Luongo Leaps Over to LightSpeed

John Luongo enjoys sailing and last Thursday he cast off in his new role as venture partner with Lightspeed Venture Partners.

Luongo was not reachable on day one, but the 53-year-old is well known in the Bay Area tech community. He was most recently president, CEO and chairman of Santa Clara, Calif.-based Vantive Corp. After joining in 1993, he took the company from half-a-million in sales to over $160 million, and he was involved in several rounds of financing, followed by an IPO in 1995. He then oversaw Vantive’s $540 million acquisition by PeopleSoft in 1999.

Prior to Vantive, Luongo was employee number 26 at Oracle Corp., where we assume he established a fondness for sailing under Oracle CEO and well-known yachtsman Larry Ellison.

No one at Lightspeed was available to discuss what types of portfolio companies Luongo will get involved in. Lightspeed manages over $2 billion in funds and focuses on early-stage investments in software and communications.

A quick scan online found that Luongo sits on the boards of Personify Inc. in San Francisco and Quovo Inc. in Mountain View. -A.G.

Back to Work

Venture capital investing is, at long last, getting back to business.

At least, that was the opinion of many of the VCs attending the IBF Early Stage Venture Investing Conference, held earlier this month at the W Hotel in San Francisco. In fact, many of the VCs attending the conference said they believe that the downturn had a positive effect in re-setting early-stage venture capital investments to pre-Internet expectations.

For instance, Mayfield General Partner Robin Vasan said that early-stage founders should expect to retain no more than 20% of their original ownership. And Jennifer Fonstad, managing director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson suggested that founders can expect to earn even those shares through a vesting process.

In talking about regulatory and legal issues encroaching upon the VC industry, Jim Topinka of Coudert Brothers described the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (a public company accounting and investor protection act) as hanging like a cloud over the recovering venture environment. The result of the act thus far, Topinka says: “Legal expenses are climbing to 20 percent of the cost of launching a technology startup.”

Email Jerry Borrell