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Partner Rating:

Rated 3.0 / 5.0 by 2

Partner Information:

Title:     

Location:  New York, US East

Blog:      

Firm Rating:

Rated 3.2 / 5.0 by 27

Firm Information:

Company:   Union Square Ventures

Type:      N/A Private VC

URL:       Firm Homepage

PERSONAL SPECIALTY: None.

0
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2
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Won't Waste Your Time, Don't Waste Theirs

Fund: Union Square Ventures

Posted by docnerd on 2011-03-18

PUBLIC:

I talked with Christina Caccioppo a couple of times, and was frustrated that she didn't really understand anything about our product or model, nor did she seem at all interested in getting a better understanding of it.

But I soon recognized that this wasn't her fault at all, but mine. She was coming to our discussion with a simple mission of sorting out good deals from bad according to a very well known set of principles and requirements. Our company was obviously not a great fit, a fact which I ignored because I was still interested in Union Square in theory, and I didn't mind getting some casual pitching practice even if the fit wasn't right.

In the end I felt like I had wasted her time. What I first took as an abrupt and dismissive attitude from Christina was simply efficient honesty.

PRIVATE: Members Only

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The Best Ever!!!

Fund: Union Square Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2010-11-29

PRIVATE: Members Only (1515 Characters)

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Looking for Mass User Traction

Fund: Union Square Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-10

PUBLIC:

We had the opportunity to talk with USV and they pass politely, it seems they prefer are looking for mass user traction.

PRIVATE: Members Only

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USv and Fred are the Best!

Fund: Union Square Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2009-02-22

PUBLIC:

Fred is the John Doerr of the east coast. I have worked with him on several companies. You are lucky to work with him. He brings an honesty and integrity and pursuit of the truth that is refreshing and energizing. Most important, great sense of humor and fun to hang out with.

Despite being small, USV is clearly a leader. They invest on fundamentals, stick to what they know, but swing for the fences.

USV gets better deal terms, but they probably deserve it.

PRIVATE: Members Only

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Good Interactive Pitch with Constructive Feedback

Fund: Union Square Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2008-06-03

PUBLIC:

I recently pitched to Albert Wenger, the newest partner of USV. The experience was interactive and cordial. He was well versed in the space (specific niche of online media) and had insightful questions and good constructive feedback.

While our endeavor is a little early for USV (we're currently raising angel), I hope/plan on continuing discussions with Albert in the future.

PRIVATE: Members Only (350 Characters)

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Bite the Hand That...

Fund: Union Square Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2008-02-19

PUBLIC:

I pitched Fred Wilson a few months ago and was quickly turned down. The dialogue was semi-cordial, and he cited logic espoused on his blog many months before as the reason. It was like he expected me to know what he wanted to invest in because he is a blogger.

I have read his blog and it oscillates all over the place. Lately, it sounds like he should be investing in some mashup music machine for talented teenagers that make 60's love songs with a Twitter API for karaoke. That, or a Facebook consulting agency.

What seems stranger to me is that Fred recently insulted The Funded, TechCrunch and VentureBeat in his blog... That strikes me as a dumb move, even if he is right on all counts. Maybe he is so busy that he did not think, but then I would not want that type of loose cannon mistakes on the board level even if there was a good excuse.

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They Know What They Want

Fund: Union Square Ventures

Posted by costik on 2008-01-31

PUBLIC:

I had excellent introductions into Union Square, and they were pretty up-front that they were talking to me because of those, not because they were impressed with my deck. It also became apparent in the first 5 minutes that my venture was not the kind of thing they were looking for.

You never feel happy after a meeting like this, but to give them credit, they were straight, and they didn't waste my time. A swift no being better than an extended one, and so on.

PRIVATE: Members Only (187 Characters)

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Key to Success in the Space

Fund: Union Square Ventures

Posted by Alexander Muse on 2007-12-17

PUBLIC:

If you have the latest Web 2.0 idea and want to know if you are onto something pitching your idea to Fred is a great idea. If he wants to fund your deal quit your job, empty your savings, charge up your credit cards ~ get ready for success. If he doesn't like your idea, go back to the drawing board and rethink your idea. Of course, this only applies to Web 2.0-esque businesses

PRIVATE: Members Only (272 Characters)

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Picky is Good, Obnoxious Isn't

Fund: Union Square Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-12-10

PUBLIC:

Fred Wilson has an excellent track record as an investor - he chooses wisely. He's approachable and willing to learn. He looks at a lot of stuff. He's relaxed and non-intimidating in meetings. I pitched him and he seemed interested and wanted to follow up. I left a copy of my plan.

He didn't like my plan, and I can understand that. It actually wasn't so good at the time. But his reason for not going forward was disingenuous. He commented that he thought our technology wasn't going to work, and it was clear he had no clue about the technology or the people behind it. I would much rather hear a straightforward "no" and a clear reason that makes sense than hear some brush-off comment that's not true just to get me to go away.

It's too bad. I like and respect Fred. I hope to be in position to get another round of capital as we grow, and I wouldn't go back to him because I felt he didn't respect me. It's tough being a VC - you have to treat everyone as though he's the next Sergei - but that's the job. I respect those who manage to do it with tact and class.

