CAMBRIDGE, MA--(Marketwire - Jan 16, 2013) - Redstar Ventures, the Boston-based venture foundry, today announced that early-stage venture capital fund Avalon Ventures has led an investment in LoopIt, an operating company from Redstar Ventures. The investment is the first external seed funding for LoopIt and will be used for research and development of its conversation engine that will help consumers easily tap friends across their social networks for advice when shopping online.
Avalon's backing of LoopIt aligns with its portfolio of information technology companies, where it has seen a history of successful investments with start-ups Cloudkick (acquired by Rackspace), Pictela (acquired by AOL), Cloudant, Simulmedia, Cheezburger Network, and notably social gaming pioneer Zynga.
"At Avalon, we're not just investing in promising ideas, but also the markets that these future companies are in and the executive teams building the organizations. Being part of Redstar Ventures' foundry means that the market, idea, business model and executive team have been vetted through a thorough and credible process," said Rich Levandov, managing director, Avalon Ventures.
LoopIt makes online shopping fun by connecting people to their friends for reviews and opinions at every step of their purchase path, from discovery to point-of-purchase and post-purchase assurance. LoopIt was co-founded by Geraldine Laybourne, founder and former CEO of Oxygen Media and Andrew Lau, former VP of Engineering at Endeca.
"Avalon's reputation is sterling in the VC space, and their backing of our business model and the team we've assembled validates the approach that we've taken with Redstar Ventures to bring LoopIt to the market," said Laybourne. "We're looking forward to having Avalon as a partner in our mission to help people broaden their options by shopping online while narrowing their choices by consulting their closest friends."
LoopIt follows Redstar Ventures' "top-down" approach to building companies based on researching, staffing, and investing in market-driven businesses, as opposed to product-driven companies, to increase exit potential. It is just one of the operating companies Redstar Ventures will formally announce in 2013.
"At Redstar, we're focused on building successful companies by analyzing growing markets and the needs of consumers and businesses first. LoopIt is a great example of an idea born out of this approach," said Jeet Singh, managing director and co-founder, Redstar Ventures. "Avalon's investment not only validates our goal of building early-stage firms with excellent market prospects, founding teams, and growth potential, but their involvement and expertise will also help propel the brand forward and help ensure LoopIt's long term success."
About Avalon Ventures
Avalon Ventures is a venture capital fund comprised of former entrepreneurs driven by passionate people pursuing disruptive ideas in ever changing market environments. Avalon's long-standing and successful focus has been on seed and early stage companies, including many it formed in the life science and information technology sectors.
About Redstar Ventures:
Redstar Ventures is neither an incubator, nor a venture capital firm. We are a "venture foundry" that takes a top-down approach to building companies. Our model is based on identifying significant trends and growing markets, then developing potential products and services for those markets. From there, we find the right staff, partnerships, and sources of investment to launch the enterprise. We were founded in 2012 by ATG co-founders, Jeet Singh and Joe Chung, and Matt Beecher of SCS Financial, and are grounded in the belief that channeling an entrepreneur's creativity and energy towards fields where fundability, growth, and exit potential are high increases their chances of success.
LoopIt helps you make informed decisions about your online purchases with the people you trust the most -- your friends and advisors. LoopIt is a 1-to-1 conversation engine that lets consumers easily tap their friends across social networks for advice and opinions at every step of their purchase path, from discovery to point-of-purchase and beyond, to make the experience of shopping online more fun. LoopIt is an operating company of Redstar Ventures, and was co-founded by Geraldine Laybourne and Andrew Lau.