Originating in London, First Tuesday quickly became synonymous with
the Internet revolution in the U.K., enabling entrepreneurs to
meet with venture capitalists in a social setting on the
first Tuesday of each month. It has expanded to offer a jobs
forum with over 1,400 postings a month and has taken its meetings
concept to over 85 cities globally.
Yazam, which recently raised $60 million to fund an aggressive
international expansion, is established with offices in the U.K.,
U.S., Israel and Japan. It not only provides seed capital to
start-up ventures but also offers various business development
services to its portfolio companies.
Phil Garfinkle, Yazam’s president, said the combined companies
will create an entirely new platform to expand what he called
The deal between the two parties does not, however, mean that
all entrepreneurs who go to First Tuesday’s events will be
obliged to use Yazam’s services. Garfinkle said other venture
capital firms would be co-investing with Yazam.
Reade Fahs, First Tuesday’s chief executive, said the merger
was great news for the First Tuesday community and would result
in tangible benefits for all its members.
“Investors will benefit from new alliances that help create
more successful investments. Entrepreneurs will have more
fertile ground on which to learn, grow, network, and create
substantive relationships that will aid their success,” said
Yazam is backed by investments from JP Morgan, Merrill Lynch,
Texas Pacific Group, Carlyle Internet Partners Europe, Apax
Partners, Itochu International, the China Development
Industrial Bank and personal investment from Charles Schwab.
With 80,000 members, First Tuesday will bring a lot of
potential business to Yazam, especially as many of the
members are still at the conceptual stage with their projects
and are ideal targets for a seed capitalist.
To date, First Tuesday says that more than $130 million has
been found for start-ups via the networking services it has
provided. How much of this the entrepreneurs would have
secured without First Tuesday is hard to determine, but the
organization has certainly helped promote an entrepreneurial
culture in the U.K. and elsewhere.
Among its growing list of events, First Tuesday now holds
meetings specially for people involved in the mobile Internet.
Inevitably, these events are called Wireless Wednesdays.