Critical Thinking

DC VC Gossip 2012 Edition

Novak Biddle

In July 2012 Novak Biddle Partners, the once formidable force behind DCs early-stage venture financing ecosystem announced their intentions to raise a sixth fund. The past year has seen reshuffling at Novak Biddle as several partners have taken on reduced roles while increasing roles outside the firm.   Phil Bronner was named CEO  at Portfolio Company American Honors. Sean Glass is now a principal at DC-accelerator Acceleprise. Tom Scholl has taken a reduced role.  Last quarter the company made one total investment. A $145K 9th round,  later stage investment in Appfluent (9th round $145K? What’s that about). In the last 12 months, Novak has invested in 12 companies although the bulk of those investments were later stage follow-on rounds.  A telling sign that they’re nearing the end of life for the current funds. Here’s hoping that the firm that once led most of the local VCs in early-stage investing will raise that fund and return to former glory.

Here’s a little data on the last 7 quarters of deal flow for Novak Biddle to add some facts to the gossip.


Partners at Valhalla have had many successes, unfortunately, those successes were at prior firms like New Enterprise Associates and once high-flying 2001 crash victim FBR Ventures. There’s been turn-over at Valhalla including two former FBR converts, Gene Riechers and Scott Fredericks leaving. The good news, Gene who originally left for health reasons has recovered and is back at work. He’s just joined the team at EverFi and did not return to Valhalla. Valhalla made 9 total investments in the last 12 months while not making any new investments last quarter. The firm recently announced they will plan to raise a new $200 million fund and they have added new members in the firm including Josh Resnick, former exec from Gannet.


Grotech saw the defection of Boby Ocampo to Revolution, yet the Grotech machine is the most active of any of the primarily DC area funds and one of the few firms that are concentrating on early-stage deals.

Grotech made 21 investments in the last 4 quarters including 8 in the DC region.

New Atlantic

Is tying up the ribbon on a new fund as they continue to make strong investments, laying down bets on 18 companies in the past 4 quarters.

Other Noise:

Other funds making investments in the last 4 quarters include Telecommunications Development Fund with 4 investments,  Core Capital with 7 and Updata with 3.Of course Global Powerhouse New Enterprise Associates made 94 investments in the past 4 quarters with only 8 of them being in the DC region.