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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.

George Zachary

Partner Rating:

Rated 4.1 / 5.0 by 28

Partner Information:

Title:     Partner

Location:  Menlo Park, US West

Blog:      

Firm Rating:

Rated 3.1 / 5.0 by 37

Firm Information:

Company:   Charles River Ventures

Type:      Large Private VC

URL:       Firm Homepage

PERSONAL SPECIALTY: None.

FIRM DESCRIPTION:

16
Agree
2
Disagree

Quickfart

Fund: Charles River Ventures

Posted by johnnyonetime on 2007-11-01

PUBLIC:

The Quick Start program is kind of a joke. We were asked to come in and pitch our idea and told we would receive a response by day's end. We were given 30 minutes to pitch, which really isn't enough time to explain a dynamic market. I'm a proponent of "short and sweet", but every other VC alloted us 1:30 hours to explain our approach.

After the meeting we never heard back from CRV for 45 days! Pure radio silence. Once we did hear back the response was, "there isn't enough information to pursue this opportunity at this stage." No kidding"""" Maybe 45 minutes would have afforded us enough time to provide a sufficient amount of information:)

Susan Wu was the lead on our meeting and we very much liked her. I have worked with Ted Dinnersmith in the past and he too is great. I can't really speak about the others beyond a general angst they cast when you meet them.

CRV has done some interesting deals, but the quick start program is not as advertised. Conceptually it sounds great, but in practice I have to say it just doesn't work.

We are funded at this stage, so I hold nothing against CRV, but I do recommend they retain some brand equity and kill the program.

PRIVATE: Members Only (75 Characters)

13
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1
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CEO

Fund: Charles River Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-06-01

PUBLIC:

Bad Experiences with CRV

PRIVATE: Members Only (408 Characters)

9
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1
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Common Courtesy

Fund: Charles River Ventures

Posted by pharkins on 2007-07-11

PUBLIC:

I will never understand why any business person, who sought you out, refuses to return a follow up call or email -- amazing. My experience with CRV

PRIVATE: Members Only

9
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3
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Quickstart; Renamed Quicksand

Fund: Charles River Ventures

Posted by blk911 on 2007-05-06

PUBLIC:

The details of the program seem to be fairly straight forward: fund at the seed level, get a ConvDebt w/pref in exchange for shot at series "A". [sic] We'll fund some projects early, not expend a ton of overhead scrutinzing the incubation and launch then get more heavily involved at the first 'open' round.

I made an inquiry on a Friday night at 9pCST, rec'd a reply in 40min. "Nice...but they didn't address my concern" which was that I wanted to have a phone conversation prior to sending in my Exec Summary. 4 days later the reply came "We can't do that...". So I sent a link which gave some public details and ask for a phone convo. "Sorry".

Seemed like it was not too much to ask, since our business is in the mobile space and todate, a completely unique concept there (hence a bit concerned about a blind mail-in).

2 emails more and we concluded that I would contact them post-launch. As described above, I wonder if they are for real or fishing for ideas or getting educated on what folks are doing in what spaces. We have an experienced team, seasoned vets in mgmt, code done, beta launched...and won't even do a phone call"

Odd.

PRIVATE: Members Only (178 Characters)

8
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1
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More Explanation Would Be Appreciated

Fund: Charles River Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-05-02

PUBLIC:

They said 'no' and that was it. No explanation whatsoever.

PRIVATE: Members Only (148 Characters)

7
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4
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Susan Wu

Fund: Charles River Ventures

Posted by anonymous on 2011-03-05

PUBLIC:

Looks like funded reviews and comments are working, CRV in that direction, recently they hired an EIR.

PRIVATE: Members Only

6
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2
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George Zachary: Class Act

Fund: Charles River Ventures

Posted by mad1tim2 on 2008-06-12

PUBLIC:

I have hardly met another VC who is as professional, interested and engaged as George. I was impressed from the moment I met him to the week later he gave us a term sheet, to the 9 months later as he has become involved in our company. I would definiteyl show him your plan, as I believe he will give a quick response and move fast to secure a deal.

