As part of New York’s ongoing promotion of Silicon Alley, State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli yesterday announced investments in two New York-based tech companies. Both RebelMouse and Coopkanics have received venture funding through the In-State Private Equity Program, from SoftBank Capital, an investment partner of the New York State Common Retirement Fund.
“The state pension fund is reaping the rewards of its commitment to New York City’s Silicon Alley,” Mr. DiNapoli said in a prepared statement. “This round of funding for RebelMouse and Coopkanics was made possible in part by previous Fund investments in technology startups. These commitments will help them continue to develop and grow right here in New York.”
Decision Desk and Eastern Harbor Media have both signed five-year, 2,500-square-foot leases at the Moinian Group‘s 37 West 17th Street property, where asking rent was $42 per square foot.
“The whole neighborhood is a magnet for tech and digital media companies,” Eliot Warren of the Kaufman Organization, who represented the tenants, told The Commercial Observer.
Late last year, when the education publishing company Scholastic offered up about 60,000 square feet of sublease space at the top of the Soho office building 568 Broadway, the firm quickly found it wouldn’t be difficult to fill.
Within weeks, a host of tenants were competing for it, including several tech firms, one of the most active sectors of the leasing market in Manhattan right now. Tumblr, foursquare and AppNexus, all well-known names in the industry, moved to the front of the pack.
On the face of it, such a decision would seem easy. Of the three, only AppNexus, a firm that specializes in online advertising and is backed by the software giant Microsoft, is known to be profitable. But in a tech boom in which riches don’t always flow from the most likely sources, the deal for the space took a different turn.
The competition soon boiled down not to AppNexus but to Tumblr and foursquare, two companies that have become top brands in the new internet boom and have raised tens of millions of dollars in venture capital between them, but have yet to find income-producing platforms for their services.