Rebecca Kaden: New Partner at USV

Last week was a big week for us at Union Square Ventures. We had the MongoDB IPO on Thursday and on Friday Rebecca Kaden announced that she has joined USV as a partner. Rebecca is a New Yorker and after nearly a decade on the West Coast, she is looking forward to coming back here. You can read more about it in Rebecca’s own words over on the USV blog. I am super excited for today’s Monday meeting because it will be the first one with Rebecca!

20VC: Semil Shah on How To Raise An Institutional Venture Fund, Why LPs Mostly Have Reserve Allocation Theory Wrong & Why IPOs and Acquisitions Are Severely Constrained

Semil Shah is the founder of Haystack, an early stage investment firm now investing out of it’s fourth fund, with previous investments in the likes of Instacart, DoorDash, Giphy, OpenDoor & Managed by Q. Semil is also a Venture Partner @ GGV Capital, one of the leading multi-stage funds and in the past he has also been a consultant to the likes of Kleiner Perkins, DFJ, General Catalyst and more. If that was not enough, Shah also has an extensive career in media having been a contributor for both TechCrunch and the Harvard Business Review in the past. Due to all of this, Shah is known for being on the speed dial of some of the industry’s most respected VCs with the likes of Marc Andreessen naming him one of his ’55 Unknown Rockstars in Tech’.

In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How Semil made the transition from the world of writing to investing alongside some of the best Continue reading "20VC: Semil Shah on How To Raise An Institutional Venture Fund, Why LPs Mostly Have Reserve Allocation Theory Wrong & Why IPOs and Acquisitions Are Severely Constrained"

What It’s Like Attending the New York Times “Page One” Meeting

A few weeks back my friend Millie Tran invited me to attend the daily morning News meeting at the New York Times. I’ve been a HUGE Times fanboy since growing up in NY and while I’ve had the chance to visit their offices many times, I’d never seen the inner workings like this. Well, at least not outside of the famous documentary Page One (the morning news meeting *used* to be called the “Page One” meeting during the Times’ more print-centric days).


Scene from the Page One meeting, circa 2003

What I didn’t tell Millie was that I wouldn’t be attending alone. You see, when I travel my daughter gives me one of her stuffed animals to take along and send her back pictures of our adventures together.

bunny times

The News meeting is staffed in-person by all the top editors and called into by the Washington bureau and any other editorial

bunny times 2
daily bugle
Continue reading "What It’s Like Attending the New York Times “Page One” Meeting"

Yankees Don’t Win

Last night, the New York Yankees lost to the Houston Astros and thus ended a magical run to the 2017 World Series. The loss left me sad, hurt and little emotional. And it was also a reminder of what really hurts the most: expectation. When we expect something, and it doesn’t happen, we are disappointed. When we don’t expect anything, and something great happens, we are overjoyed by it.

We were not expecting the Yankees to be playing this deep in October, at least not in 2017. We were supposed to be rebuilding and reconfiguring the team for the future. But a youthful burst of energy from the Baby Bombers reenergized veterans and some properly astute trades turned a year that was going to be a wash into an October surprise.

Until Game 6 of the ALCS, I had no expectations of a series win from these new Yankees. But Continue reading "Yankees Don’t Win"

New venture capitalists find strength in numbers

 Ian Rountree, the twenty something captain at the helm of Cantos Ventures, an SF-based micro-fund, is characteristic of a new breed of venture capitalists in tech — a group of  small funds looking to go toe-to-toe with some of the valley’s most entrenched seed funds like First Round Capital and SV Angel. Rountree is experimenting with a strategy so antithetical to the venture… Read More

Addressing KRACK

The CEO of our portfolio company JumpCloud, Raj Bhargava, reached out to me after my rant on digital security earlier this week.

Since JumpCloud plays in the world of digital authentication, they are well versed in security issues and are helping organizations with securely connecting their users to their IT resources (systems, app, storage, WiFi, servers, etc.).

He pointed me to a five-step video they put up about how IT organizations can step-up their WiFi security – not only from KRACK, but from man-in-the-middle attacks and from having poor WiFi security hygiene.

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