The Funded Unmasked
In September, we wrote about TheFunded.com, a new website that was sending venture capitalists into a tizzy by allowing entrepreneurs to anonymously rate their would-be backers ["Who's Behind TheFunded.com?"]. At the time, the site had attracted thousands of entrepreneurs and more than a few snide comments. (Sample post: "The hot receptionist was the only thing of value" at Foundation Capital.) In a series of phone interviews with Inc., the site's founder refused to reveal his identity. In November, he came clean. He is Adeo Ressi, founder of Game Trust, an online video game company that he recently sold to RealNetworks (NASDAQ:RNWK) for an undisclosed sum. (Ressi says it was "in the eight figures.") The Funded now boasts 4,000 registered users, and Ressi believes the site could eventually generate several million dollars in revenue each year. "The VC industry is screwed up," says Ressi. "I want to make the lives of CEOs happier by streamlining the fundraising process."
A Green Windfall
In our inaugural green issue ("The Eco-Advantage," November 2006), we told the story of GreatPoint Energy's race to transform coal, that familiar old-economy polluter, into clean-burning natural gas. This fall, the Chicago-based company landed one of the largest clean-tech investments to date, a $100 million round of funding from the likes of Citigroup (NYSE:C), Suncor Energy, and Dow Chemical (NYSE:DOW). The money will go toward construction of a large-scale demonstration plant in Brayton Point, Massachusetts, where GreatPoint believes it will be able to produce natural gas for less than 50 percent of current market rates. "We've hit on the Holy Grail of energy," says Andrew Perlman, GreatPoint's CEO and co-founder.