Highly targeted B2B Facebooks are all the rage. For example, Boston-based Sermo.com, a physician’s network, allows doctors to discuss drugs, treatments, etc., and prints cash by selling access to hedge funds and drug companies. AdGabber is for PR and marketing folks. Now the New England Venture Network is launching VentureNetwork.vc, which will include social networking features and a “Craigslist” of investment opportunities.
There’s probably a business in here somewhere, but the big difference between VentureNetwork.vc and Sermo/Facebook, et al, is that VCs are competing with each other. The VC world may be “clubby,” but somehow, we imagine that the only deals that will find their way onto the “craigslist” of investment opportunities will be: 1) Deals that are closed, and 2) Deals that the poster wouldn’t invest in at gunpoint.
It’s possible that VentureNetwork might be useful for deal syndication–a VC reaching out to a few select potential partners to co-invest–but even here a phone call is probably more efficient. If you actually want your VC buddy across the street to invest in your deal, you’ll probably have to do more than post a listing, so you might as well start by picking up the phone.
It’s also possible that VCs will use the network to chat about investment ideas, trends, etc., with a handful of trusted friends (or at least monitor others’ conversations). But even here it’s hard to imagine that the really valuable nuggets will make it on to the network. Email is already pretty efficient.
Most VCs will probably sign up for the new site. (Why not? And you certainly don’t want to miss something if it actually works). So, if nothing else, it might be useful for standard networking. But as an information and intelligence conduit, we suspect few users will find the stuff they really want to hear and read. Although centure capital seems like a nice chummy business, there aren’t enough good companies and returns to go around. More in the Boston Globe
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