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Micro-blogging and genealogy sites get funds from Founders Fund and Charles River
(Updated to incorporate David Sacks' comments)
Former PayPal COO David Sacks has been busy securing deals for both his startups, Yammer and Geni.
Yammer, a newly-minted startup that was a spin-off of genealogy site Geni, just raised $5 million from the The Founders Fund and Charles River Ventures, according to Sacks. Geni, meanwhile, has also raised the same amount from the same investors.
Clearly, Sacks has a lot of credibility with both venture outfits. It's tough enough to have enough pull being a CEO of one company. But he's just bagged $10 million in total, evenly split between both ventures.
But he can't be at both places at the same time forever. "My time is split pretty evenly between the
companies, while the rest of the team is dedicated to one or the other," he said. "Long
term, however, it doesn’t make sense for me to be CEO of two companies, so
I expect to resolve this sometime in the next 12-18 months."
Yammer is a site where co-workers can collaborate. In many ways, it's a corporate version of Twitter. But it's not the only corporate Twitter. A couple other newcomers pointed out by the Washington Post include Present.ly and WizeHive.
According to Sacks, he plans to use the funds to expand its sales
capability as it looks to hire a VP of Sales.
"At the same time, Yammer’s usefulness in enterprise communications will increase as it develops into the corporate social network," he said.
Geni is a genealogy site. It competes with Ancestry.com and MyHeritage, just to name a few. Sacks said Geni is focused on "integrating with
Facebook (both Connect and Platform) and developing Pro accounts, for which users
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We provide a free, fast, fun way to create your family tree and stay in touch with your family network. Our goal is to create a family tree of the whole world.
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We are company founders first and investor second: we have built companies from the ground up, including PayPal, Facebook, Napster, Plaxo, Palantir Technologies, and Clarium Capital. We have experience from concept to realization, from shared offices to public offerings. Every stage of the company creation process is familiar to us, from finding seed capital, to building defensible products, scaling up the organization, and realizing lasting value for employees and shareholders.
Our current investments include Facebook, Slide, Geni, Powerset, IronPort Systems, Zivity, Quantcast, and Project Agape. Our fund is $50 million and we focus on investments in early-stage consumer Internet companies. We typically invest $500,000 - $1 million per investment. At the end of 2007, we raised $220 million for The Founders Fund II.