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soona

Co-authored by Hannah Murdoch The language of commerce has always been visual.  Tiffany’s published their Blue Book in 1845, the first direct-mail catalogue in the United States.  The publication distributed pages of the world’s finest jewels to customers who couldn’t reach [...]  Read more

SmartHop’s Series A

The trucking industry is one of the oldest and most interesting in the US. It is also one I’ve always been fascinated by--partly because, for a couple of generations, it was where my family made their living. My paternal great [...]  Read more

Sora

Co-authored by Hannah Murdoch USV’s education portfolio is built around the idea of changing a system from the outside in. By going directly to learners with products and platforms that offer high quality experiences for free or at accessible price [...]  Read more

Outschool’s Series B

In the post about USV’s initial investment in Outschool 16 months ago, I wrote about the dramatic need for innovation in an education system that looked effectively the same as it did 50 years ago. While the internet had altered [...]  Read more

A Social Resurgence

We have recently gotten excited about several new emerging social networks and platforms. While the competition for prolonged attention only gets fiercer and the network effects in the dominant players remain strong, there is also fresh consumer appetite for creative [...]  Read more

The Education Transformation

10 years ago, in March 2009, USV hosted an event called Hacking Education. The team pulled together a group of operators, founders, and investors to talk about how to create transformation in education. Following the event, my partner Brad wrote [...]  Read more

Welcoming Outschool to USV

In the last 25 years, the growth and increased convenience of commercial internet has fundamentally changed how we live most aspects of our lives. It has created new ways for us to connect and transact, and it has turned massive [...]  Read more

Come for an Action, Stay for the Community

The next wave of social systems will likely emphasize breadth and depth differently than the last--and may not look much like social networks at all. With the current networks, the horizontal nature of the platform is the product. Users come for the community. But it may be that with the next, the community is what keeps users long term engaged but is formed around another intent. Come for an action, stay for the community. Read more

Welcoming Dia&Co to USV

There are two core reasons that make Dia&Co particularly exciting as an addition to the USV portfolio. First, the size and current state of the market they are focused on. Second, how well positioned this team is to tackle this problem and the ability they’ve shown to create not just a transactional business but a large, fast scaling, emotionally engaged community. Read more