Christine Herron a venture capitalist at First Round Capital is leaving to join Intel Capital according to her tweets and blog post. She is moving on from her "first round" as a venture capitalist to her "second stint" at Intel Capital.
Her main charter will be to drive the Intel consumer and Internet deals from Intel’s HQ territory (the Bay Area). She says that she wants to broaden and deepen the fund’s exposure to early-stage opportunities. At First Round Capital Christine has been a warrior in terms of vetting the deal flow that has been the tsunami of web 2.0, cloud, and mobile deals.
I’ve been a big fan of Christine and wish her well at Intel. Christine bring the energy and intelligence with solid knowledge of the deal flow. She’ll be working with Mike Buckley. who heads up the consumer internet investment team. I’ve gotten to know many of the folks over at Intel such as he and David Johnson – all high quality professionals.
Intel made the move many years ago from only following the big boys in startup and expansion capital deals, to a model of leading early stage and expansion financing. Intel built their name on innovation and Moore’s law. They’ve been a big source of funding into markets that were emerging. Translation: they’ve been early on many markets, but nonetheless funded many early moments of media, cloud, and mobile categories. For all that risk taking they haven’t always seen the massive liquidity the "shark" VCs see. In addition, Intel Capital has taken a reputation hit for being too early in markets. Intel needs to put a big mark on the market or they will continue to be known as slow and a follower.
Christine in her own words plugs the Intel Capital value proposition
From that unique starting point, here’s what made Intel Capital so compelling:
I’m joining the Consumer Internet team to take point on investments I love, in spaces I know well, and with a high degree of flexibility. So while I clearly will continue working with US-based, seed-stage companies, I will also be able to consider investments based anywhere in the world that folks buy products with a chip. And I will certainly drive some investments into later rounds of funding, since there’s nothing more frustrating than missing your shot at the brass seed-stage ring. This means more chances to work with the best entrepreneurs, and better odds that I’ll be part of something meaningful.
Building structural value is something that First Round works on obsessively for its portfolio, so I know it well. Intel Capital is digging in to this area. If you are a venture business with a large portfolio, offering structural value is a change that you need to make. The Intel Capital portfolio has a deep bench, with great companies such as Betaworks, Joyent, OpenFeint, Skyhook Wireless, and Vostu on the roster, to name just a few. (Not to mention, we at First Round Capital were happy to work with Intel Capital as a coinvestor in both iovation and Transpera.) Given what we’ve been able to deliver with the FRC network, I’m excited to work on programs with the reach that Intel Capital needs in order to help its startups.
A big part of my job will be getting Intel Capital more active within the quirky and wonderful startup ecosystem that I currently inhabit. And working with these folks is what I love to do. I suspect there are a lot of missed opportunities (or misperceptions) because of a lack of familiarity. For example, does the investment process get bogged down in corporate hooha? Not in my experience. (This fall, they only spent two weeks from first meeting to final approval on a yet-unannounced deal I worked on at FRC.) Does Intel want to invest strategically? Of course. Happily, this includes apps and services that leverage a broad range of computing platforms, from PCs to connected devices.