USV Blog http://www.usv.com en-US hourly 1 Top Hat None https://www.usv.com/blog/top-hat 2017-02-15 09:09:21.932000 @albertwenger https://www.usv.com/blog/top-hat

@albertwenger:

Even back when I was in graduate school, I found the price of textbooks to be high and their quality to vary widely. Now that I have children taking college courses, I was shocked to find textbooks that cost over $200 and are still large physical objects that have to be lugged around! The high prices and lack of innovation are the result of a market structure which has become highly concentrated among just a few textbook publishers. That's why I am excited to announce that USV has led a new roun...]]>
Tucows None https://www.usv.com/blog/tucows 2017-02-06 09:34:32.256000 @BradUSV https://www.usv.com/blog/tucows

@BradUSV:

Union Square Ventures has made a substantial investment in Tucows, a 23 year old company company that has been publicly traded for over 15 years. Since we have never before invested in a public company, that requires a bit of an explanation. All of us at USV feel fortunate to have participated in the wave of innovation unleashed by the open Internet. That innovation is now threatened by consolidation at the application layer and the access layer. Watching football over the weekend and seeing eve...]]>
Shippo and the Power of Abstraction: Introducing USPS ePostage None https://www.usv.com/blog/shippo-and-the-power-of-abstraction-introducing-usps-epostage 2017-01-12 11:22:20.364000 @albertwenger https://www.usv.com/blog/shippo-and-the-power-of-abstraction-introducing-usps-epostage

@albertwenger:

Our portfolio company Shippo today announced that it is now providing all customers with access to the United States Postal Service ePostage program. Shippo is the first company to have received such a license from the USPS since 1999. But best of all, the benefits of this license go to Shippo's customers without them having to do anything themselves! Such is the power of abstraction provided by API companies such as Twilio, Clarifai, Dwolla, Stripe and Shippo. Wait, "power of abstraction" what ...]]>
Digital Currency for Virtual Worlds None https://www.usv.com/blog/digital-currency-for-virtual-worlds 2017-01-09 10:23:19.476000 @JacqGaravente https://www.usv.com/blog/digital-currency-for-virtual-worlds

@JacqGaravente:

In Neal Stephenson’s 1992 novel, Snow Crash, we were introduced to the concept of a Metaverse, the 3d mixed reality heir to the Internet marked by a convergence of the physical and virtual worlds.  Technologists have been trying to bring this topic out of the realm of science fiction and geeks in basements for a few decades, so many are asking the obvious question: Why now?  I think the answer to this question lies in the fact that many of the technologies needed to enable this phenomenon finall...]]>
Blockstack Funding None https://www.usv.com/blog/blockstack-funding 2017-01-06 08:00:30.923000 @albertwenger https://www.usv.com/blog/blockstack-funding

@albertwenger:

Walter Isaacson from the Aspen Institute (and author of the Steve Jobs biography) recently wrote a post titled "The internet is broken. Starting from scratch, here's how I'd fix it." His core contention is that the Internet at present lacks native support for identity, security and payment. And while that's correct, it doesn't necesserily follow that we need to rebuild from scratch. Instead, we can and should use the capabilities of blockchain technology to augment the existing Internet (and in ...]]>
Numerai None https://www.usv.com/blog/numerai 2016-12-12 06:34:35.976000 @aweissman https://www.usv.com/blog/numerai

@aweissman:

Part of the genius of the Internet is its ability to coordinate the actions of many disparate and geographically diverse people by eliminating the marginal cost of sharing information. In the last few decades alone, we've seen this happen again and again in areas such as education, science and commerce with remarkable results. One question we have asked ourselves over the years is how best to apply the network model to the business of allocating capital. What other components or technologies wou...]]>
Sharing Holiday Specials from the USV Network None https://www.usv.com/blog/sharing-holiday-specials-from-the-usv-network 2016-12-01 11:16:18.707000 @bethanymarz https://www.usv.com/blog/sharing-holiday-specials-from-the-usv-network

@bethanymarz:

USV network companies: Let us know if you’d like us to include your holiday offer in this list! The potential of digital network effects has been crucial to our investment thesis from day one. As an extension of this thesis, we spend a lot of time seeking out opportunities for our active portfolio companies to collaborate with each other. Within this USV portfolio network, more than 60 companies help each other build better businesses through shared resources, relationships, and peer-to-peer le...]]>
Nurx None https://www.usv.com/blog/nurx 2016-10-24 11:59:28.200000 @aweissman https://www.usv.com/blog/nurx

@aweissman:

