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Trinity Ventures  CERTIFIED

Firm Rating:

Rated 3.6 / 5.0 by 62
Track
Record
3.7
Operating
Competence
3.6
Pitching
Efficiency
3.4
Favorable
Deal Terms
3.4
Execution
Assistance
3.9

Firm Homepage:

FIRM OVERVIEW: Medium Private VC founded in 1986 based out of Menlo Park, USA (US West)

FIRM DESCRIPTION: Founded in 1986, Trinity Ventures, a boutique firm, partners with passionate entrepreneurs to transform revolutionary ideas into reality. With over a $1 billion under management, Trinity Ventures was founded on the principle of personal engagement and mutual respect with the entrepreneurs we fund. Trinity Ventures focuses on early stage technology venture with a particular emphasis on digital media, Internet services, mobility, security and software markets. Trinity Ventures has invested in more than 100 ventures, including such leading companies as Aruba Networks (NASDAQ: ARUN), Blue Nile (NASDAQ: NILE), Crescendo Communications, Extreme Networks (NASDAQ: EXTR), Forte Software, Illustra, LoopNet (NASDAQ: LOOP), Photobucket (acquired by News Corporation: NWS), Speedera Networks (acquired by Akamai Technologies: AKAM), Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX) and Sygate Technologies (acquired by Symantec: SYMC).

TEAM MEMBERS: Dan Scholnick, Fred Wang, Gus Tai, Kathy Murphy, Larry Orr, Noel Fenton, Patricia Nakache,

13
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4
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Take the Venture Out of Venture Capital

Fund: Trinity Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-09-09

PUBLIC:

For the most part, Trinity is not an early stage investor. Based on my experience, I wouldn't bother pitching them an idea before you've hit $10 m in annual revenue. Very conservative fund.

PRIVATE: Members Only (554 Characters)

13
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2
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Super Smart & Engaged

Fund: Trinity Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-03-14

PUBLIC:

Great firm. All substance. Patricia Nakache, in particular, is a true superstar. She is exceptionally entrepreneur focused and brings superb insight to any challenge...

PRIVATE: Members Only

11
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2
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The Real Trinity (And the Real Tim Mc Adam)

Fund: Trinity Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-05-13

PUBLIC:

The new generation at Trinity (Gus, Tim, Fred, and Patricia) is very solid. Those 4 make up a very formidable engine. Bring a big market, an elegant business model, as well as a non-pyschotic personality and you'll do well here. BTW, the comment about Tim is totally off base. He's one of the hardest working people on the venture side, pre and post funding. The guy is many things, but slow isn't one of them.

PRIVATE: Members Only

11
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2
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Non Responsive

Fund: Trinity Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-05-09

PUBLIC:

I give Fred Wang and Gus Tai a presentation. We get to the end, and as I ask them for questions, they both look at each other and say that they need to talk to each other about the deal and will get back to us. 10 phone calls and 10 emails later and I have no idea what they thought. I would describe this visit as a complete black hole.

PRIVATE: Members Only

9
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2
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Moved Fast, Professional

Fund: Trinity Ventures

Posted by harrc on 2008-02-15

PUBLIC:

We pitched Trinity on a Monday, had a second meeting on Wednesday, and a decision by the following Monday. We were finishing up our fundraising cycle and asked them to move quickly, which they did. While Trinity decided not to invest in this round, they were very efficient and moved quickly. Their questions and due diligence checks were thoughtful and professional.

We worked with Jim Tybur, Fred Wang, and Alex Osadzinski. I would feel very comfortable working with these guys in the future. Trinity gave us good support and feedback.

PRIVATE: Members Only

9
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4
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Alex O

Fund: Trinity Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-05-16

PUBLIC:

Alex is a rare VC who has both played direct operational roles and is quite aware of the particular roles that VCs play and is working extremely hard to be world class at the roles VCs play. Perhaps I'm lucky, but he has always been straight forward and funny and, yes, somewhat cutting but not unreasonably so in our interactions.

PRIVATE: Members Only

9
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2
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Tim Mc Adam is Definitely Not Slow!

Fund: Trinity Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-05-14

PUBLIC:

I'd be very wary of posts that suggest that ANY venture capital partner is slow. All of the venture capital partners I know are smart. Tim is one of the brightest. Quick to respond, decisive and very helpful and insightful in a working relationship. You got this one dead wrong.

PRIVATE: Members Only

7
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3
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They Like to Wait

Fund: Trinity Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-05-04

PUBLIC:

My experience with Trinity is that they will drag out a conversation as long as possible. In two term sheet discussions, they always bid lowest and took the longest. You never know where you are in the process until it's over. If you have a retail deal, definitely go see them, otherwise move on.

