The assumed options for today’s hordes of tech startups are the rare IPO, acquisition by a large tech or media company, or death. Those are terribly stark terms. Matt Marshall of VentureBeat(née SiliconBeat) just called to say he is trying to help fill the gap with an exit market of his own: VentureBoard. Nice!
“Once you get over YouTube you’re going to realize there’s not much else there,” says Matt. What about all the other tech startups, in all stages of formalization, hoping for an exit? His concept is a classifieds site that eliminates some of the dirty-laundry-airing nature of selling a company on eBay, as Kiko and a few others have done or tried to do. There are already three companies offering themselves up on VentureBoard: Open Communications, Zookoda, and Nuvvo.
Update: Brian McConnell, founder of Open Communications, wrote Om an email to say,
In my case, I am looking at an acquisition as an alternative to VC. I have a couple of cool products, and rather than risk a lot of money trying to build our own audience, I am taking them over to a company that has an audience and knows direct response marketing. Also, one of our products, Stream Codes (guide.radiohandi.com) has potential to reshape the consumer electronics industry, but we need to be part of a major organization to successfully cut deals with manufacturers. There was no way I could do that as an independent company, even if I’d been backed by Kleiner Perkins.