Our Latest Investment - Burner!

I’m excited to announce Venrock’s investment in Burner!  Marissa Campise and I will be working closely with Greg Cohn and the Burner team along with David Frankel at Founder Collective.  

There are 300M mobile phones in the US and a couple hundred million dwindling more landlines. Roughly 34% of Americans have done away with landlines and only have a mobile number. Mobile is now the single number for your identity. 

Burner is a privacy and identity layer for your mobile device and provides consumers with disposable numbers. It’s super easier to use—you download the app and you can instantly get a new number on the fly, which can be used for texting or calling, until you want to burn or destroy the number and put it out of circulation. This idea of different electronic signatures is not new. We’ve been doing this with email. But we currently have no way to do this with phone numbers because the carriers control that. Burner puts control into the hands of consumers.

Where it’s really exciting, is thinking about this as a mobile identity and communications platform. We are hopeful that in the same way that hotmail and yahoo mail pulled the internet identity layer away from ISPs and let consumers make their own email addresses, Burner will be able to separate the last piece of the telcom stack from the carriers. By enabling true number portability and moving the voice and SMS stacks out of the carriers hands, it completes the transition of them into a dumb pipe, gives consumers more flexibility and is supportive of a longer term trend of separating identity from a single mobile number.

So if you haven't already downloaded the app, go ahead and do so and let me know what you think!  For the official announcement from the company head here.