Thursday, August 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

FirstRound: Buy our VC-backed stuff!

Cyber Monday specials at Philly investor's partner firms

FirstRound: Buy our VC-backed stuff!

Philadelphia-based First Round Capital, which manages hundreds of six- and seven-figure investments in small tech-oriented firms nationwide, is promoting them through its own Cyber Monday discount page here. 

"We’ve been big believers in the future of online commerce," writes partner Josh Kopelman here.
 
"I'm really excited to announce our eCommerce companies have come together to make gift giving this holiday season just a bit easier and cheaper... Whether it’s Birchbox with discovery through subscription, Fab with curation, or Modcloth building a brand, these companies have set out to redefine traditional eCommerce models... Our companies are offering special Cyber Monday offers exclusively for us that we hope you’ll take advantage of today – before it’s too late."

"Here’s a new one I hadn’t seen before: VCs promoting their portfolio companies to friends, families and associates as a place to do their holiday shopping," writes Tricia Duryee at AllThingsD here.

"More than two dozen of their investments are listing holiday deals for Cyber Monday. Companies participating include One Kings Lane, Kiwi Crate, Birchbox, Dog Vacay, Warby Parker, Fab.com, Threadflip and Hotel Tonight. The offers range from free shipping to $50 or 15 percent off, depending on the kind of products and services for sale.

"First Round Capital is heavily invested in e-commerce, so it knows all too well what the holidays can mean to a young company trying to grow its revenue." 

Can this work? "It's the first time I've seen a VC firm take advantage of a shopping holiday," said an admiring Fiona Dias, chief strategy officer at Conshohocken-based ShopRunner. 

The effectiveness from a sales perspective will depend on the size of their email list and social media strategies.  Given that Josh has 43,428 Twitter followers, he can personally move the needle on shopping on these sites with the tweet that he sent out earlier today."

Joseph N. DiStefano
About this blog

PhillyDeals posts raw drafts and updates of Joseph N. DiStefano's columns and stories about Philly-area finance, investment, commercial real estate, tech, hiring and public spending, which he's been writing since 1989, mostly for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn, taught writing at St. Joe's, and has written the book Comcasted, more than a thousand columns, and thousands of articles, and raised six children with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at JoeD@phillynews.com or 215 854 5194.

Joseph N. DiStefano
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