Union Square Ventures is clearly one of venture capital's premier investors. With network centrality playing a crucial role in VC performance, who is and who is not a frequent co-investment partner with USV?
From the not breaking news file – venture capital fund Union Square Ventures is crushing it.
With Indeed, Tumblr and Zynga having already exited as well as a number of unharvested standouts in the portfolio ranging from soon-to-IPO Twitter to MongoDB ($1+ billion rumored valuation), USV is very clearly one of venture’s elite funds.
Given the venture firm’s success and the importance of syndicates (aka network centrality) in VC performance, we analyzed Union Square Ventures’ investor relationships using the the Investment Syndicate Dashboard on CB Insights. Below are some trends around USV’s investment syndicate including angels the firm tends to co-invest with, its favorite NY-based investors to do deals with (or lack thereof) and the corporate venture arms the firm has recently done business with. (see our other recent analysis on Sequoia and Andreessen Horowitz’s investment syndicates if this stuff gets you excited)
Union Square Ventures Investment Syndicate Trends
If you are the company you keep, the angel investors that share a syndicate relationship with USV would be higher-quality angels (think of this as analogous to Google PageRank for an investor’s network).
And there are two angel investors that have participated in a number of co-investments with USV: Joshua Schachter and AngelList co-founder Naval Ravikant. Ravikant, for example, co-invested with USV in Twitter as well as NY-based startups Stack Exchange and Codecademy, while Schacter and USV have completed eight financings together at the Seed/Series A stage including Kickstarter and Etsy.
While New York-based startups make up a large number of Union Square Ventures’ investment portfolio, the venture firm’s primary syndicate partners are non-NY based. The top 5 firms that invest with Union Square Ventures are Spark Capital, Index Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures and SV Angel – none of whom are headquartered in NY. The #6 spot belongs to First Round Capital which is technically PA-based but has a very strong history and presence in NY. A look at the syndicate dashboard shows that NY-based Founder Collective, Thrive Capital and RRE Ventures are part of USV’s syndicate but share fewer deals. Even Lerer Ventures, the most active investor in NY-based startups, shares just a few financings with USV.
Another datapoint the syndicate dashboard helps to uncover is which corporate venture capital firms Union Square Ventures does deals with which is interesting given Fred Wilson’s recent comments about corporate venture investors. Among corporate venture investors, USV syndicates deals with the likes of Time Warner Investments, Google Ventures and Qualcomm Ventures. Interestingly, Time Warner Investments and USV’s two shared portfolio cos, Simulmedia and Adaptive Blue (dba GetGlue) that both fall in the Social TV market, which has seen a sharp decline in VC funding.
- New Enterprise Associates
- Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
- Sequoia Capital
- Draper Fisher Jurvetson
- Andreessen Horowitz
- Accel Partners
- First Round Capital
- Polaris Partners
- Khosla Ventures
- Bessemer Venture Partners
- North Bridge Venture Partners
- Greylock Partners
- Lightspeed Venture Partners
- Benchmark Capital
- General Catalyst Partners
- US Venture Partners
- Battery Ventures
- Charles River Ventures
- Norwest Venture Partners