There must be a whole lot of you noodling around with an inventive notion in the back of your noggin. Two major VC firms have just made a bet to that effect, investing a whopping $68 million in social product development startup Quirky. Andreessen Horowitz led the series C, with Kleiner Perkins participating. Mary Meeker will join the company’s board, as will Andreessen GP Scott Weiss.
The company aims to make the process of invention more accessible to those with bright ideas–but without the requisite technical or legal know-how to get all the way to the finish line. That’s achieved by building an online community where creative types can work with experts, collaborating on a final product.
That big, fat check brings the company’s total raised to $97 million.
Over at Quirky’s blog (in a quirkily formatted post), the delightfully unfiltered CEO Ben Kaufman outlines a few things the company hopes to achieve with the money, like getting products to market faster, investing in U.S. manufacturing and, perhaps most interestingly, “experimenting with our own space at retail.” But that’s a mere slice of the lengthy piece, most of which is dedicated to his ambivalence about the whole notion of raising venture capital.
Short version: Money ain’t shit unless you use it to execute. A representative sample:
This experience, coupled with another 6 years of institutional financing experience after, has lead me to accumulate a comprehensive array of reasons why I hate glorifying startup financing, and why it disgusts me when fellow entrepreneurs gloat about how much money they’ve raised as part of their 60 second elevator pitch.
In the eye of the public, and specifically the tech community, funding is thought to mean much more that it actually does. The world views funding as a badge of honor. I view it as a scarlet letter.
He concludes that they’ll “shut the fuck up and get to work, because none of the above matters unless we execute.”
Somewhere, an office manager is wondering whether she should put this bottle of champagne back in the refrigerator.