Off The Schneid
The almost two year long slump is over. I've led a new venture investment for USV, which closed a few weeks ago and was announced last night. The company is Coinbase and my blog post announcing the investment is on the USV blog. The WSJ also wrote about it here.
This hiatus, which I've blogged about a bit on and off, was mostly a result of being very full up with responsibilities for existing investments. I have made twenty investments since the founding of USV in the fall of 2004 (now 21) and have only exited six, so I have had fourteen investments that I am responsible for at USV. I take our responsibility to our portfolio companies higher than any other work related responsbility and these fourteen companies have required a lot of time and attention over the past two years.
Two things have happened to get me off the schneid (a hitless streak if you aren't familiar with that term). First, the fourteeen companies have all matured a lot in the past two years and the demands of that group of companies has waned a bit. And second, I have come to believe that a number of new fundamental technologies have hit the Internet and it is time to get busy putting out money.
One of these is Bitcoin. Here is a snippet of what I wrote today on the USV blog:
We believe that Bitcoin represents something fundamental and powerful, an open and distributed Internet peer to peer protocol for transferring purchasing power. It reminds us of SMTP, HTTP, RSS, and BitTorrent in its architecture and openness. Like what happened with those other low level protocols, entrepreneurs and developers are now building technology on top of Bitcoin to make it more useful, more accessible, and more secure.
It is possible that we may make more Bitcoin/digital currency investments but we will try to make sure they are not competitive with Coinbase. And there are other sectors out there that are emerging now that I am keeping my eye on as well. I hope to be more active in making new investments in the coming months. It's good to be back at it.