Austin Ventures, the VC and private equity firm, has launched its eighth mini-rollup fund in the last five years, and this is an intriguing one: it is putting $50 million into a vehicle led by former CEO of Razorfish, Jeff Dachis.
Valleywag, a tech gossip blog, reports that Dachis will move to Austin, TX to head up the venture. Dachis former company, Razorfish, was a cutting edge digital design studio building web sites for corporate clients in the Web 1.0 era. He founded Bond Art + Science, another high end digital shop in the years after he sold Razorfish.
In the 90’s, he had also bankrolled RSub, a network of web sites using the latest Flash technologies to publish artsy content from subculture publishers, which was loosely attached to the Razorfish organization. The site is still live, but I’m not sure from glancing at it if it’s been updated recently or if any of the publishers in the network are still live. It looks cool though!
I’m reporting on this, because at one point, I entertained the idea of selling Netmix to Dachis in 1998. At that point, I wasn’t sure if the money was right, so I held out. Maybe I was a bit overwhelmed by the Razorfish organization, but one of my chief concerns is that I would be selling into RSub and not the Razorfish entity, so I chose to back out of the deal and keep the company. In hindsight, aligning myself with Jeff probably wouldn’t have been a bad thing and we all make our decisions and have to live with them. I still have own the URL and I’m still independent, so maybe that’s a good thing. History will tell.