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So A Blogger Walks Into A Bar…

So A Blogger Walks Into A Bar…
Yesterday I was tipped off about a “secret meeting” between a group of “Super Angels” being held at Bin 38, a restaurant and bar in San Francisco. “Do not come, you will not be welcome,” I was told. So I did what any self respecting blogger would do – I drove over to Bin 38, parked my car and walked in. in the back of the restaurant in a private room was a long oval table. Sitting around the table, Godfather style, were ten or so of the highest profile angel investors in Silicon Valley. These investors, known as “super angels” because they have mostly moved on to launch small venture funds of their own, are all friends of mine. I certainly didn’t think anything was amiss and I expected a friendly hello and an invitation to sit down for a drink or two before being shooed off while they talked about whatever they thought should be kept off record. Me: Hey! I’ve never seen a more guilty looking group of people. So what’s wrong with this? Collusion and price fixing, that’s what.

http://techcrunch.com/2010/09/21/so-a-blogger-walks-into-a-bar/

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The billionaire Koch brothers’ war against Obama On May 17th, a black-tie audience at the Metropolitan Opera House applauded as a tall, jovial-looking billionaire took the stage. It was the seventieth annual spring gala of American Ballet Theatre, and David H. Koch was being celebrated for his generosity as a member of the board of trustees; he had recently donated $2.5 million toward the company’s upcoming season, and had given many millions before that. Koch received an award while flanked by two of the gala’s co-chairs, Blaine Trump, in a peach-colored gown, and Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, in emerald green. Kennedy’s mother, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, had been a patron of the ballet and, coincidentally, the previous owner of a Fifth Avenue apartment that Koch had bought, in 1995, and then sold, eleven years later, for thirty-two million dollars, having found it too small.

Collusion Mike Arrington posted about a secret meeting of angels and super angels in San Francisco the other night. In the post he suggests that they are colluding to keep valuations down, terms intact, and traditional venture capital firms, such as ours, out of their deals. It's the kind of blog post that Mike has become famous for. It's a good read and even if it is partially true, it's a slap in the face of the individuals involved. Venture capital firms have been accused of colluding for years. AngelGate dispute among Valley investors cracks wide open When TechCrunch editor Mike Arrington barged in on a secret meeting of super angels, the wealthy individuals who are taking an increasingly prominent role in startup investing, the facts were open to interpretation. Arrington alleged that he heard the meeting was about illegal collusion. That seemed so unlikely. But now an email sent by investor Ron Conway (right) shows that there is a real fracture in the angel group about whether there was an attempt at collusion, as Arrington alleged.

Guidelines for potential angel investors (Editor’s note: Will Herman is an entrepreneur who has founded or held senior roles in several tech companies.This story originally appeared on his blog.) I did my first angel investment in 1994 and I’m now in the process of wrapping up my 31st (individually, that is, not as part of a fund). It’s also my third in the past six months. I’ve probably done about 30 more as a limited partner in seed funds and incubators along the way as well. All in, that probably makes me a second tier angel investor, at least in terms of deals done. Third tier if you count the “super angels” who have knocked off hundreds of deals in shorter periods of time.

Fire in The Valley, Fire in My Belly... and Yes, Mike, I Have Stopped Beating My Wife So i've been debating whether to write this post all day. Unfortunately i probably have more balls than sense, but it drives me fucking insane to see some bullshit superangel conspiracy theory get whipped into a frenzy by people who weren't there, have no idea what the hell was discussed, and are ready to believe anything when someone yells FIRE! so here goes nothing... first a few clarifications: - mike arrington is a friend, an imposing figure, and a hard-nosed, hard-working journalist. that said, he's dead fucking wrong about there being some story around " collusion" (def'n). makes for great red meat on TechMeme & Twitter, but it's just so much horseshit.

