Tuesday, October 05, 1999

Pardon me, Would you please pass the Grey Poupon?

They weren't really serving this advertised-elitist mustard at the Visitalk and Industry Standard party at Mars 2112, but they might as well have, based on the attitude of the guests. Reports during the night from various party attendees who attended earlier, cited a bit of snobbery, no nametags and very spicy Quesadillas. I suppose this impression came from the fact that there were many angel investors in the room. I spoke with two, who did in fact perpetuate that aura of general guardedness. Alec Petro, managing partner of Mercator Asset Management and an associate told me the firm was unique in that it was funded solely through angel investors, with funds reaching $22 million. They didn'­t have much else to say, so I told them about my newsletter and cocktail parties. They were mildly intrigued, and with that I left them to listen to Michael O'Donnell, the president, demoing the product. Started in September 1998, this Phoenix-based company focuses on instant messaging with voice. Michael told us of their recent VC partnership with Morgan Stanley, and that a partner of Ernest & Young just joined their board. Then we saw Michael speak with his six-year old daughter, Katie as she told us about her upcoming performance as a Teacher in a play.