Union Square Ventures

Often in our business you work on things for months and even years without being able to talk about them outside your immediate group of colleagues and family members. Secrecy is required for competitive or regulatory reasons.

So it has been with me for the past 18 months.

In October 2003, around the same time that I started this blog, my partner Brad Burnham and I started a new venture capital firm called Union Square Ventures.

From that date until now, those words have never appeared on this blog. Because the first thing you need to do when you start a new firm is raise a fund. And there are rules that prohibit using the media to “condition the market” for a fundraising. Those are the rules that got Mark Benioff and the Google boys in some hot water last year.

Our lawyers were crystal clear with us.  There was to be no talking to the media during our fundraising. And so our quiet period lasted almost a year and a half. Until this morning.

Yesterday, we concluded our final close on Union Square Ventures 2004, LP, a venture capital fund dedicated to making early stage investments in technology enabled service businesses that are disrupting markets, particularly the marketing, media, financial services, and telcomm markets.

This is not a particularly well kept secret even with our quiet period. While we have not talked to the media, we’ve talked to a lot of people about our new firm and our new fund and the word has gotten out. That’s fine with the regulators, our lawyers, and us.

And we’ve made two investments already, in Tacoda Systems and Instant Information. Both companies were founded by entrepreneurs we’ve been involved with before and have great confidence in. That is a theme that we’ll attempt to repeat as much as we can because there is nothing better than backing people who you know well and believe in.

But we’ll surely back a lot of people that we haven’t backed before too. And that’s one place that this blog will help. Since I’ve started it, I have met many entrepreneurs I didn’t know. That’s a great thing as far as I am concerned.

And this blog will serve as one way to get the word out about things we like, things we don’t like, and areas we are interested in. That should help entrepreneurs determine whether or not Union Square Ventures is the right firm for them.

But most of all, this blog is about me, not Union Square Ventures. The opinions I express on it are mine, not my partners, colleagues, and investors. You can get a sense of me from this blog, but there is a lot more to Union Square Ventures than me and this blog is only one piece of data about our firm.

If you have a business that you think would be interesting to us, send us an email, and if there is an overlap, we’ll get together and talk about it.  Our contact information is on our website at www.unionsquareventures.com.

I am thrilled with what we’ve built at Union Square Ventures.  My partner Brad is a perfect compliment to me.  We plan to stay small, do our own work, help entrepreneurs build great companies, make our investors a lot of money, and have a great time doing it.

And hopefully, you will all be able to watch us do it via this blog.