Jeff Clavier, SoftTech VC at DBF: Where the French are...

Yesterday January 10th 2011, I went to my first DBF. DBF is a meetup (first monday of each month) where french guys of the bay meet each others.
So let's go to Redwood City, into the Ropers, Majeski, Khon & Bentley (RMKB) offices to assist to an interview of Jeff Clavier by Jean-Louis Gassée (a famous french guy who was an executive at Apple in the 80s, founder of BeOS, Chairman of PalmSource and now general partner at Allegis Capital, a venture capital found based in Palo Alto).

Jeff Clavier is the founder and Managing Partner of SofTech VC, one of the most active seed stage investors in web 2.0 in the Bay Area, Boulder and in New-York. He has invested in more than 80 consumer internet companies.
He just raised more than $15 millions for his third found SoftTech VC III, and welcomes Charles Hudson as his new partner.

I won't redo the entire speech and the history of his company, all the details and the investments are very well documented on SoftTech blog. What I want to highlight it's that type of events are great. First, because it's always very interesting to listen to experimented and successful persons and second, because it's a networking event*, meaning that people are there to discuss, to share and to take opportunities. That was the occasion for me to ask Jeff what he thinks of the NFC technology (see my previous post) and to raise $1 million from his new found...**

Jeff wrote a good post few days ago on quora to the question "what metrics do VCs look for in early stage companies?". I found interesting to share it with you:

"As Rich already mentioned, we are going to want to validate the team side first and foremost, and figure out whether they have a deep understanding of the problem they are trying to address, and the right framework to analyze/drive early validation.
Early validation is trying to get "in the small" (ie tens to a few thousands of users depending on the product) some of key mechanics to work: user acquisition, engagement, retention, referral/virality, and if it makes sense at that early stage, revenue (or at least willingness to pay). Mastering the AAARR framework (to use McClure's speak) is absolutely mandatory for a consumer Internet team, and part of our due diligence is to validate that. Like in maths, I don't really mind that you don't have the right answer at the present time, but I want to make sure you master the tools and techniques that will get you to the answer."

This post truly synthesizes what I learned from yesterday night.

So one more time, if you are in the Bay Area, join this type of events, it's very exciting.

> Jeff on twitter: @jeff
> SoftTech VC website:
> DBF website:

* I met @Thibauld (CEO of and I have to admit that his company rocks. Obviously stronger now, since Apple has launch his own App Store. I totally forgot to interview him, but next time I won't.

** this last point is just a dream considering that I still have no concrete plans but Jeff, if you read this, I am your man (just saying) ;-)

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