Prominent New York venture capitalist Fred Wilson would like to be a bit less visible in the future.
Wilson, a founder of Union Square Ventures and a frequent blogger, wants his fellow partners to attract more attention.
“I’d like to try to tone it down as much as possible and push them out into the forefront. But it will take a long time before [the public perception] changes,” Wilson said in an interview Business Insider published today.
The interview expands beyond the 11-year-old New York-based firm. Wilson acknowledges a rise in angel and seed funding activity all over the place in the past few years, citing a AngelList syndicates for enabling more people to fund startups. He sounds off on social networks and music startups and makes some telling remarks about the New York startup scene.
Perhaps more interestingly, he opens up about the internal dynamics at his firm.
Wilson touts the achievements of partner Albert Wenger — calling out his investment in hot NoSQL database company MongoDB, among other deals — and managing partner Brad Burnham.
“Brad Burnham has been an equal partner with me since the very beginning. He should get as much credit for our success as I do. He doesn’t, and that’s not right or fair,” Wilson said. “It’s because I’ve been more public and more out there with my blog and public speaking.”
Meanwhile partner Andy Weissman has done plenty of solid investments for the firm since leaving Betaworks, an early-stage fund he-cofounded, Wilson said.
“Unlike Albert [Wenger], I can’t tell you yet that Andy’s got the greatest portfolio of any VC his age [because he hasn’t been at it for long enough and cycles take about seven years], but I think early signs are quite good for Andy,” Wilson said. “He has really fit in and helped us make a lot of investments that fit right into our model.”
Wenger or Weissman, or both, could one day become “the people” of Union Square Ventures, rather than Wilson himself.
“They’ll become front and center in people’s minds when people think about USV. I think that’d be a good thing,” Wilson said.
In any case, Union Square Ventures continues to be worth following, considering its big exits over the years, like Tumblr, Indeed, Tasty Labs, and Zynga. The firm is “about to embark” on a fourth early-stage fund, Wilson said.
Union Square Ventures is a venture capital firm based in New York City. The company is a small collegial partnership that manages $450,000,000 across three funds.... read more »
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