YouTube co-founder launches angel investment group

Jawed Karim, the often overlooked co-founder of YouTube, has launched an early stage venture investment group called Youniversity Ventures.

Details about the investment group were not available. Karim and the firm’s co-founders were not immediately reachable via telephone or email.

One venture capitalist familiar with the new venture says it bills itself as being very “founder friendly.”

Youniversity has posted a single page on its website ( with brief bios about its founders. In addition to Karim, the team includes Kevin Hartz, a co-founder of international money transfer company Xoom Corp. and event registration service company Eventbrite, and Keith Rabois, vice president of business development for Slide, a startup that makes Web widgets, such as an application to display photo slideshows on websites.

The website doesn’t indicate the group’s area of interest, other than to say that it is “focused on former and current students at Stanford University and at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.” Both Hartz and Rabois have undergraduate degrees from Stanford and Karim is currently working on a graduate degree in computer science at Stanford after getting a bachelor’s in computer science from the University of Illinois.

Both Rabois and Hartz have some experience with early stage investing. Rabois was an early investor in YouTube and netted more than $4 million in Google stock when the company was bought. Hartz invested in social networking company Friendster, RSS search company Feedster and video communications company TokBox, among others.

So far, the Youniversity co-founders have made at least one disclosed investment together. They backed prediction marketplace BluBet, which allows users to make non-monetary bets on a variety of off-the-wall subjects. The three, along with Flixster CEO Joe Greenstein, collectively invested $225,000 in the company.

The Youniversity website states that all three men are limited partners in Sequoia Capital, although it doesn’t specify a particular fund. Hartz’ personal website at says that he is also a limited partner in Clarium, Outlook Ventures and The Founders Fund. Hartz was also once an associate at Outlook Ventures, according to Thomson Financial (publisher of PE Week).

Karim met YouTube co-founders Chad Hurley and Steven Chen while at PayPal. The trio launched YouTube in 2005. Karim uploaded the first video to the site in April 2005, but then stepped aside to go back to school. When YouTube sold to Google in October, 2006, Karim walked away with shares worth nearly $65 million.

Youniversity has neither registered with the Securities and Exchange commission nor the California Secretary of State, at least not under the Youniversity name, suggesting that it may be raised by the personal funds of Karim and others.