About

Union Square Ventures is a venture capital firm based in New York City. We are a small collegial partnership that manages $1B across six funds. Our portfolio companies create services that have the potential to fundamentally transform important markets.

Partners

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Brad Burnham

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Fred Wilson

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Albert Wenger

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John Buttrick

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Andy Weissman

Investment Team

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Nick Grossman

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Brittany Laughlin

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Alexander Pease

Operations

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Kerri Rachlin

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Gillian Campbell

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Lauren Mazurowski

Our Focus

Investment Thesis @USV
Venture firms operate a bunch of different ways. Some have a geographical focus, others have a sector focus, still others have a stage focus. Union Square Ventures' focus has evolved into what we call a "thesis" but is probably better described as a macro level view about the world - the Internet world - that we then (attempt) to structure investment activities around. In short, as described by Brad last year in 140 characters, USV invests in: Large networks of engaged users, differentiated th...
The Opportunity Fund
We founded Union Square Ventures in 2003 to invest in the applications layer of the web. Over the last seven years, we have refined that investment focus. We now invest almost exclusively in Internet services that create large networks. Some might think this focus is narrow. We don't see it that way at all. We believe the irresistible economics of Internet networks will ultimately transform the entire global economy. We continue to be very excited by the opportunity to invest in that transformat...
Power to the People
We encourage our portfolio companies to make sure they take time out from the operational demands of their business to think about the bigger strategic picture. We do the same for USV and a couple of weeks ago took a day off to discuss how we think the web itself is changing, how the web is changing industries and society, and as a result how opportunities for startups are changing. One of the best ways we have found to think about change is to identify those principles that appear to drive the ...
Founders and Management
It's been a while since our last post on this blog. Year end activities got in the way. We were in the midst of a string of posts on what we look for in our investments when we went radio silent. We've addressed issues like the stage we like to invest (early), the amount of traction the company has made, our desired role as lead investor, deal size, and our approach to geography. We figured we'd come back strong by addressing the most important piece of venture capital investing equation - the ...
Geography
Each month we see something like thirty to fifty new investment opportunities that generally fit our investment strategy. They come from all over the place. Just in the past month, we've seen opportunities in Israel, Australia, China, London, San Diego, Boulder, Atlanta, Boston and the Bay Area. It seems like our deal flow gets more geographically diverse every month. Web delivered technology startups are sprouting up all over the world. But if you look at the eight investments we've made so fa...
Deal Size
Brad and I have been doing early stage investing since the late 80s (me) and early 90s (Brad). For most of our career, a typical early stage venture round was $5mm to $6mm and you'd put two firms together and each would invest $2.5mm to $3mm. So when we sat down to build the business plan for Union Square Ventures, we started with that model. But recognizing that we were focusing on a sector (web services) which could be a lot more capital efficient, we put another kind of investment in the mod...