The Story Behind Haystack’s Investment In Pomerium

In early 2020, right smack before the pandemic arrived on our shores, my new colleague at the time, Aashay — not even a year out of college — surfaced this fledgling open source security company he found by doing some web research, Pomerium. We all... Read More

The Story Behind Haystack’s Investment in Nominal

This is gonna be a fun backstory to recount. It’s not often we get the chance to collaborate with so many industry friends around one opportunity, but this story presents just that. Years ago, our friend Bilal from Lux put us in touch with a... Read More

The Story Behind Haystack’s Investment In Norm AI

In the throes of summer ‘23, our team caught wind of a larger seed round for an AI company led by John Nay. As soon as we had our first interaction, we decided we needed to fight to be in his round. Oftentimes at the... Read More

The Breakout Tech Company Of 2023

I know readers are not going to love this choice. I apologize in advance. Is the company I’m about to pick below even a startup? What about highlighting the “little guy,” a new startup that’s quietly about to take off from the runway, a young... Read More

Reflecting On Haystack’s Investment In Figma

I knew at some point I would write this post. I didn’t know exactly when, though recently with all the inside baseball chatter I’m privy to, I knew it would go this way, that Figma would not be acquired by Adobe. There are surely many... Read More

Quick Reflections On Seeing Instacart From The Early Days

A bit more than a decade ago, when I was just starting Haystack (a $1M “debut” Fund I), I was a venture partner with Bullpen Capital, juggling lots of consulting roles with a variety of VC firms, and recently became a father, all in the... Read More

Announcing Haystack VII: Same Model, Fresh Funds, And New Era

On behalf of Haystack, I am incredibly proud to make some big announcements this morning. Before these updates, I wanted to quickly take stock of where Haystack stands after a full decade of investing. Please note, these stats are close approximations that hopefully provide some... Read More

Seed Market Evolution During A Downturn

The start of 2022 marked a change in financial markets. Since then, many believed risk capital would dry up, early-stage valuations would fall (just like all other valuations). Now that we are nearly two years into this downturn, I wanted to briefly take stock of... Read More

The Story Behind Haystack’s Investment in Abbey Labs

Haystack is fortunate to be in a position where we work closely with a variety of pre-seed firms, small to large seed funds, and all the big top tier VC funds. We are collaborative by nature, and I’ve always personally felt that the best part... Read More

The Story Behind Haystack’s Investment in Trebellar

Earlier this spring, an old friend of ours, Matt Garratt, was kind enough to refer us to two founders he liked personally but felt things were a bit too early for him to take on the investment. Haystack is fortunate to have built long-term, organic... Read More

It’s A Whole New World Of Streaming With Redpanda Data

In the summer of 2019, we met Alex Gallego – a force-of-nature technical entrepreneur with a big idea for the future of data infrastructure and distributed systems. Haystack ended up investing in the seed round of Alex’s company – then called Vectorized – alongside Arif... Read More

Financial Infrastructure For Small Venture Funds

I’m on a plane today headed to NYC for the week. I’ve refrained from tweeting too much directly about the implosion of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and the threat to other regional banks. This is in part because it’s a complicated topic where there are... Read More

The Breakout Tech Company Of 2022

Each year, when the summer ends, I begin to think about what I’ll write in this annual “breakout company” post, which has turned into a mini-annual tradition for me here on this blog. Until a few days ago, I kept thinking – just like in... Read More

From Easy Money To Hard Conversations

As an early-stage startup investor, this year, 2022, has been marked by one thing: Hard Conversations. Lots of them. Each conversation is different, but depending on the situation, they fall into one a few buckets. The hardest are with founders who are already in your... Read More

The Story Behind Haystack’s Investment In Schoolytics

In the summer of 2021, and old friend Eric Ries introduced us to Aaron and Courtney from Schoolytics. I was initially skeptical of the idea — to build a data and metrics platform for all sorts of schools — but in the very first meeting... Read More

The Story Behind Haystack’s Investment In Databook

In the fall of 2019, as we were opening a new fund (Haystack V), and old friend/mentor of mine Josh Stein pinged me about a deal he was leading in a company called Databook. He and his colleague did a lot of work on the... Read More