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 20 consumer Internet companies developing new concepts (such as social media) or revisiting “old” ideas with a new set of economics and technologies. In 2007, Jeff was recognized as one of the 13 “Web 2.0 King Makers” by Business 2.0, and is often noted for his investments in categories such as “passion-centric communities,” or for having already sold five of his companies in the past two years through successful M&As. Jeff’s 19 years of operational, entrepreneurial and venture capital experience enable him to add relevant perspective and value to the companies in which he invests.Jeff’s initial investments were in the search, social media, online communities and application infrastructure sectors. Most recently, he added gaming and monetization to his investment focus, and he has been dabbling in Enterprise 2.0, system infrastructure and a few other emerging categories. Jeff invests primarily, but not exclusively, in Silicon Valley-based startups.
A popular speaker and moderator, Jeff participates in dozens of industry events throughout the year. These events range from local Silicon Valley panel discussions to international conferences, where he shares his passion for building Internet startups, angel and VC investing, innovation and entrepreneurship. Jeff has also produced a number of technology conferences and is a founding co-chair of the SDForum Search Special Interest Group.
Jeff’s blog, Software Only, was one of the early venture capital blogs, started in 2004, 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, using Twitter and Pownce.
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.