Visualizing our Investments

Union Square Ventures is a thesis driven firm. We don’t really invest in the consumer web, networks, mobile, the cloud, or any specific technology. We invest in the disruption of the global economy caused by the increasing liquidity of information enabled by the internet. Our thesis allows us to find opportunities as the investment landscape changes.

We recently created the USV Portfolio Timeline so that we could better understand how our approach to investing has evolved with the market. We often reflect on these trends, and we wanted to create an alternate view of the USV portfolio that organizes our investments by “Theme” and “Stage.”

A couple of current trends jump out from this presentation. First, USV is investing more frequently in Series B rounds and fewer seed rounds. Second, that we are finding interesting opportunities in enterprise, finance and education.

Zach, our hacker-in-residence and I developed the timeline using an open-source project, TimelineJS. The theme view arranges our portfolio into six investment areas: Advertising technology, Developer tools, Education, Enterprise, Marketplaces, and Social & Search. The stage view organizes our investments by the stage (Seed, Series A, Series B, or later) of our initial investment. We will continue to improve and update the timeline as we invest in more companies.

We hope you’ll enjoy playing around with the Portfolio Timeline as much as we do. We are sharing it with you, because we have always learned much more by sharing our work than we have by keeping it to ourselves. The timeline has been helpful to our team, and we hope that it provides more context around our approach and the types of opportunities that we’re looking for.