FEATURED:More featured posts
In November 2010 my friend Shana Fisher sent me an email suggesting I meet Edward Norton about his crowdfunding site for charities, called CrowdRise. I was pretty dismissive in my response to Shana. I told her that USV was “all in” on Kickstarter and we did not want to invest in anything that was too close to them. And though I did not mention it to Shana, I was also wondering how someone like Edward could manage being an entrepreneur in combination with all of the other things he does. But Shana is persistent. I took the breakfast which was at Pain Quotidien on 5th Avenue and 8th Street.
I walked into that breakfast a skeptic and came out a believer. Edward impressed me with his commitment to making it easier to raise funds for charities and causes. And he impressed me with his knowledge of startups and technology.
In the three+ years since, I have recommended CrowdRise to everyone who asks me where to crowdfund for charities. Each time I send them to Edward, he and his co-founders Shauna, Robert, and Jeffrey have treated them well and helped them run successful campaigns on CrowdRise.
Last fall, we met again for breakfast. This time at Maialino. And Edward told me they had an incredible year in 2013 and had recently been approached by a buyer who wanted to acquire CrowdRise. I told him “absolutely not”. So Edward said “what would you do if you were me?” and I replied “I would raise a big round from top notch VCs and grow CrowdRise into the crowdfunding platform for charities”.
And, as all of you must realize as you read this, that is exactly what Edward, Shauna, Robert, and Jeffrey did. Today CrowdRise is announcing a large investment by USV, Index, Spark, RatPac Entertainment , Bezos Expeditions, and the talent agencies CAA and UTA.
At USV, we believe that the best crowdfunding services are domain specific. Kickstarter for project funding, Lending Club for consumer debt, CircleUp for equity investments in consumer products, Funding Circle for small business debt, and so on and so forth. And so our investment strategy is to find the very best platform for the important categories and back them. We’ve done that a lot but we did not have the premier crowdfunding platform for charitable giving in our portfolio.
Now we do and we are super excited about it. And we are super excited to be working with Robert, Jeffrey, Edward, and Shauna. They are a great founding team and have built something truly special at CrowdRise.
If you want to give CrowdRise a spin, you might consider backing CSNYC, a non-profit that is funding CS Education in NYC public schools. Their CrowdRise is here.continue reading →
Wed, Apr 23, 2014:
It seemed bitcoin could stand to be a little more human, so I started a list of all the reasons one might want a bitcoin.
I'd love it to become a more complete list of all the cool things one could do with bitcoin, and I know it's missing many of those things right now. So: if you've got some time, and a use for bitcoin in mind, could you submit it to the site or leave it as a comment below?continue reading →
There are three reasons he cited in an investor letter that back his thesis: the rejection of “conventional valuation methods,” short sellers being forced to cover positions and big first-day pops for newly minted public companies that “have done little more than use the right buzzwords and attract the right venture capital.”
"U.S. officials, for their part, are hoping the decision for the Commerce Department to step away from its contract overseeing Icann will assuage international complaints and head off the move to U.N. governance. They admit that the agency's contractual relationship with the organization has been "an irritant" in discussions concerning global Internet governance. They have been adamant that they won't accept any government or U.N. involvement in the Icann transition, or they will delay the planned transition for up to four years."continue reading →
"History has a tendency of repeating itself. Every time a new technology comes out, it is abused and used in ways not for users. Studying users—not the technology—raises warning flags. People enamored of the technology side will criticize us. They will say we think people are too stupid or too lazy. It’s not that they’re stupid or lazy, but they don’t care about technology, they care about getting their jobs done."continue reading →
"Y Combinator has high hopes for low-cost biotech innovation."
Story about YC and Science Exchange's Elizabeth Iornscontinue reading →
wired piece on the way that peer economy companies are building systems to help us trust each other, at scale.
i'm quoted towards the bottom about the hyper-accountability that comes with this, and the darwinian nature of it all. If I were to add something to that quote, I think it would be that for us to become comfortable in a fully transparent, data-driven society, we'll also need to adjust our expectations around human flaws (we all have them!), and also become more tolerant towards new, unproven ideas (if we're going to shine a light on them early on)continue reading →
Hope it happens and happens nation widecontinue reading →
Explaining to family and friends that you are taking a train to see a bunch of weird microwave-looking machines print 3-dimensional objects out of what seems like thin air, is a bit like telling them your hopping on a train to Hogwart’s. At least—from the looks on the faces I saw—I imagine the reactions must be similar. Alas, while there were no wizards (as far as I could tell) present at theInside 3D Printing Conference + Expo earlier this month, that’s not to say that the event was any less magical.continue reading →
I am convinced news is often wrong not because of political slant but because havingthe right education, context, contacts knowledge where to look and the ability and to do this in a timely manner is just plain hardcontinue reading →
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