Engine Yard closes $15M Series B

Locally founded Engine Yard, a provider of Ruby on Rails hosting has closed a series B round of $15 million from New Enterprise Associates,, and existing investor Benchmark Capital. NEA led the round, and partner Peter Sonsini is joining Engine Yard's board.

The money raised in this Series B will help Engine Yard develop a platform for cloud computing clusters and to continue funding the development of Rubinius and Merb, their open source projects.

American River Ventures adds CFO

American River Ventures has added F. Ray Nunez to their executive team as CFO. In addition to the typical duties of a CFO, Nunez will work with ARV's portfolio companies to help them create sound financial plans at the earliest stages.

Prior to joining ARV, Nunez served as Director of Finance law firm McDonough Holland & Allen PC. Prior to joining McDonough, he spent 16 years in various financial and management roles at HP.

American River Ventures co-founder scaling back

One of the co-founders of local VC firm American River Ventures is stepping back. ARV is currently raising another fund, but The Sac Bee's Bob Shallit says that Corely Phillips has other plans.

Raising a new fund takes a long term commitment, often taking a decade or more to raise the money, make the investments, and wait for those companies to grow their businesses to a successful return for the investors. Phillips says he doesn't want to commit that much time and plans to spend more time with family and friends.

Getting your VC's attention

A few days ago I wrote about using your board more effectively. Related to this is how you use your VCs.

The VC's job doesn't stop when they write the check. They want to see the investment succeed and have a wealth of business knowledge and contacts that can help that happen. But too many entrepreneurs see their investors as the enemy and don't include them in the everyday business.

Fred Wilson, a VC blogger, says

Phil Angelides, Venture Capitalist

Venture Beat tipped me off to an interview with former state treasurer and gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides in which he announces he's raising a venture fund. The fund will be based in Sacramento and will focus on environmental technology with some real estate investments.

Angelides' firm joins numerous other funds that are focused on alternative energy, including Vinod Khosla's Khosla Ventures. Kholsa was widely criticized for backing an alternative energy ballot measure that would benefit his investments. Khosla responded to critics by pledging to donate any direct profits to charity.

The fund will be raised from numerous sources, says Angelides. VentureBeat speculates that California's pension funds are likely to invest as Angelides has previously served on their boards.

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