Union Square Ventures (USV), the 19-year-old New York-based venture capital firm, has raised $275 million for its eighth seed fund and $350 million for its fourth opportunity fund, the company announced yesterday. company in a blog post.
Sharing news of the two new vehicles, firm partners Andy Weissman and firm general counsel Samson Mesele wrote that USV plans to “invest our new funds around the same thesis as our previous funds: we look for opportunities in the market that align with our 3.0 thesis. (USV previously wrote that this updated thesis focuses on “trustmarks that expand access to knowledge, capital, and well-being by leveraging networks, platforms, and protocols.)
Along the same lines, USV will continue to invest in “Web2 and Web3 businesses and projects,” the post reads, without giving further details.
Early last year, when Weissman announced in a similar blog post that USV had raised $250 million for its seventh major fund, he wrote explicitly that, as in the “final funds” of the USV, the company planned to invest around 30% of the capital in crypto. -related investments and that he intended to hold tokens and equity in early-stage blockchain-related projects.
One such related new bet is Polygon, a platform for Ethereum scaling and infrastructure development. (USV, which got into crypto earlier than most companies, was also an early investor in Coinbase and held 8.2% of its Class B shares at the time of its direct offering. last year.)
Some of USV’s new bets include Slope, an API developer that enables retailers to offer buy-it-now and pay-later services; a two-year-old Egyptian electric mobility startup called Shift EV that aims to convert gasoline-powered vehicles into electric vehicles using batteries it designs and manufactures; Alife, a two-year-old San Francisco-based startup trying to improve the efficiency of IVF procedures using AI; and Gumball, a two-year-old Los Angeles-based podcast ad marketplace founded by podcast company Headgum.
USV, which also closed its first climate fund last year with $162 million in capital commitments, has seen its share of exits over the years. Last month, three-year-old equity trading platform Public bought Otis, a startup that lets individual investors buy co-ownership in alternative assets, including NFTs and sports memorabilia. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, although Crunchbase data shows Otis had raised $16.5 million from investors including USV and Maveron.
In addition to Coinbase, other more high-profile USV bets have included Etsy and Twitter, companies in which USV owned more than 15% and at least 5%, respectively, at the time of their public offerings, according to their S-1 filings. .
Indeed, USV co-founder Fred Wilson remains very active on Twitter and tweeted earlier this month, his belief that Twitter is “too important to be owned and controlled by one person. The opposite should happen. Twitter should be decentralized as a protocol that powers an ecosystem of communication products and services.
After Elon Musk’s offer to buy the company was accepted by his board of directors earlier this week, Wilson softened his stance slightly in his newsletter, writing, “I continue to believe that only one person Owning one of the Internet’s most important communication protocols is a bad idea, but maybe it can be a bridge to something better.