Light Reading
A trio with recent ties to Comcast and Broadbus has launched Genovation Capital, a firm that aims to get new ideas off the ground

Cable Vets Launch VC Firm

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
12/22/2008
50%
50%

Instead of joining forces to create, develop, and grow a single new company, three cable veterans with deep technology and business ties have decided to apply their collective knowledge toward the funding of a wide range of early stage startups.

Jeffrey Binder, Vin Bisceglia, and David Fellows, whose combined executive and entrepreneurial experience span both the vendor and the cable operator arenas, founded Genovation Capital LLC , a new venture capital firm, during the summer and are now seeking the next big thing in the communications industry.

Binder, many might recall, founded Broadbus Technologies, a video server acquired by Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) in 2007 for nearly $200 million. (See Motorola Scoops Up Broadbus.)

Bisceglia, the former chairman and CEO of Broadbus, ran regional metro optical services player Neon Communications from 1998 to 2000 and took telecom equipment supplier TSG Inc. public.

Fellows, meanwhile, most recently served as the chief technology officer of Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), a role that also got him involved in Comcast Interactive Capital , the MSO’s venture arm. Among other recent moves, Fellows also served as principal for Pilot House Ventures .

The investment “theme” of the new, Waltham, Mass.-based VC is centered on the media, communications, and Internet sectors, a combination that “amounts to a second wave of the Internet,” according to Binder.

For Genovation, that will mean sprinkling its attention on a relatively wide swath of technology areas, including entertainment downloads, media management, social networking, targeted advertising, massively multiplayer gaming, cloud computing, and advanced storage systems, to name but a few.

“The fund is certainly more than cable by any stretch,” notes Binder.

But Genovation does plan to invest in ventures that are targeted to cable MSOs and other broadband carriers that happen to operate vast, legacy systems. The firm believes its experience will help, because “it’s difficult for young companies to navigate telco and cable,” Bisceglia says.

Although Genovation is entering a relatively crowded field, the VC hopes to stand out with what Bisceglia refers to as the firm’s “proprietary deal flow” -- its access to entrepreneurs as well as senior level executives at corporations.

The hope is that Genovation, thanks to its combination of entrepreneurial and corporate-level operational experience, will allow it to get good looks at the cream of the crop.

“It’s that whole aspect of deal flow [that will enable] Genovation to see the best deals first,” Bisceglia claims. “Those investments will give us a competitive leg up. We think Genovation will be a Tier 1 fund.”

Genovation also believes its combination at the principal level will enable the firm to cut through the clutter and make smart investment choices in the sectors of the Internet, media, and communications -- areas that are rife with buzzwords and jargon.

“Where these things overlap, traditional VCs tend to get confused,” Fellows says. “We have background and subject knowledge to [navigate] ourselves through these markets and these opportunities.”

Genovation, however, has yet to pull the trigger on any such investments. Those should start in earnest during the first half of 2009. “We expect to make a number of bets,” Binder says of the firm’s plans for next year.

Genovation’s leaders declined to discuss specific funding plans, but the VC firm reportedly expects to start fundraising in a big way next year.

According to the company’s own Website, Genovation will look at “seed” funding opportunities in the range of $100,000 to $1 million, as well as “early stage” investments in the range of $1 million to $10 million.

Economic timing?
But, given the rotten state of the economy, is this really a great time to be ramping up a new fund? The principals of Genovation think so.

They acknowledge that a bleak-looking economy has created a challenging environment to raise capital, but counter that the wheels of innovation continue to turn nonetheless.

“It’s a terrific time, because I think there certainly is capital in the marketplace in all quarters, whether you’re a fund or a company,” Binder insists. He believes there are still plenty of investment opportunities among early stage companies, even during a cool-down period. “The rules are different and the challenges are more significant.”

And the firm thinks its timing should be viewed as an advantage. While other firms are conducting triage on their investments, “we are a new fund, so we don’t have a legacy portfolio to nurse,” Binder says.

“We also believe that the mark of a great venture firm is one that can make money... in any investment cycle -- a bull or a bear market,” adds Bisceglia.

Binder, meanwhile, hopes recent history falls in his favor again, recalling that Broadbus was founded in 1999 and was successful at raising capital during the “depths of the tech bust.”

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

(3)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
TCOM41
50%
50%
TCOM41,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:15:06 PM
re: Cable Vets Launch VC Firm
I've heard the fund is in the 150-200M range. Their credentials are top tier, but they are going to have one hell of a time raising money in this market. If anybody can pull it off, it would be these guys.