PRIVATE: Members Only (124 Characters)

6
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2
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Sarah Reed is Unprofessional General Counsel

Fund: Charles River Ventures

Posted by anonymous on 2007-10-01

PUBLIC:

Avoid dealing with Sarah Reed. She oversteps her bounderies as general counsel, as though she is a decision making partner. As an attorney we'd expect her to be fair and unbiased, but in our experience she's anything but. Arrogant ego.

PRIVATE: Members Only

5
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1
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Strong Fund Based on Lots of Experience W/East Coast Office

Fund: Charles River Ventures

Posted by stupatterson on 2007-08-14

PUBLIC:

CRV has a great deal of experience and a remarkably successful track record. While it's understandable that many entrepreneurs who are turned down by them have posted on here, readers shouldn't take it as an indication of CRV's overall quality. CRV has been a pioneer in the VC space in trying to address endemic/systemic problems like too much money chasing too few quality deals and the obvious need to share learnings across/among portfolio companies. Along with Matrix, General Catalyst and a couple others, they're still leading the top tier of the East Coast funds.

PRIVATE: Members Only (702 Characters)

4
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0
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Quickstart

Fund: Charles River Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-05

PUBLIC:

Wanted to apply for quickstart, sent info and got a response but they said hard to pick a winner in my business space. Nice folks but I don't think the quickstart program is really alive and kicking.

PRIVATE: Members Only

4
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3
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Would Have Loved to Work with Them

Fund: Charles River Ventures

Posted by termsheettremors on 2008-05-05

PUBLIC:

Met George Zachary and was hugely impressed. These guys have lots of their own capital at stake and take the companies they like seriously. If not for an eleventh hour conflict of interest, we'd likely be working with them now

PRIVATE: Members Only (335 Characters)

4
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4
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Simply "Shrinking" the Traditional VC Model Does Not Work

Fund: Charles River Ventures

Posted by goodform on 2007-05-18

PUBLIC:

When it comes to Seed Level Funding, The Problem is:

1) The Seed Level Funding pool is shrinking (+/- $500K)

2) Sourcing of Seed Level Candidates is haphazard at best.

3) Seed Level Funding is not economical in terms of ROI, Time, Overhead and Personnel Costs for Traditional VC Firms

4) The Seed Level Funding process is viewed by Funding Candidates as "Cautious" at best and "Adversarial" at worst - The Candidates genuflect and the VCs pontificate

5) After-Funding oversight of the Candidate is not consistent or effective

The Solution is Found in The Following Assumptions:

1) Funding a Candidate to Viability is getting less expensive - open source software, cheaper hardware, ASP-based services to handle back office processes, Web 2.0 buzz . . . .

2) The Funding Candidate is the "Customer" - simply spending less per investment while still maintaining the passive VC investment model will not work. Understand the Customer. Live in the Customer's World.

3) Seed Organizations want their Customers to succeed - incubators, local tech organizations, tech transfers, universities

There is a Solution to the Problem / Opportunity of Seed Level Investing - The START Fund

PRIVATE: Members Only

3
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4
Disagree

Great Experience

Fund: Charles River Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2009-03-20

PUBLIC:

Did a pitch for these guys and had a great experience. They clearly had done prep-work before the meeting and had intelligent questions and comments. The meeting was productive for both sides of the table.

PRIVATE: Members Only

3
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2
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Charles River/Quick Start/Susan Wu

Fund: Charles River Ventures

Posted by pc-vip on 2007-11-16

PUBLIC:

Seeing the mixed bag of reviews and ratings of CRV, CRV-QS, and Susan in particular makes me think "yeah, that's right". Mixed Bag.

I followed the steps for CRV-QS, and knowing that Susan was the assigned gatekeeper reached out to her seperately. She was polite, direct, and reasonably prompt.

Is that the goods news or the bad" I'm not sure. While I'm a big fan of smart people trusting their own judgement and instincts in making decisions, I found Susan's rationale for rejecting us from consideration to be incredibly short-sighted, especially given the small nature of a CRV-QS investment and the firm's ability to structure the deal any way they chose.

