Friday Fun: Meet Fred Wilson and Mike Volpi
Last year Fred Wilson and Mike Volpi from the venture firms Union Square Ventures and Index Ventures joined the SoundCloud family. They’ve made an investment in SoundCloud, which is cool because it will allow us to grow faster, be more present in the US and build a lot more nice things for you. But even cooler is that we get two new superstars joining the team. We would have introduced them earlier but we were just a bit too busy building new awesome apps at the time. So in the same way we introduce you to new team members, let’s take today to get them to say Hi.
First up is Fred from Union Square Ventures.
Hi Fred, tell us what excites you about SoundCloud?
The media type that I spend the most time with on the web is audio. I listen to audio on the fixed and mobile web at least a couple hours a day and sometimes way more than that. And yet, audio is the one media type that doesn’t have an obvious platform for posting and sharing audio. I’ve been looking for that platform for years. And I think I’ve found it at SoundCloud.com.
Sounds and the web in general, what does it mean to you?
The web should not be mute. It largely is today. That must change.
Tell us three reasons why someone should join the SoundCloud team?
1) Living and working in Berlin is awesome
2) Building internet platforms for expression and sharing is super challenging and a lot of fun
3) The SoundCloud culture has captured an ideal balance between technical excellence and creativity. It’s a special group of people
Allow me to say that for a VC you have an unusual and exquisite taste in music (hip hop and indie rock). What drives this passion and what role does your family play in selecting the music you like?
I feel better when there is music on. It’s on all the time in our home. And our family loves finding new things and sharing them with others. Music is a big part of that. Last night, I was doing the dishes and my oldest daughter took over our iPad, playing me new songs she had found on the web that day. And when I was done doing the dishes, I took over and played some tracks for her. It was a great moment. And it happens all the time in our home.
Very cool! Thanks Fred. Listen to some more of his thoughts about SoundCloud below:
Second up is Mike from Index Ventures.
Hi Mike, so what was it about SoundCloud that made you want to get involved?
I learned about SoundCloud a few months ago from a friend of mine and when I tried the service, I got really excited about it right away. What was probably most eye-opening and interesting is the fact that if you look out there, there’s websites that aggregate videos, there’s websites that aggregate blogs, photos, etc. But there really wasn’t one definitive place to go for sound.
SoundCloud is a great place for the creator to be able to publish their music, improve it and find their sounds to be consumed by a large community out there. It’s a fantastic service really designed for people that want to create and consume media through their ears.
When I met the team, I was really sold. Eric and Alex and the whole crew is a great group of folks. They are very dedicated to what they do, very creative people.
How’s it going so far?
It’s been going great, been engaged for a few months now and have seen fantastic growth in the interest and participation around the service and the product. It’s a whirlpool of diversity and creativity. The other thing that is really tremendous about SoundCloud is how much the community supports the service and company. There is a fantastic rich community behind SoundCloud which makes the service really what it is.
We’ve heard you have a love for jazz. Can you describe the magic about this often under-represented genre?
I’m a big jazz lover. Jazz is a great form of music, it’s very improvisational and unpredictable which makes it incredibly fun. You don’t know how a particular track is going to sound like when you see jazz played live. Every time is unique. Most of all, it makes me relax.
Thank you, Mike! Listen to an extended version of Mike’s answers in the audio message below, in which he also mentions a fun fact about him. Hear for yourself:
We’re thrilled to include Union Square and Index alongside our existing investors, Doughty Hanson Technology Ventures and can’t wait to work together in the months and years ahead.
Welcome aboard, guys!