betaworks: build better

Betaworks is a start-up platform founded in New York. We invest, incubate, and build from scratch in our areas of thematic interest. We also run a IRL Club for founders and funders paired with a virtual community online.

Over a decade of building

Since 2008 we have built products from the ground up like Giphy, Dots, Bitly and Tweetdeck, and invested in many amazing companies including Venmo, Superplastic, Anchor, Gimlet, Rec Room and Hugging Face. We believe fiercely that human potential can be realized through technology so long as we place what is human at the core of what we build. We believe we can build better, and throughout the Betaworks ecosystem that is what we aspire to do, day in and day out. And we do believe that “betas” work.

In 2016, we launched Betaworks Camp, a thematic residency and investment program for early-stage companies.  Camp allows us to immerse ourselves in emerging tech categories and work closely with the startups in each cohort. Our current theme is “Fix The Internet”, and encompasses privacy technology, developing a healthier media ecosystem, and consumer products whose business model isn’t predicated on harvesting our data or our attention.  

For the last ten years we have invested in early stage start-ups related to areas we are building in. Previous investments include: Tumblr, Kickstarter, Medium and Venmo. We continue to do so through our seed and series A $50m fund.

Betalab is an investment program catalyzing startups around Fixing The Internet.

Acquired by Facebook in 2020, GIPHY serves GIFs to 150+ million daily active users

With 100M+ installs, Dots was acquired by Take-Two in 2020.

Social sharing app Squad was acquired by Twitter in 2020. 

Recroom  now has over 1m monthly active VR users

Huggingfaces Transformers has garnered over 42,000 stars on Github

Podcasting service Anchor & podcaster Gimlet acquired by Spotify the same day.

Build

We have built products for the social web since 2007. Recent successes include GIPHY, the search engine for gifs; Dots, the beautiful mobile gaming franchise; and Poncho, the popular weatherbot. In 2017 Poncho was a winning app on Apple’s Planet of the Apps, securing over $2m in funding. In 2018, we launched Betaworks Studios, an IRL social club and virtual community for founders and funders in the NY tech space and beyond.

Some of our earlier products included Bitly, Chartbeat, and Tweetdeck, the latter of which was sold to Twitter. In 2012, we also acquired and relaunched Digg and Instapaper, which was sold to Pinterest in 2016.

Betaworks Ventures

We make pre-seed and seed investments in companies building the future of how we live, work, and play online.

Our investment size ranges from $250K to $500K and typically we are among the first to invest.  Startups we’ve invested in include Twitter, Tumblr, Kickstarter, Product Hunt, Rec Room, Anchor, and Hugging Face. We work closely with companies around thematic areas including in our Camp programs around Voice, Conversational Software, Synthetic Media, and “Fixing The Internet”.

As the name Betaworks suggests, we 💛 betas. If you have something great we’d love to speak with you. Contact the Betaworks Ventures team here.

Camp

Camp combines Betaworks’ building and investing experience into thematic investment and in-residence programs for startups in frontier technology. Camp themes reflect the areas on which we are most focused and evolve along with our investment theses.

Each camp consists of three months “in-residence” at Betaworks to help early stage companies with product development, platform strategy, data science, branding, and fundraising. Entrepreneurs have access to the Betaworks team, its network and to a carefully curated group of industry leaders to assist with both general company-building needs and with topics specific to each theme. Each camp company receives pre-seed funding of $200k. 

We are currently running a special edition of Camp called Betalab, focused on helping startups tackle problems created by the modern web, running a spectrum of solutions for data privacy, disinformation, content monetization, and web identity. Past camps have included live, audio, computer vision, synthetic media, and botcamp, details on the Camp page.