Apr
6
15



Andy Rubin Joins Redpoint

Most people know Andy Rubin as the creator of Android. I know Andy as a twenty-something engineer at WebTV who had built a sleeping loft above his cubicle so he didn’t have to leave the office. 20 years, 3 successful startups, and 2 billion Android devices later, Andy is joining Redpoint as a Venture Partner.

WebTV was one of the first companies I ever backed as a venture investor. It had one of the most impressive groups of technical founders with whom I have ever worked, and Andy was one of the first engineers they hired. I noticed Andy was exceptional right away, not only because of his loft, but because he possessed an uncommon combination of technical skill and vision. He developed the first platform that connected the web to people’s televisions. WebTV grew rapidly and ultimately sold to Microsoft for $500 million.

When Andy left Microsoft and co-founded the smartphone pioneer Danger, Redpoint was early to invest. As CEO, Andy built Danger from nothing into the must-have tech gadget of its time with over 2 million devices, and fans like Paris Hilton and Snoop Dogg. Danger invented and deployed many of the core smartphone services we use today. Among Danger’s technical firsts were integrated messaging, mobile video, over-the-air OS updating, and the app store. Soon after Danger achieved scale, Andy left and joined Redpoint as an Entrepreneur in Residence. He was a colleague to Satish Dharmaraj who was incubating Zimbra in our offices and later, also joined us a Partner.

It was in Redpoint’s offices that Andy first conceived Android. Ten years later, Android has become one of the most widely adopted technologies in the world, an operating system powering billions of devices. Andy’s expansive vision isn’t just limited to technology. Android’s success depended on discovering the right go-to-market model and pursuing the key business relationships that were required to make it the enormous success it is today. Andy sees what’s possible well before most people.

Whenever I visit Andy, he always has the newest thing, the yet-to-be available gadget.  Years ago, he smuggled from Japan the smallest flip phone in production. He kept robotic dogs as pets. Andy bought one of the first Segways and immediately drove it up a half-pipe, just to see how the gyroscopic systems would react. At Google, he modified a huge auto manufacturing robotic arm to make a cappuccino and stamp the Android logo on it in chocolate. Later, he had a near life-size humanoid robot that followed you around. It’s this wonder and passion for technology that enabled Andy to change the world three times over.

We started talking in earnest about Andy joining Redpoint twelve months ago over a cup of coffee at his wife’s bakery in Los Altos. Andy had some big ideas about the evolution of hardware and software, but he wasn’t sure whether he would pursue them through his own hardware-focused incubator, Playground, or as a partner at Redpoint. Ultimately, we decided he should do both, and so we partnered a fourth time. Andy has become a Venture Partner at Redpoint, and Redpoint is the first investor in Playground.

Andy is a perfect complement to our team at Redpoint helping founders of mobile, marketplace, SaaS and infrastructure companies achieve their ambitions. There isn’t a founder out there that won’t benefit from Andy’s ideas, experience and industry connections.

Andy is already evaluating and backing companies with us, and we’re excited to see how he can help Redpoint founders moving forward. We’re thrilled that he’ll be a part of our team identifying the next great startups and working with teams to realize their full potential.


Sep
5
14



Beepi expands to Los Angeles and Launches “Beepi Prime”

Beepi, the leading peer-to-peer marketplace to buy and sell pre-owned cars online, today announced it is expanding services beyond the Bay Area for sellers, and outside of California for buyers.

While Los Angeles residents have been able to purchase cars through Beepi, they will now be able to seamlessly sell their vehicles online as well. In response to high consumer demand, L.A. sellers will be able to easily schedule an appointment to have their cars inspected and Beepi-certified right in their driveways or at their places of business, get professional car photos taken and receive a guaranteed price and sale in 30-days.

In addition to this expansion, the company is launching Beepi Prime, a premium delivery service, in 140 cities in Arizona, Nevada and Oregon. There, buyers can now take advantage of the same customized service Californians have enjoyed since Beepi’s launch in April. Beepi Prime gives buyers an unparalleled personalized shipping experience in which they are updated about the status of their car every step of the way, culminating in the delivery of a fully detailed car in their driveway in five days or less and a personal car tour from a professional Beepi inspector upon arrival. Should any buyers choose to return a car, Beepi provides a 10-day money-back guarantee. In addition to this total refund, all cars are subject to a three-month, 3,000-mile warranty.