Sure, nobody enjoys hearing that their baby is ugly...and Susan didn't really say that. What she did say (I'm not kidding), is that the SMB space is too fractured to make investing in a company that is trying to do business there make any sense.

That might be enough to frustrate anyone, but in my case, I asked for a referral to a partner responsible for more traditional VC deals. Susan simply ignored the request.

As I said: mixed bag.

PRIVATE: Members Only

3
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4
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Crv is Tough but Fair

Fund: Charles River Ventures

Posted by douglaird on 2007-10-08

PUBLIC:

Let me start off by saying that I am the CEO of a semiconductor startup so I have zero experience with Quickstart. I am a portfolio company of CRV so you can say my opinion is biased. This is my third start up. The first one went belly up the second went public and we are pre-revenue on this one. I've seen the good, the bad and the ugly since I have worked in silicon valley since 1978. Needless to say I have been up and down Sand Hill Road more than I care to admit so I can honestly say that I have seen it all when it comes to venture capital. The name of the game in venture capital is to touch as many companies as possible to find the next "Google." Consequently many times people don't call back you just have to accept it as the normal course of business. I found CRV to be tough but fair in their analysis of my business plan. Quickstart is a new program so I'm sure CRV is still working out the kinks. It sounds as though there needs to be a more formal process of reviewing plans with a target date for follow up. The Quickstart program is a good idea that could benefit both CRV and entrepeneurs with a little more structure to reduce the fustration.

PRIVATE: Members Only (363 Characters)

3
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2
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Definitely Quick, Maybe Rushed

Fund: Charles River Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-09-25

PUBLIC:

Dealt with Susan Wu who gave a quick no for QuickStart. I appreciated the quick no, and she gave a brief explanation: she wanted our business model to copy a couple of large firms in our space. This was a topic other investors asked us about, but it seemed like Susan didn't have time to dialog.

PRIVATE: Members Only

2
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1
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Smart People

Fund: Charles River Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-08

PUBLIC:

Very honest and knowledgeable talk with Izhar.

PRIVATE: Members Only

2
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3
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Good Experience

Fund: Charles River Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2009-12-29

PUBLIC:

Pitched them. Were fast to response and follow up. We were too early for them.

PRIVATE: Members Only

2
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2
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Very Pleasant and Quick

Fund: Charles River Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2008-10-28

PUBLIC:

Pitched to Bill Tai and he passed, was very pleasant and quick. He was good enough to admit that he did not understand the business model, he was straight forward and direct which was refreshing.

PRIVATE: Members Only

2
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4
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Crv You Want for the Name

Fund: Charles River Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-12-19

PRIVATE: Members Only (382 Characters)

2
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0
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Does Quick Start Have a Down Side

Fund: Charles River Ventures

Posted by orca on 2007-03-21

PUBLIC:

I gnerally agree their Quick Start program is of interest but there might be some negatives per Josh Kopelman of First Round Capital. See http://redeye.firstround.com/2006/11/...

PRIVATE: Members Only

1
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2
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Jon Aurbach is Great.

Fund: Charles River Ventures

Posted by RenaissanceMan on 2011-03-01

PUBLIC:

Jon was a pleasure to deal with at CRV. Was able to move extremely fast and was completely understanding of any issues that stood in the way of financing. We're just getting started but are very excited to be working with CRV.

PRIVATE: Members Only (103 Characters)

1
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2
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Good Guys

Fund: Charles River Ventures

Posted by level on 2009-09-27

PUBLIC:

These guys had funded a friend's company and we were starting to pitch to them. It wasn't a good fit for us, but my friends gave them high marks. The partner (why am I so bad at names??) went the extra mile to help their company - even coming in to our offices and making sure everything went well when we were exploring integrating our technologies. My friend also compared them very favorably to his angle investors. For what it's worth.

PRIVATE: Members Only

1
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0
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Charles Rivers Ventures

Fund: Charles River Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2009-01-14

1
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3
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Getting Aggressive

Fund: Charles River Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2008-02-16

PRIVATE: Members Only (589 Characters)