PRIVATE: Members Only (131 Characters)

6
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3
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A Great Experience

Fund: Trinity Ventures

Posted by billsvision on 2008-07-07

PUBLIC:

I met Alex about 2 years ago at my previous firm at a Seattle event. He invited us down to the bay area to chat about what we were doing for another company (for one of his portfolio), which we did. At the time I told him that I was also thinking about a startup and ever since he's been helping me with insight, critiques and connections. Last fall we pitched them on our 'let's see if this will fly with VC's' trek and they turned us down, within the week. Great to have all the issues out as he was very honest as to the reasoning. Could not have asked for anything more, except of course, the money...

PRIVATE: Members Only (648 Characters)

6
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1
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Fair Dealings

Fund: Trinity Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-10-06

PUBLIC:

Out of the VC firms that we spoke to I believe Trinity was the most upfront. Have noted a marked difference between the "money guys" (those that work in finance and have never run, much less understand, how to build a company) and former entrepreneurs. Alex O being one of the latter (and they are statistically much rarer) is a much better character to deal with.

I'll offer my personal opinion on the sharply divergent opines presented here on Alex. He's a very direct person; if he thinks your business model is wack he'll probably say so right to your face. On the other hand some frankness in an industry of vague mumbling non-speak is refreshing and there's a (big) difference between constructive feedback and being a jerk.

After what we've learned about the VC industry I'm not sure we'll elect to go this route after the self-funding and angel options. What the last poster has referenced about the VC industry is true across the board - somewhere the VCs took the V out of it, and due diligence has become borderline, and perhaps just pure and total fear. Regardless if we were to consider this route in the near future, Trinity takes top marks in all the firms we spoke to for pure honesty in what point they would want in, what to do to make it succeed, and how quickly they would move.

PRIVATE: Members Only

6
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2
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Partners Vary

Fund: Trinity Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-05-05

PUBLIC:

Gus has a good reputation but some of the others aren't at the same level.

PRIVATE: Members Only (220 Characters)

5
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1
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More on Alex O

Fund: Trinity Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-08-30

PUBLIC:

I'm a little thrown off by the polarized reactions to this guy. In my experience, he's never been less than totally curteous, direct about his reservations, never cutting or condenscending. Not like some other, ahem, uncouth VC guys I've spoken to. But I haven't yet made the pitch in person. Anyone want to take a stab at why the divergent opinions"" Good to flesh this out before the meeting...

PRIVATE: Members Only

5
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1
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Maybe, but in a Good Way

Fund: Trinity Ventures

Posted by fundable on 2007-08-21

PUBLIC:

I pitched my early stage company to Trinity just to get on their radar for a series A in 4-6 months. I was pleasantly surprised that they gave serious thought to an immediate investment. Ultimately they decided it's too soon, but in this case I'm happy to have the "soft maybe" from Trinity. They seem sincerely interested in participating in an A round down the road, and are offering continued guidance along the way.

PRIVATE: Members Only (251 Characters)

5
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4
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Ajay is Smart!

Fund: Trinity Ventures

Posted by FounderBelle on 2007-04-17

PUBLIC:

Quick, efficient & friendly!

PRIVATE: Members Only

5
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2
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Great Firm

Fund: Trinity Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-04-08

PUBLIC:

The process was very efficient and pleasant. Gus, Patricia and Larry had extremely valuable insights. Moreover, they were curteous and honest throughout the process. I would definitely work with them again.

PRIVATE: Members Only

4
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2
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On My Tier 1 List

Fund: Trinity Ventures

Posted by networker on 2008-04-14

PUBLIC:

Gus sat on the board of the last company I was an executive at, and now that I'm at another startup he's definitely on my tier 1 list of folks to ping when we're ready to raise.

Gus has a calm zen like aura that I just love, it's a calm wisdom that I don't get from most people. The rest of the team, Jim, Ajay, Tom, etc are also all just great guys, really smart and what I love the most about trinity is that they are pragmatic in the way they think about ideas. Basically you need to have a way to make money :)

They don't have the big consumer name as most of the other VC's but check their track record for companies that went public or sold. It's pretty impressive.

PRIVATE: Members Only (40 Characters)

4
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2
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Smart and Fast

Fund: Trinity Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2008-03-25

PUBLIC:

I've pitched a couple deals to Trinity.

They're great, but tough, so make sure you have your stuff together before heading in.

Alex O is aces.

PRIVATE: Members Only

4
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3
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Tim Was Okay, Team Was Weaker

Fund: Trinity Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2008-02-02

PUBLIC:

Tim was okay for us, even though we did not get any funding from them.

