Venture Capital’s “Mr. No” tells why he turned down Foursquare

When I interviewed Bob Ackerman (co-founder of Allegis Capital) a couple of years ago I called him “Mr. No” because he turns down so many deals but he and Allegis, which he co-founded, are one of the most highly regarded (he funded Ribbit, which got sold to BT, for instance).

Because he’s outspoken, it’s always fun to visit and hear his view on the market. We talked a long time in an interview I filmed this week, but one of the stories he told me is why he turned down Foursquare, among other things. You’ll also hear about why he thinks innovation is very much alive and that he hasn’t yet seen a venture bubble, other than valuations on a few companies, like Foursquare, gets too high for his tastes, but is always keeping his eye out for a broader, troubling, VC bubble.

I start the interview talking about the “angel bubble” and the problems that the VC field are going through right now. “It is parrots talking to each other,” he says, demonstrating how outspoken he is, but also how positive he is that he’s able to turn away from overhyped deals that get too expensive and that he is still able to find companies to invest in that show a good return.

Around minute 25 he talks about Foursquare. “It just beyond where we’re comfortable playing today.”

About Robert Scoble

As Startup Liaison for Rackspace, the Open Cloud Computing Company, I travel the world with Rocky Barbanica looking for what's happening on the bleeding edge of technology and report that here.

9 thoughts on “Venture Capital’s “Mr. No” tells why he turned down Foursquare

  1. Mu word Scoble, this video was extremely helpful, thank you so much sir. I really hope you continue to, along with everything else amazing you do, make longer format videos, especially that would help us entrepreneurs, thanks, Tyrone

  2. I use to see 24/7 entrepreneurs and pick the ones I could finance. The game hasn’t changed. Just the deals. Looking into the white space between the traditional publishers for ideas that will change the game. Thanks for sharing this great post because it reveals to paraphrase Chris Anderson of Ted, the future is video sharing because so much more information can be exchanged. So your in the right space Robert and getting really good.

  3. With respect to FourSquare, It’s the growth and leadership that drives valuations. 20k new users per day, plenty of monetization options, ramping up, those are all healthy signs. I’m not sure how anyone can value a business undergoing that rapid of a change, but it’s no surprise it’s not cheap for late joiners.

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