Portfolio July 24, 2012

Our Investment in Nextdoor

Building Communities in Local Neighborhoods


We’re very excited to be involved with Nextdoor. Nextdoor is a private social network focused on building community in local neighborhoods. It provides the platform to communicate with your neighbors, support one another, and solve important local issues – be it increased safety, finding a beloved lost cat, sharing recommendations, or learning about local community events.

I have personally had the pleasure of working with two of the founding team previously. When I joined Greylock in early 2000, Sarah Leary was leaving to join Epinions. She was extremely generous with her time, and gave me invaluable advice on how to start building the consumer practice at Greylock. For almost three years, Prakash Janakiraman was one of my favorite technical talents when we worked together at Excite in the late ’90s.  They are both smart, can-do, product-focused, data-driven stars. We’ve been staying close to their progress since they started as EIRs at Benchmark five years ago along with their colleague Nirav Tolia. Nirav leads the team with a unique combination of charisma, passion, and drive.

I was an early believer, 8 years ago, in the powerful transformation that social networks have become. And I’ve been fortunate enough to be involved with both Linkedin and Facebook at the board level from early on in their development. The first generation of social services are now broad, established networks for many parts of our daily life:  Facebook for friends and family, Linkedin for your professional network, Twitter for sharing/micro-publishing, tumblr for communities around personal passions, and Pinterest for product sharing.

However, we believe that social networks designed for tighter, more private groups are emerging and reaching scale. We recently invested in Path, which is providing a private network to share deeply and frequently with loved ones and smaller, closer relationship circles.

Similarly, Nextdoor is on it’s way to becoming the social network for local neighborhood communities. Neighborhoods have traditionally provided a sense of connection, support, friendship and safety. We see the power of the Nextdoor platform to reinvigorate today’s neighborhoods in more collaborative and effective ways. Using Nextdoor, neighbors are discovering unrealized connections and collective power: sharing suggestions for a great roofing contractor, alerting your neighbors to a newly proposed stoplight in town, or warning you of a suspicious van seen near a car break-in.  In fact, these are all real-life examples that were shared recently in Bay Area Nextdoor neighborhoods we have joined (Portola Valley, San Mateo Park, and Professorville). The potential for neighbors to connect and help one another out is truly a wonderful thing to witness on Nextdoor.

So check out Nextdoor and see what is going on in *your* neighborhood.  We are thrilled to be part of Nextdoor’s journey and we hope you will be too.

“However, we believe that social networks designed for tighter, more private groups are emerging and reaching scale.”