Top venture capitalist Fred Wilson reveals why he’s investing in media while others are fleeing: ‘I like to zig when other people zag’

Union Square Ventures’ Fred Wilson Noam Galai/Getty Images for TechCrunch
  • Fred Wilson is cofounder and partner at Union Square Ventures, a legendary startup investment firm. He was an early investor in platforms such as Twitter, Tumblr, Zynga, and Etsy.
  • In a rare and wide-ranging interview with Business Insider, Wilson discussed his new investment in video media startup The Recount, and explained why it’s a good time to invest in digital media even as the industry is imploding.
  • When it comes to evaluating media companies, Wilson said he favours companies that aren’t too dependent on a single distribution channel and whose content is designed to be read or viewed on phones.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Fred Wilson has a knack for nailing startup trends.

The legendary venture capitalist was one of the first to jump on the rise of social media. The cofounder and partner at Union Square Ventures wrote early checks to companies like Tumblr, Twitter, Etsy, and Zynga.

He also recently invested $US5 million in The Recount, a company started by veteran media entrepreneurs John Heilemann and John Battelle. Wilson said that there are a lot of media companies that are doing text-based summaries of the news but that few are doing it well in mobile video.

“There is a way to convey a lot of information in five minutes or less,” he said. “Lots of people would prefer to get their news that way. The text-based news audience is really well served, if you look at what Axios is doing. But not as many are doing it for video.”

Wilson also said it’s a good time to invest in media because sectors are attractive to him when others are fleeing them.

“I like to zig when other people zag. I like to get to things before people get into them or when other people have gotten out of them. Those are generally the good time to invest in companies,” he said.

The Recount is not the only startup Wilson is bullish on. Read the full interview with him on other trends he sees and companies he’s watching, on Business Insider Prime:

Fred Wilson, one of the world’s most successful venture capitalists, reveals the top trends in startups right now, and why he’s investing in an industry that’s imploding

Also read why Wilson thinks the world needs another digital-media startup:

Star venture capitalist Fred Wilson explains why he invested $US5 million in video media startup The Recount and how it could quickly become a profitable, $US200 million business in seven years