Based in Palo Alto, California, Jean-Francois “Jeff” Clavier is the Founder and Managing Partner of SoftTech VC, one of the most active seed stage investors in Web 2.0 startups. Since 2004, Jeff has invested in more than 70 consumer Internet companies in areas like social media, communities, search, gaming or consumer infrastructure, almost exclusively in Silicon Valley. With over 20 years of operational, entrepreneurial and venture capital experience, Jeff is able to add relevant perspective and value to his companies as they grow from inception to maturity, and hopefully, success.
In 2007, Jeff was recognized as one of the 13 Web 2.0 King Makers by (late) Business 2.0, and in 2008, BusinessWeek named him one of The 25 Most Influential People on the Web. He is often noted for his investments in categories such as “passion-centric communities” or online gaming, or for having sold five of his Web 2.0 startups to the likes of Yahoo, AOL or Hearst Interactive.
In September 2007, Jeff announced the formation of SoftTech VC II, L.P. – a $12M seed fund backed by a mix of institutional and private investors that will invest in 40 to 50 consumer Internet companies over 3 years. During its first year of activity, he fund has closed 20+ investments, most of them still operating in stealth/pre-launch mode.
A popular speaker and moderator, Jeff appears at dozens of industry events per year. Ranging from local Silicon Valley keynotes or panel discussions to international conferences, he shares his passion for building Internet startups, angel and VC investing, innovation and entrepreneurship. Jeff has produced a number of technology conferences and is a founding co-chair of the SDForum Search Special Interest Group.
Believing that you have to practice what you invest in, and vice-versa, Jeff started Software Only in 2004, one of the early venture capital blogs where he primarily covered social media, search, online communities and investing. After a few years of active posting, Jeff switched to micro-blogging, and a less time consuming production, mostly using @jeff on Twitter.
Prior to founding SoftTech VC, Jeff spent more than 16 years in the enterprise software world as an entrepreneur, senior executive and venture capitalist. Throughout his career, he was exposed to global markets leading development teams in Europe and on Wall Street, designing products sold internationally and investing in software infrastructure startups across the U.S. and Europe.
In 2000, Jeff became President of RVC Capital, the firm managing the Reuters Greenhouse Fund with $600M invested in 82 companies, including Yahoo!, Verisign, Phone.com and Infoseek. He joined the venture arm of Reuters from the company’s product development division, where he was leading a 250+ staff in Paris, London and New York, and was responsible for the Risk Management and Desktop products. Jeff joined Reuters through the acquisition of Effix Systems, a Paris-based startup company he helped develop in 1989 while still in school.
Jeff was born, raised and educated in France, earning a MS in Computer Science and a research degree in Distributed Computing. He has been happily living in Silicon Valley since 2000 with his wife Bernadette and their two children. When he is not busy working, Jeff likes to spend time with his family and friends, cook, collect wine and wander around Outland on his hunter. He also skies, hikes, dives and plays golf so poorly it is not even funny.
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