PRIVATE: Members Only (267 Characters)

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Yin & Yang

Fund: Union Square Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-08-15

PUBLIC:

I know Brad from his AT&T ventures days and he is one of those guys from "central casting" - cue middle-aged, rich WASP guy to deliver business platitudes - like, "disruptive", "barriers to entry", and "long-tail". Other than that he is arrogant but mostly harmless.

Fred on the other hand is a genuine person who is/seems passionate about what he does and really seems to like things he invests in. He writes one of the few VC blogs that I read, and even though I often disagree - he always makes me think and thats what's most important. He also doesn't seem to take himself too seriously - which is a quality that is rather refreshing. If I did a company in their space I would definitely want to approach Fred.

PRIVATE: Members Only

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Thesis Driven Investors

Fund: Union Square Ventures

Posted by webservice2 on 2007-07-20

PUBLIC:

With only two partners, Union Square is nimbler than a lot of venture firms. The combined venture experience of the two partners - Brad Burnham and Fred Wilson - is extensive. They're unusual in being what they term 'thesis-driven' - i.e. they know in advance what kinds of start-ups they want to invest in. So, they often identify market opportunities in advance - normally web services businesses - rather than just responding opportunistically to deal flow. In our case, we took an investment from Union Square some time after they approached us saying 'we've spent the last six months looking for a business like yours'. That was pretty unusual in our experience of talking to venture firms. USV is focused on investing early in a start-up's life and supporting their investee companies from that early stage. I'd definitely recommend them.

PRIVATE: Members Only

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Fred Wilson is an Excellent Board Member

Fund: Union Square Ventures

Posted by wences on 2007-06-30

PUBLIC:

Fred Wilson invested in my company with his previous fund. I had the luxury of having him in my board and to this day, several companies and tens board members later, still consider him the best board member I ever had. He was very engaged in every meeting and in between meetings, really paid attention to the entrepreneurs concerns and tried to help in every way he could. You could really appreciate his sense of ownership and devotion for the company.

PRIVATE: Members Only (347 Characters)

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Very Efficient

Fund: Union Square Ventures

Posted by dcostolo on 2007-06-12

PUBLIC:

I think Fred and Brad are probably one of the more efficient groups of people you could hope to work with. Our strategic discussions were always very fruitful and to the point without straying into areas of pet interest with tangential value. Remarkably high value on the common sense front and very accessible. Everything a venture partnership should be.

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Really Smart People

Fund: Union Square Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-06-11

PUBLIC:

A real breath of fresh air in the VC community. They depend on their skills, experience and common sense. I found them humble and knowledgeable.

PRIVATE: Members Only (88 Characters)

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Value Add Investors

Fund: Union Square Ventures

Posted by DaveMorgan on 2007-06-11

PUBLIC:

Both Brad and Fred on our board. They complement each other very well. They complement the rest of our board very well. They are truly value-add investors and the best folks that I have seen when it comes to working with early stage technology companies in fast-moving, dynamic markets.

PRIVATE: Members Only (144 Characters)

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Second to None in NYC

Fund: Union Square Ventures

Posted by mattb2518 on 2007-06-11

PUBLIC:

New York is a great market with really weak early stage Internet and technology investing. Fred and Brad have created the premier brand for VC in Silicon Alley. You might have to accept slightly weaker terms to work with them, but you should. They add more value and are more strategically engaged than almost any investor I've ever heard of. Fred has been on my board for almost seven years, and if I ever do another startup, I won't even consider working with other VCs besides Fred and the other members of my syndicate (assuming I have my pick!).

PRIVATE: Members Only (168 Characters)

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New York's Best

Fund: Union Square Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-06-11

PUBLIC:

Brad and Fred are not only super sharp and connected, but they are some of the nicest guys in the business.

PRIVATE: Members Only (538 Characters)

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Picky, but Great to Work With

Fund: Union Square Ventures

Posted by alexiskold on 2007-06-11

PUBLIC:

Both Fred and Brad are very sharp and quick. They have a vision of what things should be and follow it in all of their interactions. During the pitch, as with any VC, there are quirks and bumps, but for the most part its straight talk.

After the funding, however, both Fred and Brad became very dedicate, thoughtful and responsive. they are quick to help with advice, a connection and candid feedback.

Our experience so far has been nothing but positive, so we recommend this fund to anyone in the NYC area.

Alex

PRIVATE: Members Only

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Brad is Attentive

Fund: Union Square Ventures

Posted by drkuhnert on 2007-06-07

PUBLIC:

Brad is attentive and responsive ... He picked up his phone and responded intelligently... that's already extremely rare in the industry.

PRIVATE: Members Only

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Quick Answers

Fund: Union Square Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-05-15

PUBLIC:

I agree with the other reviewers. I pitched to these guys and got a quick "no" out of them. It was a great learning experience.

PRIVATE: Members Only (95 Characters)

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Pitch Them to Learn, Don't Expect Cash

Fund: Union Square Ventures

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-05-05

PUBLIC:

Not the best experience pitching Union Square, although Fred Wilson is a super-smart icon... Does not seem like the fund is making a lot of investments, so expect them to be super picky.

PRIVATE: Members Only (211 Characters)