Monday, June 02, 2008

Nashville VCs may like Google angle

Founder-CEO Stephen Culp of Smart Furniture, the online designer-producer of personalized furniture and fixtures, says that among the Nashville investors who passed on earlier opportunities to invest in his company were Clayton Associates and First Avenue Partners, as well as local Angels. In three earlier rounds, Culp went on to find VCs in Memphis, Birmingham and elsewhere. It could have been a timing issue. First Avenue, for instance, spent a good bit of time the past few years dealing with its investments in iPayment, IPIX, Intechra and other holdings. Now, Chattanooga-based may soon be the focus of a larger round -- up to $15 million. If the raise goes forward, Culp, et al, will attempt, once again, to tap Nashville funds. During the buildup, Culp's Smart Furniture seems to be easing-up alongside Google, with the two companies set to meet for a third time, later this month. One goal of their discussions may be creation of a 3-D shopping marketplace on Google real estate, with Smart Furniture possibly having more than a storefront role. Read the full story at

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