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Opus Capital  CERTIFIED

Firm Rating:

Rated 3.2 / 5.0 by 33
Track
Record
2.9
Operating
Competence
3.3
Pitching
Efficiency
3.4
Favorable
Deal Terms
3.3
Execution
Assistance
3.2

Firm Homepage:

FIRM OVERVIEW: Medium Private VC founded in 1989 based out of Menlo Park, USA (US West)

FIRM DESCRIPTION: Leveraging over 60 years operating experience at market leading companies such as Apple, AOL, Decru, EFI, Juniper Networks, Nike, Nokia, Radius and UUNet, Opus Capital focuses on early-stage funding of technology companies.

TEAM MEMBERS: Bob Borchers, Carl Showalter, Dan Avida, Gill Cogan, Isaac Applbaum, Patricia Johnson, Phil Greer,

2
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4
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Pragmatic, Value Add on Board

Fund: Opus Capital

Posted by Anonymous on 2009-01-25

PUBLIC:

As a CEO who has had Dan Avida as a board member, I found Dan and his partners at Opus to be high value-add. He’s tough, but extremely sharp, and he seeks the truth. I received a steady stream of pragmatic advice and assistance including customer and partner intros.

PRIVATE: Members Only

4
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3
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Dan: Rough Around the Edges, but a Good Guy

Fund: Opus Capital

Posted by lbc on 2008-04-09

PUBLIC:

He can be blunt and aggressive, but can also be very helpful. In our case, they didn't fund us but he did connect us to prospective partners for our company, something he obviously didn't have to do.

PRIVATE: Members Only (405 Characters)

5
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3
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Ken Elefant is Worth Talking To

Fund: Opus Capital

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-12-18

PUBLIC:

I did a pitch awhile back to Ken and he came across as a fairly down to earth (for a VC) investor who asked good questions, took the time necessary to understand our business plan and did not come across as arrogant at all.

I'd recommend taking a meeting with him if you have the opportunity

PRIVATE: Members Only (403 Characters)

3
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3
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Co Founder of Spock

Fund: Opus Capital

Posted by jaybhatti on 2007-10-28

PUBLIC:

Ken Elefant is great to work with and takes the time to make the right introductions to poeple within your field and academia. Several of our hires are a direct result from introductions by Ken and the Opus team.

PRIVATE: Members Only

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3
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Age Bias in Favor of 20 Year Olds?

Fund: Opus Capital

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-06-07

PUBLIC:

We felt that the only reason we did not get to pitch is because they wanted a younger looking team.

PRIVATE: Members Only (256 Characters)

9
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3
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Quick Decisions

Fund: Opus Capital

Posted by OtherPeoplesMoney on 2007-05-04

PUBLIC:

Tight team that can make decisions reasonably quickly. Several of the partners have deep security backgrounds, which is good if you are that type of company. One of the more polite firms that will actually give you a "not at this time... we need to see X Y and Z before investing". Most firms just stop answering emails.

PRIVATE: Members Only

3
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A Belief in People, an Intuitive Understanding of the Space and Respect for Management

Fund: Opus Capital

Posted by JeffCore on 2008-11-02

PUBLIC:

My experiences with VCs prior to Opus were rather frustrating - they tended to focus on the wrong things - i.e. how to squeeze another penny out of the customers, an obsession over how to size the market and an unwillingness to understand that there are valuable nuances to our sector that they may not understand.

Relative to the every other VC, Opus was truly a unique experience. The approach was first to asses our concept, then meet management and only after that dive into projections. Ken Elefant and Gill Cogan were the two leads - they did what they said they way they said in the time frame they laid out.

Gill in particular impressed me, speaking not to hear himself talk but to provide insightful thoughts and strategies.

In addition, Ken made a point of educating himself on the space we were in recognizing that a little bit of knowledge can be a dangerous thing.

The philosophical approach of what businesses Opus chooses to invest in is important - that is, early stage start-ups that are leaders in emerging sectors with strong management.

With this approach, if a company maintains its leadership within the emerging sector, and the space does turn out to be valuable, it provides a strong opportunity for exit.

Opus best asset was understanding the future for any business is not laid out in stone - projections are simply projections. But with strong management with a clear focus in a new space it may make sense to invest.

At no point did I feel talked down to. I was made to feel as if I was doing them the favor of allowing them to invest in my business, and I believe that they believe that.

They are certainly worth your time.

