Last year, Union Square Ventures was upset by the performance of some of its portfolio companies.In a post titled “Advice for 2013: Deliver On Your Promises” Fred Wilson said:
“I see delays in getting important new product initiatives out,” he wrote. “I see revenues coming in well below plan. I see new ankle biter competitors emerging and taking share causing a loss of focus and missed numbers. ….Investors are not giving the benefit of doubt in markets like this. And your employees aren’t going to be patient forever either.”
In that same article, Wilson mentioned one startup that over-delivered on its 2012 promises.
That startup was Hailo, a Taxi hailing app that’s popular in London. Today, investors showered it with a $30.6 million seed round.
In short, because it over-delivered in 2012. It grew above and beyond anyone’s expectations.
“In late 2011 as Hailo was just launching in London, the team came to see us and told us everything they planned to do in 2012,” Wilson wrote today. “We were impressed by the team, their backgrounds, and their attitude and energy. But we had big concerns about everything they said they were going to do in 2012. A year later, they came back to see us and not only had they done everything they said they were going to do, they actually did a few things more than that.”
In addition, Wilson says Hailo’s numbers are strong — it’s as popular in London as Uber is in San Francisco with a similar number of total transactions. And true to Union Square Ventures’ thesis, Wilson’s team believes Hailo has the potential to build a big network of users that can transform a market, like Twitter and Kickstarter are doing.