Union Square Ventures principal Fred Wilson just led his first startup deal in nearly two years.
Wilson led a $5 million round in Coinbase, a startup for buying, selling, and accepting Bitcoins.
Bitcoins are a form of decentralized, digital currency. This year, Bitcoin’s value has reached new heights. Today, Bitcoin is trading around $111. At its peak, it reached $266. In January, it was trading at $15.
“We believe that Bitcoin represents something fundamental and powerful, an open and distributed Internet peer to peer protocol for transferring purchasing power,” Wilson wrote on the USV blog.
Wilson went on a hiatus because of his commitments to other startups, he writes on his blog. Since USV formed in the fall of 2004, Wilson has made 20 investments (now 21) but only six of those startups have made an exit.
Some of the companies in Wilson’s portfolio include Twitter, Zynga, and Kickstarter.
“Two things have happened to get me off the schneid (a hitless streak if you aren’t familiar with that term),” Wilson writes. “First, the fourteen companies have all matured a lot in the past two years and the demands of that group of companies has waned a bit. And second, I have come to believe that a number of new fundamental technologies have hit the Internet and it is time to get busy putting out money.”
Before Wilson’s hiatus, he would typically lead two to three startup investments per year for USV. Earlier this year, Wilson admitted that 2012 was a “sh***y year for him because he didn’t make a single investment.