PRIVATE: Members Only (462 Characters)

3
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Insightful, Quick, and Ethical: Opus Came Across Very Well

Fund: Opus Capital

Posted by JSJ on 2008-04-07

PUBLIC:

I've been working to raise a seed fund, my first experience raising money as an entrepreneur.

The team at Opus I met with was sharp and in the top-third of VC's I've met in terms of crisp operating experience and insight. Not just numbers guys, they desire and push a more operational discussion, which I find useful. They were efficient and very respectful of my time. Finally, and very important to me, they have handled themselves with exemplary ethics and integrity with me.

I'd stack them high in terms as a group I'd seek to work with again.

PRIVATE: Members Only (1085 Characters)

3
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2
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Decent Bunch of Guys

Fund: Opus Capital

Posted by joshsegal on 2008-02-28

PUBLIC:

Have had a history with two partners during their Lightspeed days. Gill Cogan is a strong leader and Isaac Applbaum has a well-deserved reputation as a loyal guy. Was also introduced to Ken Elefant as part of an ongoing due diligence process. They didn't invest at the end of a thorough due diligence process but were very engaged.

PRIVATE: Members Only

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Quick and Polite Response

Fund: Opus Capital

Posted by ceoinvestor on 2007-07-24

PUBLIC:

Recently introduced an opportunity to them. The decided to pass and informed us quickly and with good commentary as to why.

A pleasant experience

PRIVATE: Members Only (375 Characters)

4
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Quick Answers and Willing to Help Either Way

Fund: Opus Capital

Posted by bootstrapper on 2007-06-23

PUBLIC:

The partners look at your deal behind the scenes and get back with you very quickly. They may want to "watch" and they certainly will so keep in touch. If it's a "no" move on. Ken Elefant knows the mobile space as well and if you get a chance to meet, take it.

PRIVATE: Members Only

5
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2
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Strong Team and Hardworking

Fund: Opus Capital

Posted by anonymous on 2007-03-19

PRIVATE: Members Only

0
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1
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Do They Have Money?

Fund: Opus Capital

Posted by Anonymous on 2011-07-13

PUBLIC:

http://www.pehub.com/111284/a-foundin...

They are on my list to pitch, I know they raised some money, but does anyone know how much?

PRIVATE: Members Only

1
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Very Engaging First Meeting

Fund: Opus Capital

Posted by chief_firefighter on 2011-02-02

PUBLIC:

Recently pitched two of the partners at the firm, and had a great time doing so. They understood our market, asked very thoughtful questions, and followed up quickly with very helpful introductions and proposed next steps. It's too early to tell where it will lead, but even if I don't eventually get a term sheet, it was an incredibly well-spent hour of my time.

PRIVATE: Members Only (430 Characters)

3
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Good Pitch, No Bs, Quick No, Valuable Feedback

Fund: Opus Capital

Posted by Scribb on 2009-09-24

PUBLIC:

One of the best experiences I've had pitching to any VC. I pitched to Carl, and other than not getting a great term sheet, I can't fault him on any of the usual things we all gripe about with VCs. He was prompt, polite, attentive and already knowledgeable about our space. He had smart questions about our model and approach, and offered his own insights into the challenges of our market, and suggestions on how to strengthen our story, which were useful. He explained why we weren't a good fit, and then offered to make intros to some other funds that would be a better match.

PRIVATE: Members Only

2
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Great Pitch Experience

Fund: Opus Capital

Posted by Anonymous on 2009-02-24

PUBLIC:

Pitched Ken Elefant-- super smart, nice guy. Got back to us very quickly, and although they passed, they did so in a way that would make me want to work with them in the future. When pressed on explanation for not investing, Ken called me personally to not only explain but also encourage us to keep looking and that they were very bullish on the business but just didn't clear their internal objectives.

PRIVATE: Members Only (149 Characters)

1
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1
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Substantive Guys

Fund: Opus Capital

Posted by Orange on 2008-10-08

PUBLIC:

Our experience is primarily with Carl. He's a substantive guy, has been in the trenches. He's lived our life. He will question and push, but he'll make it feel cooperative and supportive. Dan is extremely bright, well connected and will also question and press ... harder and without trying to make you feel good about it.

PRIVATE: Members Only

3
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Unfocused Fund, as a Result Hard to Know if They are Right for You.

