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FIAF Pilier d’Or Acceptance Speech

It was an honor to be awarded the Pilier d’Or by the FIAF on December 5 at the Plaza. Receiving the award was the culmination of an extraordinary year. In the FIAF’s words: “The Pilier d’Or recognizes a leading business figure, diplomat or philanthropist for outstanding contributions to the French-American community.” I was really surprised to be given the award. It’s historically been given to captains of industry. Last year’s winner was Carlos Ghosn, the CEO of Nissan-Renault. I am humbled that they chose a relatively young Internet entrepreneur. It was a privilege to be introduced… Read More

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Silicon Cabarete MVP

It is common knowledge that it’s unwise to fight Russia in the winter. As such, I have been trying to convince my programmers in Ukraine (and Romania) to move to Cabarete. The setting and quality of life are extraordinary in Cabarete. Besides, I would much rather fly to Cabarete for in person meetings and have everyone on New York’s time zone, rather than have to deal with a 7 hour time difference and flying 11 hours on Ukrainian Airlines several times a year…. Read More

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Yahoo to acquire Brightroll for $640 million in cash!

Sometimes you just bet on people. I mostly invest in consumer facing startups, especially marketplaces. However, in July 2006, my good friend Auren Hoffman introduced me to Tod Sacerdoti who was CEO of POSTroller, a video ad company (which became Brighroll in November 2006). I have to admit I did not know much about the video advertising market and had limited expertise in ad tech. It was obvious that video advertising was eventually going to be big, but I was not sure what the best way to tackle the market was. Fundamentally, I really loved Tod. He was… Read More

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One Step Closer To Streamlining the Car Buying and Selling Process

As an entrepreneur and investor, I am fortunate enough to collaborate with startups on a regular basis, learning about their ambitions and plans to shake up their respective industries. In my previous blog post, The used car buying and selling process is broken and we are going to fix it!, I discussed how one of the startups I work with, Beepi, is streamlining the process of buying and selling cars by removing the labor and hassle for the consumer – with the click of a mouse. Less than five months since launching, Beepi has surpassed all… Read More

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The used car buying and selling process is broken and we are going to fix it!

The used car industry is massive. There are 40 million used cars sold per year in the US representing $320 billion in value and $70 billion in industry revenues. The average household buys a $8,000 used car every 3 years. This is the second largest household expenditure after housing. Given how massive the industry is, it’s shocking how awful the used car buying and selling process is. To sell a car online, owners have to endure the pain of taking pictures, describing their car and posting them on Craigslist, eBay Motors or Auto Trader. They have to receive people at their… Read More