The Future of the Ebook
Good news for anyone who likes their fiction doled out chapter by chapter, Charles-Dickens style: Today at O’Reilly’s TOC Conference (livestream here for the interested) Plympton, the serial fiction studio cofounded by former New York Times reporter Jennifer 8 Lee and novelist Yael Goldstein Love, announced that they’re “joining forces” with DailyLit, a site founded in 2006 as one of the earliest experiments in digital books. The founders, former Random House exec Susan Danziger and her husband, Union Square Ventures partner Albert Wenger, will continue to advise and invest.
“I realized that DailyLit really needed a good shot in the arm,” said Ms. Danziger, who’d been working on the project herself in the last few years. “At a certain point, there’s only so far you can bring something, and it’s the kind of thing that needs a team that’s really excited about it.”
Are You Frightened? Not Nearly Frightened Enough
Early last month, based on the volatility and vagaries of the public market, Union Square Ventures’ partner Albert Wenger urged startups to go out and get that VC paper “ASAP” while they still could. Well, soon enough, those startups may be able to get it from USV. The Wall Street Journal reports that the firm is talking to its current base of investors about raising another $150 to $200 million fund to invest in tech startups that could close as early as the end of the year.
While the rest of the tech scene frets over easy-money and inflated valuations, Union Square Ventures partner Albert Wegner is reading the public market tea leaves and seeing something different. In a post on his Tumblr today entitled, “If You Need to Raise Money, Get Your Financing Done ASAP,” Mr. Wenger points out that even early stage companies nowhere near an IPO are still beholden to the vagaries of the public market, making the argument that the time is nigh to grab the cash. Forget micro, think marco.
“While we are still well off the 52-week lows this shakiness in the markets has very real reasons: Europe has been a mess for a while and the US is rapidly becoming one,” writes Mr. Wenger. Then, he explains why even Series A start-ups should care: