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A New York VC Spotlight: Joshua Kushner

 

JOSHUA KUSHNER

Coming from a family of successful businessmen, Joshua Kushner has certainly held his own. But one can’t attribute his success solely to his family connections: even before he finished his undergraduate studies, Kushner was planning and building his own company. He has triumphed as an entrepreneur, businessman and investor.

Though Kushner’s experience is primarily investments in consumer-Internet businesses, most recently he co-founded Oscar, a health insurance startup “focused on utilizing technology, design and data to humanize healthcare.” Since the company’s launch last year, Oscar has enrolled thousands of New York customers and has realized tens of millions of dollars in annualized revenue.

Kushner is also the founder and managing partner of Thrive Capital, an early-stage VC investment firm focused on media and Internet investments. Since its inception in 2010, Thrive has raised $200 million, investing in firms such as Instagram, Warby Parker, Codecademy, Spotify, Nasty Gal, MakerBot and ResearchGate.

According to Forbes, Thrive was one of three firms to invest in Instagram’s $50-million, Series-B round at a valuation of $500 million. When Facebook acquired Instagram, Thrive doubled its money within 72 hours.

Kushner also serves as the chief strategic officer for Vostu, the company he began as a junior in college. According to Forbes, the startup was originally planned to be a social network platform, but when that concept flopped, Vostu “pivoted into gaming” and has found a second life: it is now the largest social gaming company in Brazil, with nearly 40 million registered users.

In addition to his own ventures, Kushner is also a principal director of Kushner Companies, his family’s diversified real estate investment company, founded by his father, Charles Kushner, in 1985. Today, his older brother, Jared Kushner, is the president and CEO.

Kushner began his career at Goldman Sachs, the multinational, investment-banking firm, where he worked in the Merchant Banking Division. Prior to this, he completed his undergraduate work at Harvard University and graduated in 2008. He then went on to Harvard Business School and received his MBA in 2011.

Kushner has been featured in Forbes’ “30 Under 30” as well as Vanity Fair’s “Next Establishment” for his work with Thrive Capital. He currently resides in New York City.

Sector Focus:

Apps, consumer-Internet, data, e-commerce, Internet, media, technology

Selected Investments:

42Floors, Artsy, Bondsy, Cue, Fab, Giftly, HowAboutWe, MileWise, Roomorama Sessions, Summly, Zaarly

Boards:

Bondsy, Observer Media Group

Expertise:

Consumer Internet, data, design, e-commerce, healthcare, insurance, media, real estate, retail, technology

Media Links:

Twitter
Instagram
Facebook

Memorable Quotes: 

On health insurance company, Oscar:  “Our ambitions, over time, are to continue to innovate, create new products that hopefully raise the standard in the industry. The bar is pretty low; health insurance companies, today, do everything they can to acquire customers but, after that, everything they can to avoid them. Our ambition is to create the consumer experience that we would want for ourselves.”

 

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About the author: Megan Maneval

Megan is a graduate of Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi, where she received a B.A. in Communication Studies with a minor in Business Administration. She has completed internships in business and communications, and was the copy editor for the university student-run paper. Currently at AlleyWatch, Megan plans to pursue a career in copyediting.

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