New York State private equity program invests in 'Silicon Alley'


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DiNapoli Announces Two SoftBank Capital Investments In New York City Tech Market:

Two New York City-based technology companies, RebelMouse and Coopkanics, received venture funding from SoftBank Capital, an investment partner of the New York State Common Retirement Fund, through the In-State Private Equity Program, New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced today.

“The state pension fund is reaping the rewards of its commitment to New York City’s Silicon Alley,” DiNapoli said. “This round of funding for RebelMouse and Coopkanics was made possible in part by previous Fund investments in technology startups. These commitments will help them continue to develop and grow right here in New York. The In-State Private Equity Program continues to generate double-digit returns for the pension fund.”

“Thanks to Comptroller DiNapoli and the New York State Common Retirement Fund, we have been able to identify amazing entrepreneurs in New York and support them in building companies, not once, but now twice.  These companies will continue to create jobs, build the ecosystem and create outstanding returns for the pension fund,” said Jordan Levy, Managing Partner of Softbank Capital NY.

RebelMouse, which bills itself as the social front page, allows users to organize their social feeds, such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, into one location, making it simple to integrate business and personal content, blogs and slideshows. SoftBank, on behalf of the Common Retirement Fund, led the $10.25 million Series A funding announced in early August and took a seat on the board.

This investment represents the second generation of venture capital funded through the In-State Private Equity Program for Paul Berry, RebelMouse CEO, and Michael Lazerow, an investor in Rebel Mouse. Berry was previously the Chief Technology Officer at the Huffington Post, a company in which the Fund invested.  Lazerow is the founder, and previously CEO, of Buddy Media, another Fund investment, which was purchased by Salesforce in 2012.

In July, SoftBank also participated in a $3 million Series A round of funding in CoopKanics, a startup formed by Jordan Cooper and Doug Petkanics. The startup follows the sale last year of their previous effort, Hyperpublic, another company in which the Fund invested, which was acquired by Groupon. The new venture will focus on the mobile internet.

The Fund currently invests over $278 million in 167 New York City-based firms through the In-State Private Equity Program. Through June 30, the Fund had invested $684 million in 252 companies since 2000 with an additional $396 million available for investment. Comptroller DiNapoli has more than doubled the Fund’s commitment to the program by adding $624 million in available capital since 2007 with a focus on early and seed stage ventures.

For more information on the In-State Private Equity Program, visit our website here.

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Economy, New York, State & Local News, States, Thomas DiNapoli