Tag Archives for Cambridge Cluster

Will Rapportive change the Cambridge Cluster?

Image representing Rapportive as depicted in C...Image via CrunchBase

Great news that Rahul Vohra and his third venture, Rapportive, has gone viral with over 100,000 downloads.  Click here for the full story on Rapportive.  Briefly Rahul opted out of his PhD, helped start www.mo.jo, joined the start-ups at Redgate Software and toyed with a game based on a book and then came Rapportive.  Rahul left Cambridge to join Y Combinator and tap into the Silicon Valley scene.

Y Combinator invests an average of $17,000 in each start up – now over 280 companies – for around 10% of the equity.  Then Rapportive raised some $1 million from Silicon Valley angels.  I asked Rahul if he had given any of his early backers in Cambridge, UK, a chance to invest and he replied on Facebook “Rahul Vohra Philip: yup, there are investors from Cambridge. Neil Davidson, John Taysom, and one other who prefers to remain anonymous :)”.

Redgate appears to have a policy to go for growth and show that you can build a major technology company without offering equity to employees except a tightly controlled scheme.  If founder Neil Davidson sees Rahul grow fast, will this change his view?  Particularly if he sees them then grow new companies with their “winnings”.  As Redgate plays a major part in the Cambridge Cluster, including providing the chair of Cambridge Network, this could have a major impact on the Cambridge Cluster.

Silicon Valley keeps ringing the changes.  First companies were sold that made a profit, then the social network companies were sold which made no profits but had millions of users and now people are buying teams of geeks.  An example is Motorola buying 280 North for the geek team.  Up 280 is another success from the Y Combinator stable.  Up 280 raised less than Rapportive with a reported $250,000 in a 2008 angel round.  Interesting to try to guess at the final equity ownership.  The Equity Fingerprint was: two founders, then Y Combinator, an angel round and hopefully options for the team.


Round 1: Start -up:

Two founders – 50% each;

Round 2: Y Combinator arrives:

Two founders – 45% each, Y Combinator 10%

Rounds 3: Angels invest $250,000 and say 10% option pool:

Round 4: Two founders –  22.5% each, Y Combinator 5%, angels 40% and 10% option pool.

Guess that Y Combinator and angels would be paid out on completion with the founders and option pool vesting over a couple of years.  But a great deal for the geeks.  Congratulations.  Not as good as Xensource in Cambridge, UK, but not bad!

The world keeps spinning; will Rapportive make the Cambridge Cluster spin faster?  Will Rahul return to Cambridge with his winnings and tell us all about his business plan resource, become an angel and a serial entrepreneur?  How long will we have to wait?  The clock is ticking……..

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Marshalls in at number 7

The Daily Telegraph ran a series on Britain’s Biggest Private Companies.  In the Manufacturing section, Marshall’s of Cambridge came in 7th with turnover of £633million and employing 3,500 people.  It is a big business but hardly features in the Cambridge Cluster although the Chairman, Sir Michael Marshall, is sometimes seen in the list of angels.  Now in the third generation, there must be pressure from some of the family wanting to extract of their cash particularly if you include the development potential of Marshall’s Airfield.  Wonder if it appears in their business plan?

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Haverhill has a Centre for Computing History

St John's College, Cambridge old gatehouse wit...Image via WikipediaJason Fitzpatrick’s passion for computers gave birth to the idea of the Centre for Computing History, High Street, Haverhill.

Jason has been collecting computers for years and with a little help from his friends has put them on public display.  It is a pity that the museum is not near the centre of Cambridge so visitors could appreciate the great contribution made by the Cambridge Cluster to the computer and phone age (phones are getting more and more like computers on the go!).

Perhaps the Centre will put Haverhill on the tourist map – hope that they have the satnavs tuned so people find the centre easily.  You need to book by phoning 0870-895 8606.

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