Spark Capital is a venture capital firm in the United States, with branches in Boston, New York, and San Francisco. Its portfolio includes Twitter (the microblogging service that had an IPO in 2013), Tumblr (that was sold to Yahoo! for $1.1 billion USD in 2013), Foursquare, Warby Parker, Stack Exchange,Upworthy, Academia.edu, and many other companies. Spark Capital was founded in 2005 by Alex Finkelstein, Bijan Sabet, Paul Conway, Santo Politi, and Todd Dagres. Other people who have joined the company since its inception include Andrew Parker, Danya Cheskis-Gold, Mo Koyfman, and Nabeel Hyatt. Spark Capital’s success can be attributed to maintaining focus specifically on technology startups in the media, entertainment, and mobile sectors. Further, information-sharing within the company was organized so that all partners can work with a portfolio company, not just the partner assigned to that company. Spark Capital has been known for co-investing with Union Square Ventures. In fact, many of Spark Capital’s top picks, including Twitter, Tumblr, and Foursquare, were made via partner Bijan Sabet and were joint investments with Union Square Ventures, made by partner Fred Wilson. Other firms with which Spark frequently co-invests include SV Angel, Lerer Ventures, and First Round Capital. Sabet says that Spark Capital’s portfolio companies do not use non-compete agreements, which he says have been a key factor in limiting startup growth in New York and Boston.
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