For all the promise of digital technologies, medical care today is still largely provided in the same unstructured manner as it always has been. When you need to see a doctor, there are typically 5 or 6 steps you need to take before a potential outcome: finding the doctor; finding time to schedule the appointment; visiting the doctor; getting a diagnosis and prescription; visiting a pharmacy and paying for your medication. Each one of these steps, while necessary, has to be done with live commun...]]>
Code Climate None https://www.usv.com/blog/code-climate 2016-10-06 08:44:08.555000 @albertwenger https://www.usv.com/blog/code-climate

@albertwenger:

Code is everywhere these days. There is code running in your watch, your car, your thermostat. You can't make a call, pay a bill, or book a ticket without code. Code is what allows companies to create new businesses and differentiated user experiences. "Software is Eating the World," as Marc Andreessen put it. The amount of code in systems tends to grow over time. Here is a beautiful illustration of the size of various code bases. As a first approximation, the historic growth in the lines of cod...]]>
Hillary Clinton for President None https://www.usv.com/blog/hillary-clinton-for-president 2016-10-04 08:48:34.751000 @nickgrossman https://www.usv.com/blog/hillary-clinton-for-president

@nickgrossman:

This is the fourth presidential election during the existence of Union Square Ventures and the first one in which we as a firm feel compelled to endorse a candidate: Hillary Clinton. As investors in technology companies, we believe that technology and innovation create broad opportunity and improve lives. But we also know that, to date, the benefits of technology and globalization have not been evenly distributed. People with access to education and capital have prospered while many others have ...]]>
Shippo None https://www.usv.com/blog/shippo 2016-09-09 08:44:51.423000 @albertwenger https://www.usv.com/blog/shippo

@albertwenger:

Take a look around you, chances are, pretty much everything you see has been shipped, often multiple times, in order to get there. Transport of goods is a massive industry. Global parcel shipping alone is worth $300 Billion. With the shift to e-commerce parcel shipping is growing rapidly and consumer expectations for fast and cheap delivery are being set by the very largest players, led by Amazon. Creating a compelling shipping experience for customers is hard. The industry is fragmented with ma...]]>
Hello! None https://www.usv.com/blog/hello 2016-08-29 11:42:09.055000 @jml_campbell https://www.usv.com/blog/hello

@jml_campbell:

I'm Jennifer, one of the new analysts on the Investment Team at Union Square Ventures!  Before joining USV, I studied statistics and computational biology at Harvard, and then worked at a hedge fund after graduation. I'm particularly interested in new financial/banking paradigms, blockchain + decentralized networks, and genomics.  Growing up, many people around me were entrepreneurs. I was completely fascinated by the idea that you could make your own path, especially in a culture where adherenc...]]>
Hello From a New Analyst None https://www.usv.com/blog/hello-from-a-new-analyst 2016-08-29 11:41:25.514000 @JacqGaravente https://www.usv.com/blog/hello-from-a-new-analyst

@JacqGaravente:

Hi all! My name is Jacqueline Garavente and I’m excited to introduce myself as one of two new analysts joining the investment team here at USV. Prior to this, I worked in the AI sector at IBM Watson and a few years later went to a startup, Dataminr, where I applied open source data to study complex criminal networks (if you ever want to talk ISIS and cartels on Twitter, I’m your lady). I wound up at USV through a confluence of luck and powerful network effects. AKA, I saw a retweet that USV was...]]>
Fat Protocols None https://www.usv.com/blog/fat-protocols 2016-08-08 09:35:49.299000 @jmonegro https://www.usv.com/blog/fat-protocols

@jmonegro:

Here's one way to think about the differences between the Internet and the Blockchain. The previous generation of shared protocols (TCP/IP, HTTP, SMTP, etc.) produced immeasurable amounts of value, but most of it got captured and re-aggregated on top at the applications layer, largely in the form of data (think Google, Facebook and so on). The Internet stack, in terms of how value is distributed, is composed of "thin" protocols and "fat" applications. As the market developed, we learned that inv...]]>
USV Opportunity Fund, circa 2016 None https://www.usv.com/blog/usv-opportunity-fund-circa-2016 2016-07-18 09:27:38.606000 @aweissman https://www.usv.com/blog/usv-opportunity-fund-circa-2016

@aweissman:

Over five years ago USV launched its first “Opportunity Fund” - a pool of capital meant as a complement to the core activities of our early stage funds. A few years thereafter, in 2014, we raised a second Opportunity Fund. Both of those funds have been continuously active. In light of making our first investment in our 2016 early stage fund, we thought this would be a good time to take a look back (and forward) at this investment strategy. To date, the Opportunity Funds have invested in 15 compa...]]>