USV Quietly Announces $625M in Fresh Funding For ‘Both Web2 and Web3’ Teams

USV Quietly Announces $625M in Fresh Funding For ‘Both Web2 and Web3’ Teams

Union Square Ventures (USV), a 19-year-old New York-based venture firm, stated in a blog post yesterday that it has collected $275 million for its eighth early-stage fund and $350 million for its fourth opportunity fund. USV aims to “invest our new funds around the same thesis as our prior funds: we are seeking for opportunities in the market that match with our Thesis 3.0,” according to company partner Andy Weissman and the firm’s chief counsel, Samson Mesele, in a statement announcing the two new vehicles. This new thesis, according to USV, focuses on “trusted brands that widen access to information, money, and well-being through the use of networks, platforms, and protocols.”

According to the statement, USV will continue to invest in “both Web2 and Web3 companies and initiatives.” When Weissman announced in a similar blog post early last year that USV had raised $250 million for its seventh core fund, he stated explicitly that the firm planned to invest roughly 30% of the capital in crypto-related investments and that it intended to hold tokens and equity in early-stage blockchain-related projects, as it had in its “last several funds.”

Polygon, a platform for Ethereum scalability and infrastructure development, is one of these newer, related investments. USV, which was an early investor in cryptocurrency and owned 8.2% of Coinbase’s Class B shares at the time of its direct offering last year, was also an early investor in Coinbase. Slope, an API developer that enables retailers to offer buy-now-pay-later services; Shift EV, a two-year-old Egyptian electric mobility startup that aims to convert fuel-run vehicles into EVs using batteries that it designs and manufactures; Alife, a two-year-old San Francisco-based startup that’s trying to improve the efficacy of IVF procedures through AI; and Gumball, a two-year-old Los Angeles-based podcast ad.

USV has had its fair share of departures over the years, having completed its first climate fund with $162 million in capital commitments last year. Public, a three-year-old stock trading platform, just acquired Otis, a business that lets individual investors purchase fractional ownership in alternative assets like as NFTs and sports memorabilia. The deal’s terms were not disclosed, but according to Crunchbase records, Otis garnered $16.5 million from investors including USV and Maveron. In addition to Coinbase, USV has made high-profile bets on Etsy and Twitter, which USV held more than 15% and at least 5% of, respectively, at the time of their initial public offerings, according to their S-1 filings.

Indeed, USV cofounder Fred Wilson is still quite active on Twitter, and he recently posted that Twitter is “too essential to be owned and controlled by a single individual.” It should be the other way around. As a protocol that enables an ecosystem of communication goods and services, Twitter should be decentralized.” “I continue to feel that a single individual controlling one of the most significant communications protocols of the internet is a horrible idea, but maybe it might be a bridge to something better,” Wilson wrote in his newsletter after Elon Musk’s proposal to acquire the firm was accepted by its board early this week.

Wilson and Weissman are listed as managing members on SEC filings for the new funds, along with longtime managing director Albert Wenger, general partners Rebecca Kaden and Nick Grossman, and both Mesele (who joined the firm last year) and USV’s longtime finance manager, Kerri Rachlin, who has not been included in the firm’s previous SEC fund registrations. They’ve “entered the USV alliance in conjunction with the 2022 Funds,” according to USV. John Buttrick, who joined USV in 2010 and was included on the firm’s seventh flagship fund’s SEC filings, is not listed.