manu Lakkur and found both to be highly capable, personable, and constructive. Only first meeting I've ever had that lasted an hour and included them breaking out the whiteboard to help me make my company better and get to a point of funding with them. While I admittedly had a warm intro, these guys are definitely a class act and I would go to them without reservation.

PRIVATE: Members Only

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Ammar is Class Act

Fund: Alloy Ventures, Inc.

Posted by pwalborsky on 2009-03-17

PUBLIC:

Ammar has been instrumental in helping GigaOM think through different revenue and economic models as the digital media landscape changes. Ammar understands our industry, is extremely well connected and has been a very strategic partner to us. He is willing to roll-up his sleeves and work with the executive team.

PRIVATE: Members Only

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D List VC

Fund: Alloy Ventures, Inc.

Posted by lastlink on 2008-08-02

PUBLIC:

Skip it. On the tech side, these guys haven't had a win in years. Most recent exits are fire-sales (e.g. Kasenna, You Send It).

PRIVATE: Members Only

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Working with Alloy Partner.

Fund: Alloy Ventures, Inc.

Posted by Anonymous on 2008-04-08

PRIVATE: Members Only (112 Characters)

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David Ezequelle is Not Helpful

Fund: Alloy Ventures, Inc.

Posted by rockdawg on 2008-01-29

PUBLIC:

We were provided a warm introduction to Alloy, unfortunately our point person was David Ezequelle. David preferred to talk about himself and ended with "do this, do that, do this and then we can talk". The problem is we needed help to do this that and the other, which is why we went to see him in the first place. Why the heck would we go back to Alloy once we did everything.

PRIVATE: Members Only

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Don't Take Innovation Here

Fund: Alloy Ventures, Inc.

Posted by anncam12 on 2008-01-28

PUBLIC:

I would agree with many of the comments posted on this firm. They are not looking for anything new, and aren't impressed with anything that isn't new. Not much insight provided, even with respect to businesses which are clearly in their portfolio.

PRIVATE: Members Only (79 Characters)

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Beware: Doug Kelly

Fund: Alloy Ventures, Inc.

Posted by Muckraker on 2008-01-22

PUBLIC:

Doug Kelly is disruptive as a board member in a clever and devious kind of way. He has no clout and very little respect amongst his own partners, so he cannot back up his own word when it has to do with making an important comittment to a company that Alloy has an investment in. Without going into great detail, he has some real ethical issues that would cause me to avoid him and Alloy like the plague. Old school arrogance rules the day in this fund. AVOID.

PRIVATE: Members Only

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A Bit Too Careful

Fund: Alloy Ventures, Inc.

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-08-17

PUBLIC:

Hey, it's not my money--or theirs--so it's easy for me to say they appear a bit too careful. But they do. Tempting to say they are past their prime, but I think they are doing the same thing they did at Asset Management...their previous firm. They are looking to create new subsidiaries of big companies....not new big companies. It's a subtle difference, but you see it all around them. After X years, it's time to bring in professional management....even if there is nothing to professionally manage. At month 1, the company is thinking too big...and needs to prove out its potential with only 1/2 of what it wanted. As a result, everything falls short. Expectations are too low in the beginning and too high near the end. As a result, Alloy and the startup management team never quite get it right because they are never aligned....and neither side ever figures out why.

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Past Their Prime?

Fund: Alloy Ventures, Inc.

Posted by Anonymous on 2008-01-13

PUBLIC:

Alloy has probably seen better days. They appear to be stuck in a rut. They look at deals as being all the same.

PRIVATE: Members Only

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Their Overfocus on Risk Assessment is Interesting...

Fund: Alloy Ventures, Inc.

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-05-22

PUBLIC:

To me it seems as if they are focusing too much on eliminating any possible risk rather than to balance the associated risk against the market opportunity. After all it is venture capital we are talking about here, not a bank loan. We had to spend too much time taking out any risk and we therefore decided that the time spent with them was not worth it.

I also consider them to be very cheap when it comes to the size of the investment. You just get the feeling that whatever investment sum you bring up they will divide it by two without actually assessing whether the requested investment is adequate or not.

PRIVATE: Members Only

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David E is Horrible

Fund: Alloy Ventures, Inc.

Posted by anonymous on 2007-05-09

PUBLIC:

Met this guy at a conference a few years ago. He just walked over to our booth and basically told us how stupid we were. I mean, seriously, they told us we were idiots before he even asked a single question.

PRIVATE: Members Only

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A Typical Tier 2 Firm

Fund: Alloy Ventures, Inc.

Posted by Maverick on 2007-03-19

PUBLIC:

Fairly bright people, but without much first-hand business experience. Don't have the stomach for making tough decisions and tend to panic easily. Very political organization with a culture of bullying both smaller investors and founders.

PRIVATE: Members Only (427 Characters)