TechCrunch editor walks into meeting of “super angels” engaged in alleged collusion Mike Arrington, editor of TechCrunch, sure knows how to ruin a party. He evidently walked in on a meeting of prominent Silicon Valley investors and discovered they were allegedly colluding to keep a lid on startup valuations, cartel style. In a blog post, Arrington said that he was tipped off about a secret meeting of “super angels,” or well-heeled investors who are competing with the best venture capitalists to find early stage investments in hot companies in Silicon Valley. How to invest in the coming app bubble - The Cody Word By Cody Willard AppConsumer editor-at-large, Nathania Johnson published a great rebuttal today to an article provocatively titled, “Mobile apps and why they have no future.” She goes through author Rob Ford’s piece bullet point, by bullet point here, and I want to hit on one of her points because every tech investor needs to be thinking about this right here, right now as we enter our App Future.

AngelGate Is “100 Percent Accurate,” Says Michael Arrington Last night, TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington reported that on Monday night, a group of high-profile Silicon Valley angels met at a San Francisco restaurant, where, Arrington said he later learned, “collusion” and “price fixing” were on the menu. The story has been refuted by at least one angel who was at the dinner, but Arrington told me his blog post was “100 percent accurate.” And the story is being taken seriously enough that, according to one source, law firm Wilson Sonsini sent out a note this morning, advising recipients that if they had clients who were in attendance at Monday night’s dinner, they’d be hearing from the FBI this morning. Arrington declined to say if he had been contacted by law enforcement officials.

Super angel Dave McClure admits he was at secret dinner, denies collusion Dave McClure, a “super angel” and founder of the seed stage startup fund 500 Startups, has writtten a profanity-ladened post in which he admits he was at a secret dinner that Techcrunch editor Mike Arrington barged in on. But McClure denied Arrington’s allegations that there was any collusion among the angels to hold startup valuations down. “Unfortunately I probably have more balls than sense, but it drives me f****** [we cleaned up his language a little] insane to see some bull**** superangel conspiracy theory get whipped into a frenzy by people who weren’t there, have no idea what the hell was discussed, and are ready to believe anything when someone yells FIRE!,” McClure wrote. McClure said he considered Arrington to be a friend, but he said Arrington was “dead f****** wrong” about the collusion which makes for “great red meat on Techmeme and Twitter, but it’s just so much horse****.”

I’m Still Going Long and Hoping the Markets Go Down First rule of Investing. Dont fall in love with positions or try to prove yourself right. I thought we might get a bounce. I was wrong. I covered my short puts when the market started to shed its gains. So I lucked out there. #AngelGate in Europe? We should be so lucky Here in Europe we’ve been fascinated by what has become known as AngelGate. But after talking all day to many contacts today across the tech scene in Europe, I’ve reluctantly come to the conclusion that I’m not about to blow the lid on anything similar in Europe. Leave aside the arguments about what happened at Bin 38, and taking on the hypothetical situation that “Super Angels” (and there are handful) might be colluding in Europe, I’m afraid there is no evidence for this (at least that I can find). Here’s why. There is clearly enough competition over deals in the US to lead some people to feel the need to organise a dinner to work all this out (as I say, leaving aside all the accusations about why and for what purpose). In Europe, the situation is this: investors do not have to compete often enough to bother “fixing” the market in their favour.

AngelGate: Ron Conway Rips 'Despicable and Embarrassing' Super-Angel Investors Ron Conway, one of the most influential venture capitalists in technology, dropped a bombshell on Silicon Valley Thursday by accusing another group of prominent investors of "despicable and embarrassing" conduct surrounding hot startup investments. Conway's attack throws a barrel of gasoline on the rapidly escalating conflagration known as AngelGate -- an alleged conspiracy by a cartel of top early-stage, or "angel," investors to collude and fix price levels for hot tech investments. Techcrunch, which first reported the alleged scheme, obtained a copy of Conway's extraordinary email attack and posted it late Thursday. Conway confirmed the authenticity of the email to DailyFinance Thursday night, but declined to comment further. Earlier in the week, Techcrunch editor Michael Arrington, a former Silicon Valley lawyer, detailed what he described as a plot by angel investors "to keep other competitors out of the market, or to discuss ways to keep prices under control."

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