The Download: From LivingSocial CEO to venture capitalist? Not quite.


Tim O’Shaughnessy, former chief executive of LivingSocial. (Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post)
August 24, 2014

Tim O’Shaughnessy has cut checks to at least two early-stage companies since stepping down as chief executive of District deals company LivingSocial earlier this month. But don’t start calling him a venture capitalist just yet.

O’Shaughnessy said in an interview he isn’t “combing the Earth” for deals, nor does he expect investing in start-ups to become a full-time endeavor. Instead, he’ll sink money into promising ideas as they come to him.

“If it’s something I’m interested in, if I like the people and think there’s potential, I’ll be opportunistic,” he said.

Indeed, O’Shaughnessy has a professional connection to both of the companies that announced investments this month.

Baltimore-based OrderUp, a food ordering and delivery service, collected $7 million last week from O’Shaughnessy and Revolution Ventures. The company’s chief technology officer, Paul Barry, was previously an engineer at LivingSocial.

O’Shaughnessy and Revolution co-founder Steve Case also invested $1.25 million in Framebridge , a Web service that provides custom art framing. Founder Susan Tynan worked with O’Shaughnessy at LivingSocial and Revolution Health, a prior venture.

CYBER CAPITAL

Technology Development Corp., a Maryland investment group commonly known as TEDCO, has created a state-sponsored fund that will provide investments up to $100,000 in promising cybersecurity companies.

The fund is the latest effort by state officials to establish Maryland as a national hub for the cybersecurity industry, a field that has garnered significant attention in recent years as government agencies and major corporations spend money on software to thwart hackers.

The $1 million fund aims to help companies accelerate their research and development so that they can produce commercially viable products. Companies that help to protect computer networks, prepare for attacks or thwart existing hackers are eligible for funds, according to a news release.

The fund is “an important tool to help stimulate growth of promising young companies that are combating today’s cyber threats, creating new jobs and spurring growth in Maryland’s Innovation Economy,” Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley said in a statement.

MILLION DOLLAR BABY

Event registration and ticketing start-up Nvite raised $1 million last week from a bevy of Washington-area investors in an investment round led by Paul Singh at Crystal Tech Fund.

Founded by Martin Ringlein, Nvite has developed an event registration platform that connects to attendees’ social networks. It has been used for thousands of events, including events at South by Southwest and the White House, since the early version of its software debuted in February.

CIT Gap Funds, District Capital Partners, Middle Bridge Partners, Middleland Capital, and NextGen Angels, including Lawrence Black, Haroon Mokhtarzada, Michael Chasen, Steve and Melissa Ganz also participated in the round.

Steven Overly is a national reporter covering federal technology and energy policy with a focus on Capitol Hill. He previously covered the business of technology, biotechnology and venture capital.
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