VC at Spark Capital where I focus on disruptive Internet & mobile investments, Husband to Hilary Koyfman, New Yorker, art & design lover, burger champion, frequent questioner, sometimes answerer.
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Maybe the best commercial I’ve ever seen.

Storefront

Over the past number of years, there’s been an ad-hoc explosion in ‘pop-up’ retail spaces. We’ve also seen the emergence of meaningful brands being built online that are finding in-person experiences to be massively additive to their businesses. As our world becomes ever more digitally connected, I believe we are increasingly yearning for complementary in-person experiences that are uniquely rich, fresh, integrated and responsive.

I’m thrilled today to announce Spark Capital’s Series A investment in Storefront, the world’s leading marketplace for short-term retail. Storefront makes it easy for any brand, business or artisan to find a space to showcase, market and sell their wares without any of the burdensome, expensive and long-term commitments of the typical lease. Some more details on Storefront’s terrific early progress here.

Whether you’re an Etsy seller, Warby Parker, an aspiring art gallerist, or Samsung launching a new phone, Storefront can help you find the right space for your needs.

On the flip-side, Storefront allows property owners to maintain freshness and flexibility with their spaces while providing higher yields. It also opens up spaces that would have never before been considered easily short-term rentable such as shop-in-shops, street fair booths, restaurants spaces and subway kiosks to name a few.

The seamless connection of online and offline experiences is a big deal, and Storefront is poised to help lead this charge. I couldn’t be more excited to partner with Erik, Tristan, Ron and the terrific Storefront team as they execute on this ambitious vision.

@lousyleo is always right. #artshow (at The National Exemplar)

@lousyleo is always right. #artshow (at The National Exemplar)

Tagged: #artshow
We promise never to ink out a pubic hair or chalk out an organ,” it read. “We will apologize for nothing. We will uncover the entire world of sex. We will be the Consumer Reports of sex.

Uncle Ace, Blood Orange

As meditators, we had prepared for this – how to move the energy up from the belly and into the heart and out through the head. I have never seen an expression as full of wonder as Lou’s as he died. His hands were doing the water-flowing 21-form of tai chi. His eyes were wide open. I was holding in my arms the person I loved the most in the world, and talking to him as he died. His heart stopped. He wasn’t afraid. I had gotten to walk with him to the end of the world. Life – so beautiful, painful and dazzling – does not get better than that. And death? I believe that the purpose of death is the release of love.

Laurie Anderson’s Farewell to Lou Reed | Music News | Rolling Stone

One of the more touching things I have read in some time.

South Fork / North Fork

South Fork / North Fork

Happy anniversary @hilarykoyfman! Can’t believe it’s been a year already. I love you! (at North Fork Table & Inn)

Happy anniversary @hilarykoyfman! Can’t believe it’s been a year already. I love you! (at North Fork Table & Inn)

Spark’s Investment in Plaid

After the crisis of 2008, it became abundantly clear that our staid financial institutions needed reinventing. So, as they do, talented entrepreneurs got to work. We are now seeing the first wave of post-crisis innovation starting to bear fruit across lending (e.g. p2p), investing (e.g. crowdfunding), payments (e.g. simple api’s) and other key financial services categories. But we are just getting started. 

I am convinced that we will see sweeping changes to our financial system and its institutions over the coming years. Although the financial services industry has typically been a laggard, it can’t hold on forever. Technology will fundamentally change this industry, like it does all others. In order to realize this vision however, the proper infrastructure needs to be in place. 

Enter Plaid, a new service founded by Zach Perret & William Hockey that I am thrilled to announce Spark’s investment in today. Plaid is a modern API for banking and credit card data that provides developers with a clean, categorized view of user transactions and account balances. In addition to making financial data actionable and accessible, Plaid connects every transaction with a clean merchant name, address, and category.

By focusing on simple integration and high-quality data, Plaid enables developers to programmatically interact with core banking infrastructure and build applications that leverage financial data. Financial technology has always had significant barriers to entry, but with a modern API and rich, contextual data, Plaid is helping developers transform the way consumers and businesses utilize financial information.

In doing so, Plaid is enabling the developer community to create the next generation of companies. The company has seen significant early traction within accounting, tax, expense, and lending; however, as the platform has grown, developers have begun using Plaid across a number of other verticals that we never would have expected.

Zach & William have created a service with Plaid that has the potential to serve as the backbone for a new wave of financial innovation, and I’m excited to see what’s next!

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