Valhalla Partners Makes Third Seed Investment in 2010

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$1.1M Series A investment in ShopSocially bets on large potential market for collaborative ecommerce.

"In order to remain relevant to the innovation ecosystem, venture capitalists need to make smaller, earlier bets on big potential markets..."

Valhalla Partners today announced that it is leading a $1.1 million Series A financing of ShopSocially (http://shopsocial.ly), a Mountain View, CA-based startup company in the eCommerce space. The company joins Durham, NC-based StatSheet (http://statsheet.com) and Atlanta, GA-based Solidfire (http://solidfire.com) as the third Valhalla seed investment in 2010.

ShopSocially is a social recommendation engine for online shopping. It is a fun and useful site for friends to exchange shopping recommendations and discover new products. More than 10,000 product recommendations have been created by friends in a few short months since the ShopSocially launch.

“While online buying is very easy now, online shopping remains a frustrating experience,” said Jai Rawat, CEO and co-founder of ShopSocially. “Spending countless hours researching and passively reading through 100s of anonymous reviews takes all the fun out of shopping. ShopSocially allows you to participate in a shopping conversation with your friends making it easy, fun and of course, trusted.”

Kiran Hebbar of Valhalla Partners led the ShopSocially investment and will sit on its Board. Kiran has championed the seed investment program at Valhalla.

“In order to remain relevant to the innovation ecosystem, venture capitalists need to make smaller, earlier bets on big potential markets,” said Hebbar. “Modern technology-enabled businesses like ShopSocially do not require huge sums of capital to start up. Their management teams are nimble; they can evolve at the same pace as their rapidly-evolving markets. And they need investors who are as nimble as they are.”

The Valhalla seed program allows entrepreneurs with high-risk high-return ideas to receive small startup investments with minimal process. “We aim to get to ‘yes’ or ‘no’ with seed investments in a couple of weeks,” said Hebbar. In addition, Valhalla seed investments use simplified and standardized terms that are simple, easy to understand and are designed to contain legal fees, minimize negotiation time, and promote transparency.

“We aim to help our seed investments succeed,” said Hebbar. “An entrepreneur who receives an investment under this program will get the benefit of Valhalla’s expertise in establishing and achieving milestones that will maximize the chances of additional rounds of funding.”

About Valhalla Partners
Valhalla Partners is a trusted partner and advisor to technology entrepreneurs in their quest to build world-class companies. Based in Vienna, Virginia, the firm’s management team has made more than 120 investments over the past twenty years and produced almost $1 billion of investment proceeds. Valhalla prefers investments where the mission of the company is to innovate, challenge and fundamentally change the dynamics of new and existing markets. Investments by Valhalla’s team include Advertising.com, CareerBuilder.com, Clarify, EnterpriseDB, Epicor, Exchange Solutions, JumpTap, LeftHand Networks, Mobius, NextLink, Nirvanix, Progress Software, Proxicom, RealOps, Register.com, Riverbed Technologies, SafeNet, SEPATON, ServiceBench, Trilogy, and webMethods. Valhalla Partners brings the full power and network of its experienced team to every investment it makes, helping companies grow faster and smarter regardless of size or maturity.
For more information, go to http://www.valhallapartners.com.

About ShopSocially
ShopSocially is a fun and useful site for friends to give and get shopping advice. We all ask our friends for recommendations, we go out of our way to help them and we like to share our purchases with friends to get their comments. ShopSocially makes it possible to do it all online - with friends around the world! Retailers can integrate with ShopSocially to harness the tremendous power of social recommendations. ShopSocially helps turn every purchase into a social endorsement driving significant ‘friend referred’ traffic back to the retailer site.

Founded in November 2009 by successful serial entrepreneurs Jai Rawat and Samir Palnitkar, ShopSocially is a privately held company in Mountain View, CA. For contact information, please visit http://shopsocial.ly/contact.html.

About StatSheet
Established in 2007, Durham-based StatSheet is an online sports data visualization platform designed to organize, generate, and deliver relevant real-time and historical statistics through a central portal and across a network of team specific sites. The company provides detailed statistics for NCAA basketball, College Football, NASCAR, NBA, and has plans to provide similar detail for all other professional and college sports. In addition, the company provides a service called Embed StatSheet, which allows customers to integrate historical or real-time stats, charts, and other graphical elements on a website or blog. For more information, go to http://statsheet.com.

About SolidFire
Atlanta-based SolidFire is a next-generation storage platform for cloud computing providers and other enterprises that need scalable, reliable storage for thousands of servers. The Company’s solution allows customers to take advantage of the performance of solid state storage at a price comparable to traditional spinning disk, while significantly reducing operational and storage management costs. For more information, go to http://www.solidfire.com.

For more information, press only:
Dan Gordon
703-448-1400
dan(at)valhallapartners(dot)com

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