We spend our time at betaworks in three areas. Structured as a company, rather than a fund, we’re afforded the flexibility to build, to invest, and to buy. Most of our time is spent building new products at the studio and scaling our existing core companies. This is why we identify first and foremost as makers, builders, and operators. So far, 2012 has been an insanely active year for us at betaworks. We have launched new products like Tapestry and Swirl, acquired and re-launched Digg, acquired a significant stake in bloglovin’, and closed more seed investments than any year in our history.
As John outlined in a blog post over two years ago, we do seed investments in order to create an ecosystem of founders and companies that share our vision for the future of the real-time social internet. In betaworking for almost five years now, we’ve made almost 100 investments in the category and have seen a tremendous amount of value emerge in the network that we’ve built.
We believe that the real-time social web represents a massive change in the way companies will be built and operate, and the way in which people interact and communicate with one another. We continue to be fascinated by products that are social, data-driven and design oriented, as well as extraordinary entrepreneurs that have the guts and commitment to build something big and different and often times terrifying.
In 2012, we’re on pace to be our most active yet, having already made 20 new investments (several not yet public) in early-stage companies. We pride ourselves on being “first money in,” making investments in entrepreneurs with very early betas (or alphas) because it’s at this stage where we think we have the most to add. We understand this awkward period in a company’s lifecycle because we do it ourselves all the time, building and breaking products that are every bit as experimental as the companies and entrepreneurs we invest in.
The year is not over yet. In the next few months, we’ll have a few new things to announce that we think you’ll love. So stay tuned, more soon.