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Levensohn Venture Partners  CERTIFIED

No New Investments Warning:
Members have submitted information that the following organization(s) may not be making investments into new portfolio companies. This warning can be contested by submitting proof of a completed investment in a new portfolio company within the last four weeks here.

Firm Rating:

Rated 3.3 / 5.0 by 19
Track
Record
3.0
Operating
Competence
3.2
Pitching
Efficiency
3.7
Favorable
Deal Terms
3.4
Execution
Assistance
3.5

Firm Homepage:

FIRM OVERVIEW: Medium Private VC founded in 1996 based out of San Francisco, USA (US West)

FIRM DESCRIPTION: LVP is an early stage investor in information technology companies. We only invest in Bay Area-based companies. We look for well differentiated technologies and efficient business models. We have tended to track a few growth areas, but remain opportunistic in reviewing new areas. We prefer to work with investors where we have a prior board relationship.

TEAM MEMBERS: Jeff Karras, Keith Benjamin, Kip Sheeline, Pascal Levensohn, Steve Reale,

5
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3
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Available?

Fund: Levensohn Venture Partners

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-06-06

PUBLIC:

The one area where Levensohn Venture Partners is different from several funds I have worked with is that the partners are readily available and responsive.

We have had Levensohn Venture Partners as investors for some time. As CEO its nice to have access to your board members and I get same day response from their team.

As I have gotten to know the team they truly are passionate about helping every company in their portfolio be successful and that is why they rate highly on execution assistance and respond quickly when asked for help.

PRIVATE: Members Only

4
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3
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Helpful Even When There is No Fit

Fund: Levensohn Venture Partners

Posted by Not a Yank on 2007-08-13

PUBLIC:

We met Jeff at an SVASE monthly meeting. At that meeting he agreed to meet with us to review our business plan presentation, even though both of us thought that there was little likelihood of Levensohn investing. Subsequently we met with him and his partner. They actually took our plan under consideration before rejecting it for the obvious reason that our business focus in outside CONUS and their focus is Bay Area.

PRIVATE: Members Only (203 Characters)

4
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On Jeff Karras

Fund: Levensohn Venture Partners

Posted by Alyssa Rapp on 2007-06-27

PUBLIC:

I met Jeff Karras through my participation in a two-day fundraising boot camp sponsored by the Women's Technology Cluster (now Astia). Jeff immediately reached out, invited me to come work with him on my model and deck-in-progress. He provided wonderfully helpful feedback in our first meeting, and continued to do so over the course of the next month. I was impressed by his generosity of time and spirit, his candor, and his clear willingness to help me think through the strategic implications of a few specific competitors. I deeply appreciated Jeff's help in shaping my pitch.

PRIVATE: Members Only

4
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4
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Strong People, Good Firm

Fund: Levensohn Venture Partners

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-05-09

PUBLIC:

Pascal Levensohn and Keith Benjamin are very smart people who have strong relationships throughout the industry. I have found them each to be very accessible, open with any issues they hace and overall very helpful to the process. On a personal level, I enjoy interacting with them. On a professional level, they help to get deals done, regardless of their involvement in the final deal. I have taken two deals to them, and in the future would not hesitate to take any deal to them.

PRIVATE: Members Only

3
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2
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Very Responsive and Professional

Fund: Levensohn Venture Partners

Posted by agioeli on 2007-08-08

PUBLIC:

While my company decided not to proceed with LVP, my dealings with them were outstanding. Very responsive, professional and direct with their thoughts.

