Former Joost CEO Mike Volpi already has a new gig lined up. He’ll be a venture partner at Index Ventures, which was part of the group that pumped $45 million into the little web TV startup that could (but didn’t).
Joost announced last week that it was changing focus from offering premium content in order to become (yet another) white-label video provider. As part of that strategic shift, Volpi stepped down as CEO but remains chairman of the company. Volpi has a long history with Index as he invested $10 million in the firm’s first fund while he was an exec at Cisco. According to the press announcement, Volpi will be “based in the London office as part of the venture team where he will lead early stage investments in the Internet, telecom/networking and media sectors and contribute to the firm’s later stage growth fund.”
Kara Swisher at All Things D has an interview with Volpi about the latest move, where he offers up a few more details about Joost. On the company’s failure to be a premium content player, he said, “At the end of the day, the consumer offering we had was not working, a lot because we did not have enough access to content we needed to build traffic.” Volpi justified Joost’s move into the highly competitive world of white-label video by saying, “It is better to be competing in a sector that has profitable rivals than one that does not.” He said Joost had discussions with possible acquirers, but those didn’t pan out because of price issues. “Not everyone wanted to pay a lot to own Joost, but a lot of people wanted to rent it,” he said.
Hopefully, Volpi will be able to take the failure of Joost in stride and pass on his experience of what not to do as a startup to the companies Index invests in.