Xconomy Completes Series A Financing—Founders Swear Staff Will Be Paid

8/9/07Follow @bbuderi

“Quick, the bank closes at 5:30.”

“Did anybody actually count the money yet?”

Now can I have a drink?”

Such were the words of dignity and calm that emanated from 10 Rogers Street in Cambridge late yesterday afternoon—the lawyers had just couriered over a manila envelope full of checks, marking the close of Xconomy’s Series A financing round.

Terms of the deal were undisclosed.

“After 25 years of covering high-tech businesses and hearing that line delivered countless times, I always wanted to issue a statement like that,” founder and editor in chief Robert Buderi told himself yesterday.

The event had been a long time coming for Xconomy insiders. The hyper-locally focused digital media and events company, which debuted on June 27, evolved over more than a year and a half (as did the founders’ attitudes toward personal debt).

Some highlights from the week of the closing:

— Publisher Steve Woit leaves for Latvia on vacation just as the money starts coming in.

— A large chunk of funds mysteriously disappears between the bank account and the balance sheet.

— CTO Andrew Koyfman issues what everyone agrees is a poignant, funny quote summing up the state of Xconomy. When it comes time to write this article, nobody can remember what he said.

— Chief Correspondent Wade Roush has the profound honor of answering the 1000th phone call for Alnylam made to the Xconomy offices. (Please, people, Alnylam’s number is 617-551-8200. Adjust your rolodexes accordingly.)

— The missing funds are located, in the wrong account, and the balance sheet is complete. Still no sign of Woit.

And so, after a run-in with the paparazzi during Buderi’s mad dash to deposit the checks at the bank (above), our funding drew to a close. The Xconomy team retreated down the street to Bambara to celebrate over martinis and mojitos. Amazingly, as the night progressed, we still couldn’t remember what the CTO had said. Only co-founder and executive editor Rebecca Zacks seemed to care. “This is bugging the __ out of me,” she stated.

Nonetheless Zacks, like the rest of us, was feeling good as we reflected on our accomplishment. We’re proud of being able to raise enough money to get this business off the ground, and we’re particularly proud that much of the funding comes from thoughtful local individual investors who believe so strongly in what we’re trying to accomplish. (Taking the lead was CommonAngels, an angel investment group based in Lexington, MA, which contributed funds from both its investment pool and from individual members.)

While we’re thrilled to take our place within the Boston-area business community, we know that our participation in this community presents special challenges for us as a journalistic enterprise. The simple fact is that many of our investors have ties—often ones that we don’t even know about—to the people and companies that we’ll be covering. And the potential for conflicts of interest, or the appearance of conflicts, is heightened because we’re focusing so locally in our coverage.

The core principle of operation by which we address this issue is one that’s basic to journalism: we don’t make any deals about our content, and we don’t mix our business operations with our editorial coverage. None of our investors expect otherwise, because they know we will only be successful if we retain our editorial integrity.

Okay, enough of the heavy stuff. We’re really grateful to our investors, to our colleagues, and to our growing (we hope) audience. We are striving to bring insight, verve, and sometimes humor to covering the local innovation community. We’d love your ideas about how to do this better. And we’ll let the rest speak for itself.

Bob is Xconomy's founder and editor in chief. You can e-mail him at bbuderi@xconomy.com, call him at 617.500.5926. Follow @bbuderi

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  • http://www.xconomy.com Steve Woit

    While it is always nice to see one’s name in print, I do need to object to the implication in this article that my departure for Riga, Latvia was somehow coincident with some missing funds, etc.

    Latvians are a proud, innovative and resourceful people (the Minox spy camera was invented in Riga, Latvia, for instance) and the Latvian economy is currently the fastest growing in the E.U. according to the Economist.

    We also do have a sense of humor, though, so all is forgiven. I hope that someday there will be an Xconomy Riga for the Baltic Region, where there is a great deal going on in the technology sector (Skype was founded in nearby Estonia).

    Congratulations on closing the round.

    Sveiks!

    Steve Woit
    (Stivins Voits)

  • Nancy Walser

    Congratulations, Bob (and the rest of the hard-working staff of Xconomy)!
    You had a vision and made it come true.
    Your wife,
    Nancy
    P.S. I like the part about staffers getting paid.

  • invitedmedia

    just read at paidcontent that you landed some cash.

    whenever ANY online operation can get people to believe in them enough to cut them a check it’s huge news!

    i may never read your blog again as it’s far outside my interests, but CONGRATS.

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  • http://www.lazysupper.com Doug

    Congratulations!
    Can I have a job?

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  • http://daley.med.harvard.edu/assets/Willy/willy.htm Willy Lensch

    “This is bugging the __ out of me,”? Zacks would NEVER say such a thing. You’ve got to be __ing me. Nicely done all!

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  • Margie

    Xconomy — whatever that means and whatever your purpose is, Congrats. Go for the Gold! I too will not be this way again, because it does not interest me.