Beepi has already made significant strides in reshaping the antiquated process of buying and selling cars by offering direct sales to customers 100% online. The company is currently receiving 1,000 requests a week to sell the cars of residents in the San Francisco Bay Area alone.  This expansion comes hot on the heels of Beepi’s acceptance of bitcoin as a method of payment. Through Beepi’s partnership with BitPay, a buyer can now purchase a Beepi car using bitcoin while the seller still receives cash. The company also offers prospective buyers immediate pre-approval for loans at checkout. With these initiatives, buyers can pay for any car in the Beepi marketplace with a traditional car loan, a bank transfer, cashier’s check, up to six different credit cards at once or bitcoin.

For more information on cities participating in Beepi Prime, please go to www.beepi.com/beepiprime


Jul
8
14



Beepi starts Accepting BitCoin today!

 

Beepi has partnered with BitPay to insure buyers are provided with all the payment methods worthy of a 21st century marketplace.

Before Beepi, buying a high quality car involved a nasty trip to one or more car dealers.  Today people can buy a certified, pre-owned car, pay with BitCoin 100% online and have it delivered 48 hours later with a 10 day money back guarantee!

In addition to this news announced today, Beepi launches a site redesign that now features:

1- Redesigned listing page with advanced search, grid view and list view

2- Redesigned car page, with automatic zoom, pictures carrousel, safety ratings provided by the institute for highway safety, fuel economy provided by the EPA, standard and optional features provided by Edmunds

3- Redesigned Checkout with BitCoin integration, financing instant pre-approval connecting with Experian, and the Beepi Garage (which means you can now reserve a vehicle for 48 hours by paying a $300 deposit while organizing your finances)

Beepi continues to lead the way toward the next generation used car marketplace.

 


Jun
16
14



Redpoint Backs BitGo

At Redpoint, we are strong believers in the potential of bitcoin to change the way transactions are conducted, both online and offline.  But this promising system of digital currency is still in its infancy, a reality that has been underscored by a spate of security troubles. In numerous cases, bitcoins have been lost or stolen when wallets have been compromised, when exchanges have been improperly secured, or even when individuals have been careless with their keys.  Bitcoin has relied heavily on people and institutions protecting their own keys, and this has been a point of failure for the currency and technology as a whole.

In other payment and Internet commerce systems, third party security providers have helped resolve these issues.  This includes Verisign for websites as well as the card issuers for credit cards and merchants.  We believe that BitGo has the potential to be that provider for the bitcoin industry, which is why we are excited to announce our investment in the company.

BitGo has built the first-ever, simple to use and enterprise-grade multi-signature technology that works with the existing blockchain.  BitGo requires each account to have three keys – any two of which are required to recreate the private key and participate in a transaction.  Typically, one of these BitGo generated keys is maintained by the owner, one by BitGo, and the third is usually held by a trusted third party or in remote, or offline storage controlled by the owner.  Any transaction requires that two of the three keys be used, just like a bank safety deposit box – no single key is enough to open it. Even if a single key is lost or compromised, the owner’s bitcoin cannot be stolen or accessed.  Indeed, this could only occur if both the user (or his/her wallet) AND BitGo are compromised.  This also allows BitGo to act as a fraud detection and prevention player, helping protect users who are themselves hacked, while still giving the user the ability to access and spend his or her bitcoin without BitGo participating in the transaction.  BitGo is working with many major bitcoin players to implement this technology across the entire bitcoin ecosystem.

BitGo also has an exceptional team behind it. The team has a history of involvement in key technological innovations at some of the most dynamic technology companies, including Google, Facebook, and Big Fish Games. In addition, former VeriSign CEO Stratton Sclavos is a new BitGo investor and board member alongside Redpoint. The involvement of the man whose company made it safe to put credit card numbers on the Internet only adds to BitGo’s reach and credibility.

We are truly excited to join such a pioneering team and company and look forward to the great developments ahead.


