The first time I meaningfully programmed in JavaScript was in the Summer of 2008. I was interning at a friend’s startup.

At one point, I needed to build an interactive date picker and I took a lot of inspiration from Kayak. I remember running into my first cross-browser issues and discovering jQuery and MooTools, figuring out AJAX for the first time, becoming obsessed with Firebug, etc. JavaScript had already been around for a while, but to a kid on the East Coast who previously had experience with Java, Python, R, and Scheme it felt very much like the Wild West.

I moved to the Bay Area in June 2009 (right after Node.js launched) and started a company, Chartio, in June 2010 (some months after npm first launched) and went through Y Combinator. I realized the creator of jQuery, John Resig, had gone through YC in 2006 and the original creator of Firebug, Joe Hewitt, went through YC in 2005. I also would meet, and be in awe of the creators of Cappuccino/Objective-J. I played with and remember the impact of when React launched in 2013. The space was, and still is, full of promise.

At Chartio, we were big users of a library called Protovis for our visualization layer. All of a sudden, the author stopped committing to it. We panicked! I reached out cold to Mike Bostock and we got beers in Palo Alto. Thankfully, he was working on something new we could start using… D3. 

All of this is to say that JavaScript has been an incredible part of my life for a long time. And it has gone from being the Wild West to critical infrastructure in all our lives. As an investor, I’ve had the privilege of working with incredible companies including Vercel and Sentry in the JavaScript world. But we need more and more great companies investing in that infrastructure.

One of the most critical pieces of infrastructure in JavaScript is the package registry and in my opinion, it hasn’t gotten the love and attention it deserves. And who better to do that, than the original creator of npm and its leadership team through the company’s acquisition by GitHub in 2020 – the founding team at vlt.

I’m thrilled to partner with this team of incredible JavaScript luminaries, Darcy, Isaac, and Ruy at vlt to invest in the critical infrastructure the JavaScript space deserves and needs. 

–– Dan Levine