PRIVATE: Members Only

2
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On Jeff Karras

Fund: Levensohn Venture Partners

Posted by no BS -Refreshing experience on 2008-04-28

PUBLIC:

I met Jeff Karras through my participation in various fundraising events in 2007. He had a clear perspective on our market, understood the technology and was genuinely interested in helping us articulate the value of our solution. We had an up-front discussion of potential fits within his portfolio and the type of business models that would fit our technology (component vs. integrator) as well as realistic traction points and funding milestones. I was impressed with his candid advice and willingness to help strategize on potential funding venues, corporate positioning and market potential. It was clear during the course of our first meetings, that our funding needs and the fact that we were at an early stage was not a good fit for Levensohn. Nevertheless, Jeff was interested in the customer traction and funding outcome of our company. His feedback has continuously helped shape our product strategy and investor presentation.
Jeff is a straight shooter, no BS, no ego trip. He is effective and passionate and works very hard to make opportunities a success. Considering all the other VCs we talked to, I found his approach refreshing.
I talked to a few companies funded by Levensohn and several CEOs and CTOs that pitched to them, and all had similarly positive feedback about the partners and their level of integrity. I would recommend this firm, and this particular partner, to any company looking to raise funds.

PRIVATE: Members Only

2
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Always Working for Us

Fund: Levensohn Venture Partners

Posted by Anonymous on 2008-02-16

PUBLIC:

I worked at an LVP company for 2 years and can say that I have never had a VC work as hard to help than them. Pascal and Jeff are always available to help, have ideas and when asked to do something get it done.

Many companies that I have been at there are expectations of board member participation that never materialized, rather participation was board meetings.

I have done many customer pitch meetings that have been hosted by VCs that never lead to closed business. LVP does not do these types of events rather they work with management to determine what priorities are critical, what relationships are needed and then go after them without the baggage of the company. They actually help the company succeed.

I would not hesitate to have LVP on a board of any of my future startups

PRIVATE: Members Only

2
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Jeff, Kip, Steve Provided Engaged Inputs

Fund: Levensohn Venture Partners

Posted by dkfoster01 on 2008-02-13

PUBLIC:

Met and Pitched on Monday. I was pleased by the very clear, up-front discussion of potential portfolio client conflict (there wasn't one) and good interactive exchange on the business model, technology and traction points. They had good perspectives, knew the market, and were actively curious.

PRIVATE: Members Only

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Committed to Company Building

Fund: Levensohn Venture Partners

Posted by tom@rapt.com on 2008-06-03

PUBLIC:

Kip Sheeline was the seed investor in Rapt, a media infrastructure company recently acquired by Microsoft. As companies like ours frequently go, there were terrible, white-knuckle moments, followed by momentary bursts of elation, followed mostly by more white-knuckle moments. Kip was there for all of them, and never lost his conviction that we could ultimately win. He was relentless in his efforts to help us perfect our business model and market focus.

As a firm, Levensohn was a seasoned investor that didn't run away when other firms bravely turned their tails and fled. (Literally, we had funds exit their position during the build-out of our company.) While I didn't have enough of an opportunity to work with Pascal, my impression of they guy is that he's an extremely thick-skinned, consummately rational investor. Jeff Karras participated in several of our Board meetings along the way with intelligent, action-oriented questions.

PRIVATE: Members Only

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Keith Benjamin

Fund: Levensohn Venture Partners

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-11-11

PUBLIC:

I met with Keith Benjamin on several occasions. While it was disappointing that we did not get funded by them--I felt that they were quite risk averse--Keith was candid about our business and about the state of the world with respect to venture capital. I met with Levensohn several times and I wish that they had funded us--with some others, I felt thankful that they did not. This seems to be a high quality group.

PRIVATE: Members Only (122 Characters)

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Strong Deal Management

Fund: Levensohn Venture Partners

Posted by celerity on 2007-08-17

PUBLIC:

We met LVP at an event and approached them later on a current deal, response and handling mirrored general good comments seen here - quick, clear and most importantly absent ego - so far a case study in how the entrepreneur / VC relationship should commence. Would highly recommend an approach.

PRIVATE: Members Only

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Met with Jeff Karras Good Guy

Fund: Levensohn Venture Partners

Posted by commike on 2009-05-28

PUBLIC:

I met Jeff at an SVASE event. Like always, I followed-up with an Exec Summary, and he actually got back to me. I fit their target sector (security, digital media, and clean-tech infrastructure), but I'm a bit too early for them. Jeff invited me to LVP to go over my company. He gave me some good advice, thought through some of the issues, and was generally helpful.

PRIVATE: Members Only (232 Characters)