We’ve written some fairly sanguine pieces about the venture industry recently, but there are the occasional reminders that a Darwinian shakeout continues — it’s just that fewer people want to talk about it. For example, we ran a story recently about how Battery Ventures has emerged from some tough times, and is doing quite well. We noted how some of the ex-partners, cut during the downturn, had landed on their feet with other firms. Again, space prevented us from going into more detail. We talked with a handful of former Battery people, and they were all in various stages of “landing.” One of them was Tony Abate, who had left Battery to join Ironside Ventures, on the East Coast. He was trying to help the firm raise its third fund, and we asked him how it was going — but never got an answer, and didn’t have time to press him. So, interesting to see that Dan Primack picked up the thread, noting the departure of Abate from Ironside, and an apparent “tabling” of the Ironside fund-raising. Ironside’s first funds were raised during the bubble era. We haven’t confirmed the exact status of Ironside (who knows, it might still pull something together), but it is a reminder nevertheless of how there are still many firms created in the 2000 timeframe that are only now hitting the wall after running out of cash. Underperformers are getting shunned, even as there’s massive interest in more established firms, as suggested by Menlo Ventures’ announcement that the Silicon Valley (Menlo Park) firm is about to finish raising a $1 billion fund. Its more recent funds, raised in 1999 and 2000 are way underwater, as of Sept 2004 public data.
We contacted Abate this morning, and he said that he’d left Ironside for “personal reasons” and that when we’d talked a month ago, there still hadn’t been any formal decision about Ironside III.