WTF Startup o' the Day

Congratulations on getting an extension for the Silliness Ceiling, America.  It looks like as long as you include the term “venture” or startup”, you can pretty much raise money for any kind of contraption you’d like to build.  If you have a hare-brained scheme, now is a great time to get it funded.

Like, say, a startup that offers people a way to throw money at stock market fads, an idea so counter to investment wisdom that I almost thought I was reading this in The Onion.

From TechCrunch:

Motif Investing, a new vehicle that allows you to invest in ideas, has raised $20 million in Series B financing led by Ignition Partners with participation from Norwest Venture Partners and Foundation Capital. This brings the company’s total funding to $26 million.

Motif, which is in private beta, was founded by former Microsoft executive Hardeep Walia and hedge fund analyst Tariq Hilaly to give individuals a new way to invest based on themes. Instead of choosing to buy stock in specific companies, Motif allows investors to invest in different portfolios of stocks, each called a “motif,” that are centered around everyday ideas. For example, motifs can be built around themes and ideas ranging from cloud computing to democracy in the Middle East. In addition, each motif can be customized to meet an individual’s ideas or needs.

Walia gives the example of “cloud computing” or “mobile internet” as growth areas that have seen significant gains over the past few years but he says most people don’t know how to map these ideas into an actual investment.

As America’s foremost authority on Investment Trends, Fads and Themes, I can save everyone a bit of trouble and a lot of money here:


Why not, you may ask?  Because guys like me will be gladly selling you our holdings, that’s why not.  Bernard Baruch famously explained that he got rich in the markets by doing what everyone wanted him to do – selling things to them when they were dying to buy and buying things from them when the same people were desperate to find a buyer.

This Motif nonsense would mean that the smartest guys in the room will have plenty of terrific counter-parties to trade with.

I don’t mean to be overly harsh, but please re-read the above and I think you’ll understand my tone.

And having Microsoft ($MSFT) money behind this is just the cherry on top 🙂


Former Microsoft Exec Raises $20 Million For Motif, An Investment Vehicle For Ideas (TechCrunch)


hat tip reader Ken S


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