Hoping they are successful, as I am certain there are bunch of folks in the telecom space that would love to have access to relationships these guys have and that includes me.
rahat.hussain
50%
50%
rahat.hussain,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:24:36 PM
re: Cable Vets Launch VC Firm
... how big?

odo
Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:24:34 PM
re: Cable Vets Launch VC Firm
At this point, they've declined to disclose the present size of the fund as well as the fund size they are shooting for. Indications are that they will be in fund-raising mode next year, though it appears they will be making a few bets before they complete the building of the fund. Jeff
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink: Building the Case for NFV

12|19|14   |   02:14   |   (0) comments


At the 2020 Vision Executive Summit, James Feger, VP, Network Strategy & Development at CenturyLink, talks about how the US operator is approaching virtual network functions from an operational and business case perspective.
LRTV Interviews
Liberty Global Sees Business Goldmine

12|18|14   |     |   (0) comments


Steen Sorensen, VP of business services for Liberty Global, explains where the giant international MSO sees growth potential.
LRTV Documentaries
EE: The Road to 5G

12|16|14   |   16:02   |   (1) comment


Andy Sutton, the principal network architect at UK mobile operator EE, explains how his company is using Wembley stadium as a wireless test bed and how that's helping EE to plan the evolution to 5G.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Highlights of Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014

12|16|14   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei hosted its inaugural NFV Open Cloud Forum during the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014 in Düsseldorf, Germany. The Forum brought together technology thought leaders, senior executives and telecom professionals from global carriers, industry associations, as well as other partner companies in the ecosystem, to exchange views on and collectively explore how ...
LRTV Custom TV
Realizing Operators' Digital Vision

12|16|14   |   5:23   |   (0) comments


Leveraging technology is fundamental to digital transformation but understanding customers and serving them really well is at the heart of digital businesses. TM Forum lists the following as the strategic pillars of the digital business: business agility and rapid innovation, operational agility and effectiveness, IT and data centricity, plus customer centricity. ...
LRTV Documentaries
US Cellular Injects Analytics Into LTE

12|16|14   |   2:57   |   (1) comment


US Cellular's Mario Vela explains how the operator uses analytics for network planning and what comes next as the carrier looks to eke more value out of its metrics.
LRTV Interviews
How Cox Biz Plans to Keep Growing

12|15|14   |     |   (2) comments


Steve Rowley, SVP of Cox Business, details how the third-biggest US MSO intends to boost its revenues to $2 billion and beyond over the rest of the decade
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Bill Zhang, Director of SoftCOM Product Management, Huawei

12|15|14   |   2:50   |   (0) comments


Bill Zhang elaborated on Huawei's open philosophy in NFV solution development and network architecture design at the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Event Highlights: Huawei at SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014

12|15|14   |   3:43   |   (0) comments


Huawei joined the 2014 SDN & OpenFlow Congress as one of the key sponsors and contributors. At the event, Huawei reinforced the openness and flexibility of its network infrastructure strategies, and provided updates on its SDN and NVF innovations. Through participations at the exhibitions, forums and speeches, Huawei encouraged the industry to "think bigger and ...
LRTV Interviews
How Cable Biz Services Hit $10B Mark

12|12|14   |     |   (1) comment


Cable operators reached $10 billion in annual business services revenues by delving deeper into their vertical markets and expanding beyond the smallest firms.
LRTV Documentaries
Mediacom Aims to Test Connected Tractors

12|11|14   |   05:07   |   (3) comments


Cable business service provider is taking its services to the 'agribusiness' sector in partnership with farm equipment specialist John Deere and is getting involved in Gigabit Cities developments.
LRTV Interviews
TWC Business Looks Beyond $3B

12|10|14   |     |   (0) comments


TWC Business Services chief Phil Meeks explains how his unit has reached $3 billion in annual revenues and what its plans are for next year.
Upcoming Live Events
February 10, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Hot Topics
T-Mobile, BlackBerry Flirt With Reuniting
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 12/17/2014
1-Gig: Coming to a Small Town Near You
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 12/17/2014
Comcast Launches 4K Streaming Service
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 12/18/2014
US Carriers, You're Going to Cuba!
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 12/18/2014
T-Mobile Lights Up 27 Wideband LTE Cities
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 12/15/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive