[FoRK] RSS-focussed fund launches

Udhay Shankar N udhay
Mon Jul 4 21:55:25 PDT 2005

Excerpted from a (paid) newsletter I receive...

Udhay, trying to wrap my head around the phrase "alternative investment firm"

>Cambridge, Mass.
>RSS-Focused Fund Launches With $20M From Ritchie Capital Mgmt
>By Clancy Nolan  7/1/2005
>Alternative investment firm Ritchie Capital Management has poured $20 
>million into what is likely the first venture fund focusing solely on real 
>simple syndication, or RSS, technology.
>The fund, RSS Investors LP, held its first close this week, with Ritchie 
>Capital as the sole limited partner, said Principal John Palfrey.
>The fund is targeting $100 million total, and will consider various other 
>LPs, including additional hedge funds, he said. Palfrey did not offer a 
>timeline for a final close.
>Real Simple Syndication, or RSS, is a lightweight XML format designed to 
>distribute Web content. Syndicated content includes data from news feeds, 
>news stories, video and audio, blogs or even corporate information. The 
>technology solves problems Webmasters commonly face, such as increasing 
>traffic, and gathering and distributing news.
>"We think the RSS platform is going to have implications for a number of 
>industries - financial services, healthcare, media - really almost any 
>business that has a large exchange of information," said Steve Smith, who 
>leads Ritchie Capital's venture arm. "If you think about the way updates 
>happen, and the way that information quickly disseminates across networks, 
>you can see some of the positive aspects that could be deployed in the 
>The fund will focus on early stage companies already generating revenue, 
>Palfrey said, and will typically invest $3 million to $5 million in Series 
>A rounds, with money reserved for follow-on investments.
>RSS Investors will focus on four or five companies within the coming year, 
>in areas including infrastructure - including security for RSS platforms; 
>search technology; content processing and distribution technologies. RSS 
>Investors will likely take board seats at portfolio companies. "We want to 
>be active partners with our portfolio companies," Palfrey said.
>Venture firms are increasingly interested in RSS technology. In April, 
>NewsGator Technologies Inc., an RSS software platform company, pulled in 
>$10 million from venture firms Masthead Venture Partners and Mobius 
>Venture Capital. And in June, Feedster Inc., a search engine for blogs and 
>RSS feeds, said it closed on an undisclosed amount in a Series A round led 
>by Selby Venture Partners.
>"[RSS] fundamentally changes the Net, it's like the next phase here," said 
>Tony Conrad, an entrepreneur-in-residence for venture firm Blacksmith 
>Capital. While in his previous post at VSP Capital, Conrad co-invested in 
>Oddpost Inc., a San Francisco RSS technology startup sold to Yahoo Inc. in 
>July 2004.

((Udhay Shankar N)) ((udhay @ pobox.com)) ((www.digeratus.com))

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