Fund: Opus Capital

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-12-31

PUBLIC:

Opus is trying to find themselves with a wide array of deal types -- the day we were in a networking startup was coming in after our consumer play. Carl Showalter is smart, blunt, and straight up. Dan Avida is rude and not helpful. Though both are honorable guys. All in all, a good fund to use as a warm up before going to your targeted firms to learn from Carl; get used to trial under fire from Dan; and if you are what they are looking for that week, you might get a term sheet quick -- they are very efficient to pitch to.

PRIVATE: Members Only (217 Characters)

9
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Ken Elefant

Fund: Opus Capital

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-05-08

PUBLIC:

Ken Elefant is one of the few vc's i've met who seemingly hasn't turned into the typical silicon valley vc robot (pompous, master of the universe, etc.). He's a good listener, good background in consumer media and technology and always willing to help.

PRIVATE: Members Only (286 Characters)

11
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Quick to "Pass"

Fund: Opus Capital

Posted by phylander on 2007-04-09

PRIVATE: Members Only (203 Characters)

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0
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Good Guys Generally

Fund: Opus Capital

Posted by monkeybrewster on 2012-05-11

PUBLIC:

Not really anything negative or positive to say about these guys.

PRIVATE: Members Only (273 Characters)

1
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Funded... Then Helped

Fund: Opus Capital

Posted by shanedyer on 2011-12-20

PUBLIC:

We worked with Carl Showalter who lead our investment. He's sharp and not too far removed from operating he can provide excellent feedback. It seems to me that they have an investment thesis in certain spaces and then find companies that match their view of the future to fund. They seem to like real businesses that make money right away over less capital efficient moonshots. We are not their largest investment by far but they put quite a bit of time into helping us out especially in the recruiting area around a VP sales.

I'd recommend them if you can find a good partner match.

PRIVATE: Members Only

1
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Great Experience Pitch and Beyond

Fund: Opus Capital

Posted by landceo on 2011-11-17

PUBLIC:

We did a fundraising this summer. We are a veteran team with a solid exit behind us, so fundraising for venture #2 went fast and we only pitched folks we knew well and thought could add value. Opus was on our list, as we know few of the key partners well, and they are super smart. I appreciate that (most?) of their partners are actual operators - have worked in industry before - so their questions and opinions are steeped in data, which is hugely refreshing. The other benefit of having VCs that have worked in industry is that they have friends / connections / intros that could be hugely valuable to you. In fact, even though we did not go with them, one of the partners there has remained engaged with us -- offering feedback, ideas and introductions to very high-value connections. I find that very impressive. If they are interested, Opus moves fast. We were hoping they could pull together a term-sheet in time, as we could see them adding huge industry-specific value for us, but our fundraising went too fast for these guys (too fast for many others - I wouldn't call Opus "slow" in any way). All around great experience. If you find a good partner match, I think you are in very good hands.

PRIVATE: Members Only (418 Characters)

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Very Funny....

Fund: Opus Capital

Posted by Anonymous on 2010-12-05

PUBLIC:

So we pitched to a partner we already knew, went back to talk to another partner to get his approval.

PRIVATE: Members Only (287 Characters)

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Bob Borchers, a Rising Star in VC

Fund: Opus Capital

Posted by Rodger Desai, CEO/ Payfone, Inc. on 2010-09-13

PUBLIC:

I raised venture capital for several startups and I have worked with many VCs. For my current company, Payfone, a new mobile commerce startup, we wanted a west coast fund to join our initial east coast investor, RRE Ventures.

We were lucky to have a choice in term sheets and we picked Opus primarily because of Bob. We were both taking a chance: we had never worked with Opus and Bob was a new VC and likely needed to pick his first deal carefully (he had just left Apple where he was key to the creation and launch of the iPhone).

We went with our gut and - wow - are we happy. It's not surprising that Bob can add tremendous value, he created significant businesses at Apple, Nokia and Nike. But Bob is also rare in that you look forward to talking with - even every day. Bob has helped us in many areas: recruiting, BD, MBO planning, and strategy. He does this all while never forgetting that it's not his company and with respect for the mgmt team. Through Bob we have gotten to know Carl, Gil and Dan and these guys have also been very respectful and supportive.

In summary, it is easy to see how Bob has the mgmt chops, instincts, and appetite to be a major player in the VC industry. He truly helps differentiate Opus from the homogenized venture world. Take an opportunity to meet him.

PRIVATE: Members Only (102 Characters)