Our first meeting was over the phone, and then he invited us in to pitch. He was on time, gracious, and very friendly. The pitch went on, with Tim occasionally asking questions, but being polite.

PRIVATE: Members Only (497 Characters)

4
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3
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An Inside Look

Fund: Trinity Ventures

Posted by dougklein on 2007-10-22

PUBLIC:

In the interest of full disclosure, I had the pleasure of spending 3 months last year as an EIR with Trinity, so you can slant my comments either positively or negatively based on your view of that sort of VC involvement :)

I found the team at Trinity to be of the highest ethical standards. I have worked with some firms that have exhibited some pretty questionable behavior - I never saw anything questionable at Trinity. I strongly recommend them (and indeed, am trying to convince them to fund my current company :). Each partner had value to bring to the party, especially in terms of basic business planning and on market analysis. The team as a whole is extremely supportive of their portfolio companies, even stepping in with operational help when necessary (which is never what anyone *wants* to happen to a startup :).

They do tend to be very conservative, however, focusing mostly on Series B stage deals. You'll have the best luck if you are looking for growth funding, i.e., you are more into execution risk than market risk.

NOTE: I later added a comment to this post but it appears that comments require a bit of digging to see, so in the interest of fairness, let me just add it to the main text body also:

A friend pointed out to me that in recent past over half of Trinity's investments have actually been Series A, so my comments may be a bit mis-leading. A better way of stating what I was trying to get across is that if you're very early (more seed than traditional VC stage), Trinity, like most of the more convervative funds is less likely to participate. They're quite conservative. What I have found over the past few months as I've worked on my current company is that they are extremely helpful in terms of advice and introductions as you build yourself up to the point of presenting a solid story to them :) This is actually just further evidence of the value a good investor can bring to the table - the connections and feedback I have received from Trinity over the past few months have allowed us to get close to a point at which I may convince them to invest.

Bottom line: highly recommended firm.

PRIVATE: Members Only (1796 Characters)

4
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2
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Seemed Unable to Focus

Fund: Trinity Ventures

Posted by 3.141592654 on 2007-05-01

PUBLIC:

Brainspace was clearly somewhere else.

PRIVATE: Members Only

4
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1
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Down to Earth VC's

Fund: Trinity Ventures

Posted by anonymous on 2007-03-19

PUBLIC:

Dealt with Patricia Nakache, Jim Tybur and Gus Tai. Very good insights during our extended pitch process. Were very helpful with contacts and referrals to potential business partners even during the discussion phase. Dealt with Patricia the most. She was extremely easy to deal with, fair, and very engaging. Absolutely no ego. She'd be the first on my list of VCs to contact for my next venture.

PRIVATE: Members Only

3
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1
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Ajay, an Entrepreneur and a Class Act

Fund: Trinity Ventures

Posted by gobears34 on 2010-05-17

PUBLIC:

Ajay and Trinity led our A1 round in early 2009. (Note that Ajay/Trinity did this deal during end of days when few deals were getting done). Ajay has been awesome to work with as he is honest, straightforward, and good intentioned. As a former entrepreneur he puts a lot of faith in his CEO's and he knows that bumps in the road are just that. His advice is practical and his strategic vision is perceptive. But his MO is really just to find ways of being useful and letting you run the company how you see fit. I feel fortunate we've got Ajay on our team.

Brett Wilson
CEO, TubeMogul

PRIVATE: Members Only

3
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0
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Quick on the Uptake

Fund: Trinity Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2009-06-01

PUBLIC:

We pitched Gus Tai and he got our business and model immediately. One of my co-founders remarked that Gus provided more helpful feedback than we had gotten from our seed/A VCs in over two years of board meetings.

PRIVATE: Members Only

3
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1
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Pitched Tom, Ajay, Patricia & Larry

Fund: Trinity Ventures

Posted by kickinit on 2008-11-01

PUBLIC:

Really liked Tom and Ajay, Patricia asked good questions and seemed interested. First couple pitches went really well. But our last pitch to MR. LARRY ORR, oh man, guy was taking a siesta in the back of the room. You can tell who holds the purse strings. Quickly turned down after that.

PRIVATE: Members Only (317 Characters)

3
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3
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On Tom Cole

Fund: Trinity Ventures

Posted by Alyssa Rapp on 2007-06-25

PUBLIC:

Tom Cole is a wonderfully cerebral, open-minded, and authentic Venture Capitalist. He's candid about his passion for a given space, direct about whether or not he sees your concept as a fit for Trinity, and in general, a lovely person with whom to do business. Based upon our interactions, should Bottlenotes seriously pursue venture financing, there's no question he's one of the first people to whom I'd take the deal.

PRIVATE: Members Only (339 Characters)