Gary Flake

Back in April, we discovered Gary Flake’s stealthy Internet startup Clipboard, reporting on the company’s $1.38 million venture round. At the time, however, we didn’t know who was bankrolling the former Microsoft and Yahoo researcher.

Now, we’re getting a clearer picture. And, let’s just say it is an all-star group.

Backers of Clipboard — which announced its Web page clipping service last month — include Silicon Valley super angel Ron Conway; Andreesen Horowitz; Index Ventures; Michael Arrington’s CrunchFund; Draper Fisher Jurvetson; First Round Capital; board member Blake Krikorian; former Overture CEO Ted Meisel; Acequia Capital; Vast Ventures; Betaworks; CODE Advisers; and Seattle’s Founder’s Co-op.

TechCrunch disclosed the list today, and Flake confirmed the investors in an email to GeekWire tonight. He noted that the CEO of a publicly-traded company also is an investor in the round, which closed 10 days ago at a total of $1.43 million.

“I am incredibly fortunate to have such an amazing slate of investors,” Flake tells GeekWire.  “Every one of them has been engaged and helpful throughout the entire process, and as empowering as the funding is, their advice and guidance is vastly more valuable.”

Chris DeVore, a partner at Founder’s Co-op, said they are excited to back the Clipboard team. “Gary is awesome and (we) wanted to see where he’d go with it,” he said.

And, just in case you were wondering, Flake says they aren’t actively fundraising right now.

“We’ve been operating very efficiently, so the angel round gives us a very healthy runway,” he said. “That runway, combined with having a patient group of investors, means that we’ll be able to aggressively evolve the service during these early days.”

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  • Jonah

    So just to clarify, he left Microsoft Research with Thumbtack and started it as Clipboard?  I loved Thumbtack

    • johnhcook

      I am not sure about the connection between Thumbtack/Microsoft Research and Clipboard, as I had not heard of that service before. Here’s a little more info I found on Thumbtack: for the comment, Jonah. I’ll follow up with Gary Flake and see if he can shed more light on that. 

    • Gary William Flake

      Jonah,  I was never part of MSR but Thumbtack was a project that my friend Steven Drucker created within Live Labs (the team that I led).  We did several other projects that tried to solve the save/share problem, and each had a different twist. So while Clipboard and Thumbtack are/were both about saving and sharing parts of Web pages, that’s really were the similarity ends.

      Clipboard differs from Thumbtack (and virtually all other saving/sharing services) in the following ways:

      1. We make the selection of the clip an interactive experience.

      2. Our clips are visually true to the source and will often retain much of the original functionality.

      3. Our information architecture encourages the user to think of three overlapping universes of clips: the user’s personal clips that they create (Home), clips that are part of private or public collaborations (Shared), and clips that are published (Feeds).

      I hope that clarifies.

  • JimHirshfield

    Uh, hello? 2007 is calling…it’s…what am I missing?

    • Gary William Flake

      Hey Jim.  If you don’t mind, please take a look at the video on our landing page at, which better makes the case for what I am about to write.  Our clips retain the look, feel, and functionality of clips, which is something that ClipMarks never did.  To be clear, I think ClipMarks was ahead of its time and I have a great amount of respect for Eric Goldstein (it’s founder).  But I think even Eric would agree that we are doing something different.

      • JimHirshfield

        OK, Gary, fair enough. The resemblance was strong enough to trigger that thought. ‘nuf said; go crush it!

  • Seattle Startup

    John, how often does an all-star set of investors lead to ultimate success?  My first thought (based on what I’ve read over time) suggests that such an investment crew leads to failure more often than the average startup.  I recall reading that, in such situations, the CEO often gets flustered/frustrated with so many huge egos, all knowing better and telling the CEO what they should be doing.  Is my recollection correct?

    • johnhcook

      That’s a really good question on whether “big name” investors hurt or help a startup. It probably depends on the entrepreneur and whether they have the capacity to manage the egos. That said, since so many investors are involved in this round for Clipboard, it probably is a small enough investment that it is not material to the big names.

      Anyway, appreciate the insight. It would be interesting to check in with Bill Harding of Bonanza who raised money from a large syndicate of top angels and VCs to see how things are going. 

    • Gary William Flake

      I suspect every founder has a different experience, so I can only really speak of my own.  In my case, it’s actually been pretty easy because all of the investors know of the trap that you speak of an operate so as to mitigate it.  The most often category of communication I have with my investors is usually in the spirit of “How can I help?”

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