In a blog post this morning , Union Square Ventures formally endorsed Hillary Clinton for President of the United States. This marks the first time that the 13 year old fund has endorsed a candidate in a presidential election.
In the brief 375 word statement, the firm addressed both the risks of a Trump presidency and the qualities that would make Clinton ideal for the job. Collectively, USV acknowledged that technological change has had a profoundly positive impact on the world, but that its benefits have not touched everyone evenly.
“We are not surprised that many feel the urge to reboot the whole system.”
However, USV believes that progress can only be made by embracing diversity and working together on equal footing to address challenges.
“There is no wall big enough to protect us from a changing climate or the unintended consequences of new technologies like artificial intelligence or DNA manipulation.”
The firm cited Clinton’s “temperament and experience” as two of the key traits that will help her to address a uniquely global problem. USV also took the moment to support Take Off Election Day and to reject the idea of a protest vote, even linking to Clay Shirky’s Medium post on the subject . The post also gave attention to HelloVote , supported by Twilio, and the non-profit VotePlz , backed by Y Combinator’s Sam Altman.
Fred Wilson, a partner at USV, Tweeted this morning that the decision to endorse Clinton was unanimous.
We had unanimous support in our firm for this endorsement. https://t.co/a0jKwmJ6r0
— Fred Wilson (@fredwilson) October 4, 2016
The prominent New York firm is not the first fund, and certainly not the first investors, to take a stand against the Republican nominee.
In late August, CRV, formally known as Charles River Ventures, denounced Trump in a highly visible “Fuck Trump” campaign on the fund’s home page. That campaign was more about protesting Tump’s immigration stance than endorsing Clinton. In a slightly less partisan move, CRV opted to create a program to cover the costs of U.S. visas for CRV company founders in addition to creating a new fellows program to provide office space for immigrant entrepreneurs.
High profile investors like Mark Suster of Upfront Ventures and Sam Altman of Y Combinator have Tweeted prolifically throughout the election cycle. Just this week, Suster even encouraged fellow investors who had previously endorsed Trump to jump ship.
This is Trump's racist dog whistle. Shameful. If any VCs endorsed him it's not too late to reverse – would make national news. #RacistTrump pic.twitter.com/1GPykIgVRR
— Mark Suster (@msuster) October 2, 2016
Peter Thiel remains one of the highest profile investors to have endorsed Trump . The Founders Fund partner and serial entrepreneur endorsed Trump publicly back in July at the RNC. Trump has a narrow foothold in the the tech world, but has struggled to raise significant capital from wealthy founders and early-stage investors.
While many individual investors have come out against Trump, I speculate most firms have tried to remain non-partisan to avoid alienating founders and limited partners. While USV is the largest and most prominent fund to have endorsed Clinton as a collective to date, we still have another month before the election, which leaves plenty of time for more surprises.
We have reached out to interested parties and will update this post with any new information.
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