Desperate founder turns to media for VC bucksDarren Lee, the creator of online ad-network startup AdExcel, wants everyone to know that he needs money, badly. How badly? So badly that he is soliciting reporters for investments. Darren, here's a hint: Journalists are among the Valley's worst-paid professionals. We doubt any of our impoverished colleagues will take him up on the offer — save, perhaps, those who have already crossed the line and turned venture capitalist themselves. Congratulations, Darren! You got some coverage from Valleywag, and no money changed hands! But Lee is shooting himself in the foot: If his ad network gains any ground — unlikely, since he's pitching hacks for cash injections — critics will cite his offer and charge those who write of it favorably as being on the take. (Which raises the question: Did former TechCrunch writer Duncan Riley, who wrote about AdExcel on his Inquisitr blog, take Lee up on his offer?) Here's the text of Lee's offer, which was accompanied by the inevitable PowerPoint presentation:
Dear Owen, How are you? Hope things are going on well. This is Darren here and I am the co-founder of AdExcel. Do you remember me? I have sent you an email a few weeks ago. I need your help. AdExcel is moving quickly to commercialize its platform and needs funding. For you to help, I would like to invite you to a special event to preview the next generation of Internet advertising and present an opportunity for you to take part in this branded venture. IMPORTANT: I understand that you are from the Media, but I am presenting this to you because you are selected by our team as a highly respected personality. Therefore, we wish to extend this very limited edition and special invitation for your kind consideration - Hoping you could join us! To keep it brief and in context, here are the details in milestones: As you might already know, AdExcel is working on an extraordinary advertising platform that allows anybody to comment and rate online advertising – with that and bundled with other full blown features such as a Publishers Social Network and White Label Advertising Network Solutions – will make this something very different from the industry standards. To learn more about AdExcel quickly – please click here, here and here. We are also recently featured on the Inquisitr by Duncan Riley over here. Duncan Riley is a brilliant journalist and also a former TechCrunch writer. The article is titled "AdExcel: Ning for Advertising". To see and test out AdExcel for yourself, please click here for instructions. The truth about this venture is that before I started AdExcel, I was a Social Entrepreneur and I traveled a bit to share and exchange ideas about social entrepreneurship from places like Geneva to Philippines. Essentially, being a social entrepreneur often means to affect change in the world through mechanics of a social enterprise. In reality, it’s a long and hard mission for the whole of humanity. We just need to be reminded that each of us is as important to make this world a better place. No matter how small our contribution is but it will make a big difference as a whole. I believe AdExcel can be a benevolent idea. If it becomes successful, it will succeed in eradicating poverty and extreme hunger from the world including poorer nations. The bigger concept of AdExcel is to allow absolutely anybody to create and run their own advertising network. In the virtual Internet, anybody from all parts of the world can profit from the Internet marketplace. AdExcel allows people to leverage that and gives them the tools to scale quickly. So, we really hope that AdExcel could be given a chance to prove itself and maybe someday by allowing more people to own their small “Google Ad Network”, we could really help more people to make ends meet. Also, given the methods used in AdExcel's technology and strategies, this is a great business model that scales exponentially with growth patterns such as Social Networks (e.g. Facebook ) and White Label Networks (e.g. Ning ). I personally invite you to join us. In this tough economic times, we are prepared to be prudent with investor's money and fight the good fight. AdExcel is building the future of Internet Advertising and having you as an investor will definitely accelerate its growth and success. To show you that we are sincere, we are also prepared to negotiate at any price/deal that you feel is right. Any size in allocation is possible. We really hope you and/or ValleyWag could join us. Thanks again Owen and hope to get a reply from you soon. Warm regards, Darren Founder, AdExcel www.adexcel.com NOTES: You can download the AdExcel Business Presentation (lots of visuals) here.