Venture

Union Square Ventures Raises Nearly $429M For Two 2019-Vintage VC Funds

Late Friday afternoon, Union Square Ventures (USV) filed paperwork with the SEC disclosing that it has raised two new venture funds totaling nearly $430 million.

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In a time when companies are raising nine and ten-figure sums in single rounds of venture funding, and some established VC firms are able to command billions of dollars for new funds, a few hundred million dollars might not sound like much.

But it’s the biggest haul yet for the New York-based firm, which has been in the VC business since 2004. USV has invested in an impressive array of companies. The firm’s exits range from Twitter and Twilio to Tumblr and Meetup. Some of its still-private portfolio companies include privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo, equity management platform Carta, and cryptocurrency behemoth Coinbase.

Founding partner Fred Wilson declined to comment, citing the firm’s policy of not discussing fundraising activities with the media. In October, amid the Khashoggi crisis, Wilson wrote that USV has raised capital from investors “we can be proud of.”

Here’s what we were able to gather from the filings.

A New Early Stage Fund For 2019

According to the first filing, USV 2019 LP is a roughly $190.6 million pooled investment fund raised from 113 limited partners. It’s unclear how much USV was originally intending to raise, but the filing says it’s been raised in full, with $0 left to close out to the transaction.

The 2019-vintage fund is USV’s fifth early-stage investment fund, and its largest raised to date. USV’s fourth fund, USV 2016 LP, weighed in at $175 million.

Funding Growth

Union Square Ventures also raised $238,218,750 for a 2019-vintage growth-stage fund called USV Opportunity 2019, LP. The Form D filing for that fund indicates that 116 investors contributed to that fund.

Continuing on an earlier theme, USV Opportunity 2019 is the firm’s largest growth fund raised to date. USV’s first opportunity fund, announced in 2011, was $200 million. Its second, announced in late 2013, had $150 million to follow-on the firm’s most successful early-stage investments.

Beyond the capital that has already been closed for the funds mentioned above, USV also filed paperwork for a couple of sidecar funds, which will presumably invest alongside their corresponding primary investment vehicles. Venture firms often spin up these smaller funds to grant a subset of limited partners—like successful portfolio company founders or the firm’s general partners, for example—more favorable investing terms. Union Square Ventures aims to raise $9 million for USV Investors 2019, LP and $11.25 million for USV Opportunity Investors 2019, LP.

All filings were digitally signed by USV managing partner Andrew Weissman on December 28th, 2018.

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

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