Upcoming Webinar: Converting Visitors to Customers

April 26th, 2012 by Jay Levy View Comments

As part of Spring Metrics webinar series they are hosting an upcoming session titled “Learn 3 Strategies to Convert More Visitors into Customers, Subscribers and Followers”

During the webinar online retailers Windowblindoutlet.com and MrSnuff.com about their pioneering use of Smart Content to convert more visitors in to customers, subscribers and followers.

The webinar will discuss:

Increasing your rate of email subscription sign-ups

Accelerating Facebook Likes, to increase brand awareness

Increase purchase conversion rates AND average sale size

Click here to learn more



Zelkova by the Numbers

February 17th, 2012 by Jay Levy View Comments


Facebook Timeline Apps – Foodspotting and Fab

January 19th, 2012 by Jay Levy View Comments

This evening Facebook launched their Open Graph app platform with over 60 partners. We are exited that two Zelkova companies were part of the launch, Fab.com and Foodspotting. The Open Graph platform will allow for deep app integration into Facebook helping developers improve product functionality, usability and reach.

The Foodspotting Open Graph app will allow users to easily share with their friends all the foods they love and want. Now ill be able tocheck out the recommendations of my friends right within Facebook.

The Fab.com Open Graph app will expand on the social shopping experience the Fab team is building. Now you will be able to share theproducts you buy on Fab with your Facebook friends. Oh and as a kicker you will earn a $10/month credit on Fab when you enable social shopping.

Kudos to Facebook for taking privacy seriously and building easy to use tools to manage these apps.


Take Control of Your Attorney

January 18th, 2012 by Jay Levy View Comments

Attorneys are vendors they are not investors, partners or employees and their interests are not aligned with your interests. The interest of an attorney on an early stage deal (generally an associate) is not necessarily the interest of yours. The interests of the entrepreneur should be to get the deal done correctly in a way that sets the business up for success.

I bring this up as lately we have seen many deals where they attorneys are dictating the terms / structure of the deal, not the founders. This issue seems to be rampant in seed rounds with first time / young entrepreneurs.

Here are a few pointers for working attorneys:

  • Leverage your attorneys for information and an understanding of both sides of any term / structure, than make a business decision and tell them what you want.
  • Understand every term of the agreement and its application, this will allow you to determine what matters and what doesn’t for your company.
  • Use senior members at firms for education and advice, use junior members for drafting and administrative work.
  • Pay your attorneys; don’t ask them to defer to future rounds. Negotiate a fixed fee ahead of time.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some incredible attorneys out there and from what we have found these are typically the attorneys that view their job as providing information rather than making decisions.


RJ Metrics – Why We Invested

January 3rd, 2012 by Jay Levy View Comments

We are excited to announce our investment in RJ Metrics along side some other great investors, including SoftTech VC, BetaShop, Lerer Ventures, SV Angel and great angels like Gabe Weinberg of DuckDuckGo.

RJ Metrics is a SaaS analytics platform that is simple to install but incredibly powerful and nimble. RJ Metrics customers range from startups to industry leaders with hundreds of millions in revenue. Companies and investors in eCommerce, software as a service, gaming, and community us the platform to make smarter decisions, drive growth, and enhance profitability.

We first met Robert and Jake a few years back when they were launching RJ Metrics, while they weren’t fundraising they wanted to socialize the product with the venture community as they thought it was a good fit.

It became apparent to us about six months ago that RJ Metrics was something we wanted to be involved with for a few reasons.  First off, we started using the product at Fab and we were all addicted, secondly the team has done an incredible job of landing great clients who swear by the product and lastly it’s a team that gets it. Robert and Jake come from the venture world and understand what needs to be done to make a company work for investors, founders and employees.

You can read more about the funding on TechCrunch or the RJ Metrics Blog.


About Jay Levy

Jay Levy

Jay Levy is a co-founder and principal of Zelkova Ventures. Jay focuses most of his time in working with the current portfolio company and looking at new investments in the software-as-a-service, internet media and green tech space. More »


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