Last October we wrote about Union Square Ventures’ Investment Syndicate and looked at some of the trends surrounding one of the premier venture capital funds in the world. Shortly after our piece ran, Fred Wilson commented on a post discussing USVs co-investment activity with Spark Capital on the usv.com conversation platform. In short, he doubted that USV co-invested more with Spark than any other fund, and said that both Index and SV Angel were more prolific co-investors than Spark. While he may be right about co-investments (our platform says he’s not), USV shares more portfolio companies with Spark than both Index and SV Angel.
The Business Social Graph is a perfect way to easily and quickly visualize common portfolio companies, something that might be useful when looking at not just co-investments, but general trends showing VC funds’ portfolio overlap. We took all investments from December 2009 – March 2014 that USV has done, and then added SV Angel, Index Ventures, and Spark Capital to the social graph. The green lines connecting startups and investors signify an investment. While you can also add acquirers, competitors, and partners for each company, for this exercise we purely wanted to look at portfolio companies.
The social graph shows that Spark Capital invested in just under 15% of USV’s portfolio, while SV Angel and Index call about 9% of USV’s founders, theirs too. The social graph is also useful for seeing companies that were invested in by all of the included funds, regardless of round. For example, we can see that Stack Exchange received investment from all four investors. When we dig deeper into the financing history for Stack Exchange, we see that USV and SV Angel invested in their May 2010 Series A, and Spark Capital and Index Ventures joined USV with the company’s Series B funding in March 2011. Other shared portfolio companies on the social graph include Twitter, Kitchensurfing, and Skillshare, all shared by USV, Spark, and SV Angel, as well as Codeacademy, shared by USV, Index, and SV Angel.
This is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of utility offered by the Social Business Graph. For another example read Visualizing the Investor-Acquirer Relationship Between Intel Capital & VMWare.