Apr
15
14



Another Marketplace Ready for Reinvention: Why we invested in Beepi

Every year since Redpoint was founded we’ve made a marketplace investment. Technology offers brilliant ways to lower friction, enhance turnover, discover favorable economics and surface marginal demand in existing marketplaces. Stars in our portfolio like Loopnet, BlueKai and HomeAway.com have set the bar for others to follow, and exciting new investments like Thredup, Homejoy, The Receivables Exchange and Axial are on promising trajectories. They all have a common thread – a team with a determined vision to take on an existing marketplace in need of radical new solutions to simplify and speed up the connection between demand and supply.

One such category that has not yet been truly reinvented since the dawn of the internet is the process of buying and selling a used car. That’s why we are thrilled to announce our investment in Beepi – a company that has made it dead-simple for individuals to buy and sell used cars. Beepi bests the existing consumer alternatives – car dealers (who provoke a well founded mix of fear, uncertainty and doubt), and cumbersome, risky and complicated, peer to peer selling sites (such as Craigslist)– with an elegant solution that enables an individual’s second largest financial purchase to become a simple, high value, risk-free and positive experience.

After a seller’s car has become Beepi-certified by passing Beepi’s comprehensive pre-purchase inspection process, and has accepted an attractive and guaranteed price from Beepi, the Beepi created listing is made available to buyers. Beepi handles all the listing creation, payment, paperwork, pick-up and delivery of the vehicle to make the experience completely frictionless. Buyers can find attractively priced vehicles, without negotiating, or driving all over the state, and rest easy knowing Beepi has not only kicked the tires to find them a great car, but also offers a simple, highly reliable transaction and an unprecedented 10-day no questions asked money back guarantee.

In short, the potential for Beepi is to not only reinvent the car selling and buying experience for the better, but to change how consumers think about when and how to buy and sell their cars. We believe that Beepi can meaningfully penetrate the $300 Billion used car marketplace.

We are very excited to partner with two dedicated co-founding entrepreneurs in Ale Resnik and Omer Savir. Ale and Omer both have had the personal experiences and broad vision to build something really big in this category. In addition, we have assembled great partners and co-investors who bring to bear a great wealth of experience, insight and support in building this market: Fabrice Grinda, founder and Chairman of OLX –the Craigslist of Europe, and also chairman of Beepi; Brian Sharples, cofounder and CEO of HomeAway, the world’s largest vacation home marketplace and former board member of iMotors, Rich Boyle, the former Chairman and CEO of Loopnet, the largest online marketplace for commercial real estate, and Tina Sharkey, founder of iVillage and former CEO of BabyCenter.

It will be an thrilling ride, (pun intended) and we’re looking forward to Beepi’s first chapter here in the Bay Area. Check out their cars now – and maybe get ready to sell yours.


May
13
13



Redpoint’s investment in Wochit

Question: what do you get when you combine a tremendous market need in a rapidly transforming industry with exceptional technologists who are determined to change the world? Answer: you get a very unique venture investment opportunity. Today, we are announcing our lead investment in Wochit—a company that will be at the forefront of modernizing global video news production, publishing and distribution.

What makes Wochit so special?

The news business is ripe for disruption. Users are consuming news information like never before – but they want it immediate, relevant and accessible wherever they are, especially on their mobile devices. From my experience at YouTube, if users can get what they want from the news when they want it, they would prefer to see it and hear about it, not just read it.

Secondly, getting access to most news stories with quality video is likely to be a day late and definitely a dollar short. In today’s news eco-system there is massive publishing of text-based news, but aside from a few of today’s most high profile headlines there is a shortage of quality news delivered via video,. It’s just a fact: text based news – especially on mobile – doesn’t monetize very well. However, video news stories do just fine, oftentimes commanding premium CPM’s. It’s not surprising publishers of all shapes and sizes are looking for ways to more efficiently create and distribute video news stories.

The Wochit team is diving in to solve both the user need and the publisher problem. These are not challenges easy to solve, so we’re especially excited to reconnect with an old friend, Ran Oz, and a new friend, Dror Ginzberg—the co-founders of Wochit. They bring both world-class technology talent and great entrepreneur bona fides to the effort. We’re thrilled to be working with them and the team they’ve formed.

We’re on a very exciting journey to re-invent the news business. Stay tuned… in video.