& cplSiteName &

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        ADD A COMMENT
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
From The Founder
Download our complete guide to de-risking NFV deployment in 2016, including:
  • An eight-step strategy to deploying NFV safely, based on input from the companies that have already started virtualizing their production networks.
  • Interviews with leading executives at Colt, AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Cisco, Nokia, ZTE, Ericsson and Heavy Reading.
  • Flash Poll
    Live Streaming Video
    Prepping for the Future: Upskill U Explained
    During this short kick-off video, Doug Webster, Vice President of Service Provider Marketing, Cisco, and Light Reading’s CEO & Founder Steve Saunders give an overview of Upskill U.
    LRTV Interviews
    AT&T Expert on the Key Pillars of UC

    4|29|16   |   03:58   |   (0) comments


    Vishy Gopalakrishnan, AVP of product marketing at AT&T, talks about the three developments that are making unified communications and collaboration secure and reliable for enterprise users.
    LRTV Documentaries
    LRTV Report: Mobile Core Innovation

    4|28|16   |   25:32   |   (0) comments


    Hear from multiple industry experts from Deutsche Telekom, SK Telecom, Heavy Reading, Huawei, Cisco, Ericsson, Nokia, NEC and many more about developments in the mobile core as operators virtualize their IMS and evolved packet core systems and prepare for a 5G world.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    NFV World Congress Highlight

    4|26|16   |     |   (0) comments


    The highlight of the NFV World Congress contains exciting telecom news. Join us for an inside look at Huawei's ICT 2020 plan and its latest collaboration with industry leaders.
    LRTV Interviews
    Unified Comms Finds Its Voice

    4|25|16   |   03:44   |   (0) comments


    Peter Quinlan, VP of UCC Product Management at Tata Communications, talks about the evolution of the unified communications and collaboration services sector and how voice is now a big part of current developments.
    LRTV Documentaries
    So... What Do We Do Now?

    4|25|16   |   03:24   |   (0) comments


    After a long hiatus, Max Dingman, the CEO of a GeeGhiz, returns for a motivational board room pep talk.
    LRTV Documentaries
    NAB 2016 Highlights

    4|21|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Light Reading's Cable/Video Practice Leader Alan Breznick climbs down from the slots to tell us about the latest news in broadcast technology at NAB 2016 in Las Vegas.
    Between the CEOs
    CEO Chat: Deepfield's Craig Labovitz

    4|21|16   |     |   (0) comments


    In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
    Shades of Ray
    Leading Lights 2016: Shortlists Announced

    4|20|16   |   0:53   |   (0) comments


    The judging is over and the Leading Lights 2016 shortlists have been published -- you can see who made the cut by clicking on this link.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Introducing MulteFire – Qualcomm at MWC 2016

    4|18|16   |   3.29   |   (0) comments


    MulteFire is the latest option for using LTE in unlicensed spectrum. As oppose to its close 'siblings', LAA and LTE-U, MulteFire operates solely in unlicensed spectrum, which enables it to offer the best of two worlds – LTE-like performance with WiFi-like deployment simplicity. In this interview, Sanjeev Athalye, Sr. Director, Product Management at Qualcomm ...
    Between the CEOs
    CEO Chat: Grant Van Rooyen of Cologix

    4|18|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    ONS 2016 – Demonstration of Huawei's NetMatrix Multi-Vendor SDN Orchestrator

    4|15|16   |     |   (0) comments


    This demonstration shows how Huawei's NetMatrix SDN Orchestrator (SDN-O) addresses an operator's core service agility needs for services spanning multi-domain, multivendor networks: it includes a demonstration of:
    - Rapid New Service Design: using YANG to model a complex example of multi-domain, multivendor L3VPN network connectivity service that ...
    LRTV Custom TV
    AT&T Wants to Own North Carolina

    4|15|16   |     |   (1) comment


    Venessa Harrison, president of North Carolina for AT&T, tells how the company will expand its GigaPower service beyond the seven N.C. cities it already serves.

  • This blog, sponsored by AT&T, is the second part of a ten-part series examining next-generation broadband technologies titled "Behind the Speeds."
  • Upcoming Live Events
    May 23, 2016, Austin, TX
    May 23, 2016, Austin Convention Center
    May 24-25, 2016, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
    September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
    December 6-8, 2016,
    June 16-18, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
    All Upcoming Live Events
    Infographics
    A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
    Hot Topics
    Ultra-Broadband Summit, Hong Kong
    Iain Morris, News Editor, 4/27/2016
    WiCipedia: Woman Cards & Bitch Switches
    Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 4/29/2016
    Mitel Asks: What Time of Day Do You Shower?
    Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 4/25/2016
    GoT Fans Curse HBO (Not Right) Now
    Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 4/25/2016
    FCC Poised to Re-Regulate Wholesale Access
    Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 4/28/2016
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed
    BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
    In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
    Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
    Animals with Phones
    Live Digital Audio

    Of all the tech companies in the Valley, Intel has made the most aggressive commitment to building a diverse and inclusive workplace culture. It's doing so by taking concrete, measurable steps, making a large financial investment and through a commitment to complete transparency about its progress. In this radio show, WiC Director Sarah Thomas will be joined by Shlomit Weiss, Intel's Vice President, Data Center Group, and General Manager of Networking Engineering, who will share with us why Intel is tackling this huge challenge, how and to what effect. She will also discuss her unique experiences leading development of Client SOC development in the past and today leading development of all of the chipmaker's silicon hardware for networking IPs and discrete devices and managing a team of 600 engineers across Israel, Europe and the US.