Social Starts’s moment-of-inception funds find and touch more brand-new companies than other funds through a blend of active outbound research, analytics and intense networking. We focus our investments in four to five key areas that change every six months, as we evaluate marketing, investment and technology shifts. Our intense early investing locks in pro rata access to high value Series A companies for our dedicated Series A funds.


Our approach is designed to produce reliably strong returns for investors over time. The challenge at moment-of-inception is finding the right companies. We’ve developed a method designed to create the highest probability that we put money into companies that will succeed. This method comes from our backgrounds running the Ziff-Davis product laboratory, where we tested, literally, every single product in the PC revolution. We’re now applying a similar statistical, scientific approach – we define frames of focus; we bombard them with research, analytics, and touches to build up a high context; and then we put a number of small investments inside each of those frames that we think have the best chance to succeed.

The challenge at the A round isn’t knowing about the companies; everybody knows which companies are doing well. The challenge is getting into the rounds. So, in our very early stage investing, we always take pro rata rights, and that, essentially, is an option we have to participate in the A round of those companies that succeed.

We currently invest in four primary areas: work platforms, Internet of Things software, content, and commerce. Across these areas we have a particular interest in artificial intelligence, data security, and healthcare.


Our team has developed dominant media, research and tech companies in the three modern tech revolutions – PC, Internet and Social. Our portfolio companies benefit from the resulting rich perspective and world-class connections, a mutually supportive community of more than 170 fellow startups, and support from our LPs, who include leading figures in software development, marketing and media from three continents. Because of our lab and technical backgrounds, we have developed a uniquely scientific approach to early stage investing driven by data and research.


We bring long experience of tech revolutions, media, platforms, research and entertainment to our intense investment approach, focused on the deep business and cultural impacts wrought by the changes in human behavior spurred by the current vast Social tech revolution.

As investors, the Social Starts team has had at least one “unicorn” in each decade since the 1980s. As operators, our team includes the founder of one of the first software companies in history; CEO of the first digital magazine company; founding editor of the Ziff computer magazines and head of the Ziff Labs; turnaround publisher of PC Magazine; founder of the first digital video MCN; COO at Etsy; COO at Spredfast; and CTO at Tinder.