Softbank Capital hires Outbrain SVP Josh Guttman for New York office


joshguttman_1284330081_43Japanese telecom and internet business Softbank Corp’s venture capital arm has hired Josh Guttman as a partner focused on early-stage startups.

Guttman, pictured, will be based in Softbank Capital’s New York office following his move from content discovery platform Outbrain, where he was senior vice president of platform sales.

A 12-year veteran of the New York tech sector, Guttman was part of the early team at content recommendation engine Sphere, which was bought by AOL in 2008.

He served as the company’s CEO post-acquisition, and led its divestiture from AOL and sale to Outbrain in early 2011.

Softbank Capital managing partner Jordan Levy said, “Josh knows what it takes to build and grow a successful business in key growth categories like digital media, SaaS and ad tech.

“We feel his addition is highly complementary to our investment team and will strengthen our ability to identify and partner with the next generation of leading New York State startups.”

In February SoftBank Capital  launched its $250m PrinceVille Investments fund to invest in companies looking to expand to Asia.

The new fund will focus on businesses operating in the social media, mobile applications, e-commerce, online advertising, gaming and cloud computing sectors.

SoftBank Capital principal Matt Krna told AltAssets that the fundraising process went very well.

He said, “Investors were generally quick to acknowledge the importance of the Asian markets to emerging technology companies, and, once we explained SoftBank Capital’s unique capabilities in that part of the world, understood why we’d be an attractive investment partner to the best companies out there.”

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