Tuesday, September 21, 2010
MySpace Startups: Startups From MySpace Vets
Los Angeles-based MySpace has been among the most visible of Southern California's Internet era success stories, although the site--now owned by News Corporation--has had its own share of ups-and-downs, as well as questions about its future. One undeniable result, however, of the firm's prior success is a number of startups headed up by prior executives at the firm. socalTECH has mined our proprietary database of startups and other tech companies to find some of the firms spawned by former MySpace executives. Here are four of them, and what they're doing:
MySpace Connection: Richard Rosenblatt, former Chairman of MySpace
Venture backers: Oak Investment Partners, Spectrum Equity, W Capital Partners, Goldman Sachs & Co., Generation Partners.
Demand Media, the internet publishing firm which is in the midst of an IPO effort, is the brainchild of Richard Rosenblatt, who was at the reins of Intermix, the parent firm of MySpace, and brokered the sale of MySpace to News Corporation. Demand offers up a network of online, content driven web sites--plus a healthy domain name registration business--and has garnered lots of attention for specifically creating content for search engines.
MySpace Connection: Shawn Gold, former SVP Marketing and Content at MySpace
Venture backers: Anthem Ventures, the Mailroom Fund, Rincon Venture Partners.
Cocodot is creating a fashionable, user friendly online invitations site, which is applying high design--and celebrity connections--to allow users to send invitations, thank you notes, and other online invitations to friends. Unlike many other online invitations sites, the firm has tapped well known, professional designers for its card designs.
Myspace Connection: Jason Feffer, former VP of Operations of MySpace
Venture backers: Mohr Davidow Ventures, Mission Ventures, Tech Coast Angels, Ron Conway
Sodahead operates an online, social news site combined with a question-and-answer format, which allows users to both share and see the latest news and headlines, as well as share opinions and run polls on related topics. The firm's site includes lots of content around politics and popular culture, and this week has been launching a redesign.
MySpace Connection: Chris DeWolfe, former CEO of MySpace
Venture backers: Austin Ventures
Platform G bought Facebook gaming firm MindJolt in March, and DeWolfe is not the only MySpace vet at the firm. Colin Digiaro, also a co-founder of MySpace, and MySpace CTO Aber Whitcomb are also now running MindJolt. MindJolt offers up a broad catalog of casual and social games from its site. It's unclear if Platform G has any other acquisitions or projects up its sleeve.
Are we missing other startups or companies started by former MySpace executives or employees? Let us know!