Riding High with Highspot: Why Sapphire and Highspot Are Excited to Partner
I couldn’t be more excited to announce our partnership with Highspot in their Series D. Before I let Robert Wahbe, CEO and co-founder of Highspot, shed some light on our partnership, I’d like to outline why we are thrilled to join the extended Highspot team to build the next Company of Consequence.
Why Partner with Highspot?
While there are always many reasons we ultimately team up with companies, two differentiators were prominent with Highspot.
First, their product leadership. While some investors define category leadership as companies who have the most revenue, at Sapphire we fundamentally believe the business with a superior product can ultimately capture disproportionate share from incumbents. From years spent studying the sales and marketing technology landscape, we built a thesis in the space and strong conviction that Highspot offers a best-in-class platform to enable sales and marketing teams drive more revenue; Their platform innovates beyond what incumbents offer across multiple dimensions and is deeply rooted in sophisticated AI and search, coupled with a user experience that is uniquely engaging for sales and marketing professionals. Moreover, Higspot’s product vision contemplates creating a new category beyond sales enablement.
But without a world-class team to execute on product and go-to-market, SaaS businesses often fall short of lofty expectations. Fortunately, I’ve known Robert for several years and have watched him consistently perform ahead of his goals. More impressively, Robert’s command over every detail of his business and his focus on the “people engine” — not just ARR growth — is what drew us to invest in Highspot. He is maniacally focused on how to preserve company culture through high-growth. In fact, we spent half of our partnership meeting listening to his framework for grading both interviewees, but also interviewers, [as well as his detailed outline for promotion paths]. This was further reinforced by our visit to their Seattle headquarters where had the opportunity to tour the office, feel the energy of the full team, and meet the broader, just as impressive management team – Oliver, Haley, David, Gwen, Jennifer, Jason, Jon and Chris.
Why Partner with Sapphire Ventures?
The leadership team and I had been talking with Rajeev for many years as Sapphire had made early investments in our category over a decade ago. This led to what can be best described as a multi-year conversation about how the market was likely to evolve, why earlier attempts to solve the enablement problem had faltered, and what was different this time. Through this dialogue it was clear that Rajeev and the Sapphire team were thoughtful investors and partners.
Even as we built a shared view of the broader market, Rajeev was conducting dozens of interviews to understand how various players fit into the market. When we began to fundraise in earnest, he came prepared with insights at a level of depth and nuance that was impressive. In my many reference calls, Rajeev’s incredible enthusiasm and persistence was a consistent theme. Bottom line, Rajeev was someone that could help our business grow and that we would want on our extended team.
The amazing thing about having Sapphire on your team is that you not only have people like Rajeev working to help your business, but you also get access to their entire Portfolio Growth team. Many firms talk about extended services, but through all of my reference calls and interactions, it was clear that Sapphire’s Portfolio Growth team delivers real value.
We are excited to partner with Rajeev and Sapphire.
Disclaimer: Nothing presented within this article is intended to constitute investment advice, and under no circumstances should any information provided herein be used or considered as an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy an interest in any investment fund managed by Sapphire Ventures. Information provided reflects Sapphire Ventures’ views as of a time, whereby such views are subject to change at any point and Sapphire Ventures shall not be obligated to provide notice of any change. Companies mentioned in this article are a representative sample of portfolio companies in which Sapphire Ventures has invested in which the author believes such companies fit the objective criteria stated in commentary, which do not reflect all investments made by Sapphire. A complete alphabetical list of Sapphire’s investments made by its direct growth investing funds is available here. No assumptions should be made that investments listed above were or will be profitable. Due to various risks and uncertainties, actual events, results or the actual experience may differ materially from those reflected or contemplated in these statements. Nothing contained in this article may be relied upon as a guarantee or assurance as to the future success of any particular company. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Various quotes in this article are set forth by Sapphire Ventures’ portfolio companies. Statements relate to the nature and type of management services provided by Sapphire Ventures and do not constitute testimonials to Sapphire Ventures’ investment advisory services and no inference to the contrary should be made.