2007 was a heady time for USV. Web2 was finally happening, four years after Brad and I spent 18 months telling the world it was coming to mostly deaf ears. We finally raised our first fund at the end of 2004 and three years later things were finally coming together and quickly. Though we made investments with a much bigger impact during that time, the one I loved the most as a user was Tumblr. Every morning I would wake up and scroll through my feed and find amazing thoughts, images, music, and more. Sadly Tumblr did not transition to the iPhone/mobile world and was displaced by things like Instagram and TikTok and SoundCloud, but for a while, Tumblr was the greatest thing on the Internet and I loved it.
That's when we first met Jared Hecht, who was employee number eight at Tumblr. During Jared's time at Tumblr, he, along with our good friend Steve Martocci, attended a Twilio (another USV investment that I have huge heart for) hackathon and made GroupMe overnight which became an instant sensation and then a company and then an exit to Skype/Microsoft.
Tumblr and Twilio and web2 and what you could do with all of this stuff was a time of infinite possibility. A lot has changed since then on the consumer web but the friends we made then have stuck and today Jared is telling the world something we have known for a few months and that is that he is joining USV as a Venture Partner.
I think we are at the beginning of another heady time, as web3 and AI present the opportunity to make a new internet that, like the early days of web2, has endless possibilities.
So Jared joins us with a decade and a half more experience than when we first met him, two successful startups that taught him so much, but also with the memories of the early days of web2 and the pattern recognition that comes from it. We will need that right now. Because it is opportunity time again on the consumer web.