VC’s Lament: the ones that got away
Whether itâ€™s passing up on a ticket to Woodstock or not buying Apple stock at $80 a share in January 2009, everybody has regrets.
So what do VCs regret?
We asked the panel of three money-men gathered for the VC Panel at the Reuters Technology Summit for their biggest laments when it comes to the deals they let get away.
â€śFor me the one that comes to mind is AdMob,â€ť said Khosla Ventures partner David Weiden, referring to the mobile advertising firm that Google announced plans to acquire for $750 million in November.
â€śI talked to Omar (Hamoui, AdMobâ€™s founder and CEO) when he was one employee and spent a bunch of time with him early on and then we didnâ€™t end up doing the investment together and I absolutely regret that,â€ť he said.
Of course, with the Google acquisition now being held up by regulators, AdMob could end up remaining independent after all.
Accel Partnerâ€™s Richard Wong did take a chance on AdMob, with Wong now sitting on the companyâ€™s board of directors. Wongâ€™s biggest regret has to do with Siri, a maker of voice-activated smartphone software for handling personal tasks that was recently acquired by Apple for an undisclosed sum.
â€śI remember looking at it, you have a clean shot at itâ€¦you just have to have the conviction to do it,â€ť said Wong, who cited worries about how the application would get customers and compete against the likes of Google as issues that gave him cold feet.
Chris Moore, a partner at Redpoint Ventures had an early look at LinkedIn, the Internet social network for professionals that now counts more than 65 million users.
â€śI remember thinking about how useful this app was to me at the early stages, and not being able to squint to see the business model,â€ť said Moore, who recalls telling LinkedIn co-founder Reed Hoffman that a deal wouldnâ€™t happen.
â€śIn hindsight the utility of the application and the focus is just enormous,â€ť said Moore.