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June 30, 2005

We're off to the races...the first RSS focused VC fund is announced--$100m

...let freedom reign

By Tom Foremski for SiliconValleyWatcher

At the Races.jpgJim Moore and John Palfrey have launched RSS Investors with $100m of capital. It is the first VC fund with a focus on Really Simple Syndication, (RSS), the syndication technology at the heart of media technologies such as blogging and corporate news communication.

Jim Moore, RSS Investors partner says:

RSS is emerging as the next great tool in the spread of information and ultimately freedom: freedom of expression, freedom of communication and freedom of information.

This reminds me of years ago when Kleiner Perkins launched a $100m Java fund in 1996. It is milestone for RSS and its use.

RSS is very much a core technology for this next phase of the internet. It is a unique animal: neither email or web page, but with characteristics of both. It is opt-in, in that users or applications subscribe to RSS feeds which are pushed out — it is, in fact, a pushme-pullme technology (a nod to Dr Dolittle ;-)

More on RSS Investors:
The fund creators include: Richard Fishman, Steve Smith and Tom Crowley (representing Ritchie Capital Management)

It will focus on:

Supporting and nurturing the technologies and leaders who are championing RSS-related technologies, including news aggregation, blogs and new classes of search engines. In addition to examining technologies that utilize RSS for news aggregation, RSS Investors will strongly pursue RSS applications that aggregate data, particularly in the financial and medical industries.

Jim Moore, RSS Investors partner adds:

The Internet is the driving force behind the invention of new forms of communication enabling instantaneous personal dialogue across the globe. Like a mind constituted of millions of inter-networked neurons, the participants in this exchange of information are capable of astonishingly rapid and sometimes subtle community consciousness and action. The evolution of these communities has already had a profound effect on the media, professions and enterprises.

The mission:

For the first time in history, people who share points of view can communicate around the world in real-time to exchange and build ideas. Recognizing the economic opportunities growing from the next generation of Internet tools, the mission of RSS Investors is to support the growth of these borderless communities built on collective thoughts and goals.

The creators of the fund (in their own words):

Jim Moore is a noted technology expert who was the first to identify the significance of business ecosystems in the development of new markets, summarized in a variety of writings including “Predator and Prey: A new ecology of competition” (Harvard Business Review).

John Palfrey is an authority on the use of the Internet to champion global freedom of expression. He directs the leading Internet and society think-tank and teaches Internet law.

Steve Smith is currently responsible for the global venture and private equity business at Ritchie Capital Management, L.L.C., the lead investor in the fund. Both Smith and Tom Crowley, also at Ritchie Capital, have extensive experience in GE’s process disciplines from running GE Equity’s Internet and Telecommunications portfolio.

Richard Fishman is a successful venture capitalist most recently heading technology investing for MacAndrews & Forbes Group, Inc.

June 30, 2005 11:59 AM

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