We certainly get that when people think of Sapphire Ventures they think enterprise software. And rightly so. Our team has significant expertise in working with B2B companies, and our image has been shaped by the long-standing association with our large limited partner SAP. Of the 16 IPOs in our growth funds since 2011, 11 are next-gen enterprise software companies, and a majority of our currently active private company portfolio can be classified as enterprise software broadly defined.
But going into 2017, please think of us as NoEnterprise, as in “not only” enterprise. For the less geeky among you, this is a reference to NoSQL databases, which refers to “not only” SQL.
While we’ll continue to make growth-stage investments in innovative enterprise software companies seeking to become global category leaders, our work has never been limited to enterprise only. Our multi-faceted approach to venture capital seeks to leverage our insights, expertise, deal flow and global network across the entire technology VC landscape, not only enterprise.
- Sapphire’s fund investing business deepens our relationships with other VCs, extends our network and creates linkages that we think enable us to see trends that others might miss across the technology spectrum. In fact, of the hundreds of portfolio companies that underlie our early-stage VC fund investments, roughly half are consumer businesses.
- Our perspective on management teams, unit economics (e.g., cohort analysis, CAC and LTV metrics) and go-to-market strategies all apply, with a twist, to our broader investing horizons and often gives us distinct and interesting insights to bring to the table in vertical markets and in the B2C context.
- And last but not least, our strong market development team and industry relationships can help accelerate the growth of portfolio companies in numerous sectors and ways.
Moreover, a closer look at our portfolio shows that we have been very active in categories other than pure enterprise software for many years.
- We count Box (NYSE:BOX), LinkedIn*, Splashtop, Payscale (acquired by Warburg Pincus), DocuSign and Square (NYSE:SQ) as enterprise investments, but clearly they provide us a great lens on the consumerization of IT and the SMB market.
- We have invested deeply in financial services — portfolio companies include Currency Cloud, IEX (have you read Flash Boys?), OnDeck Capital (NYSE:ONDK), One97 (Paytm in India) and previously mentioned Square (NYSE:SQ).
- We’ve made a number of bets in digital media — Criteo (NASDAQ:CRTO), Krux (acquired by Salesforce), Integral Ad Science, Marin Software (NYSE:MRIN), OpenX and Tremor Video (NYSE:TRMR).
- We’ve backed companies that provide consumer facing products and services such as iYogi, Control4 (NASDAQ:CTRL) and JustDial (NSE:JUSTDIAL)
- And we’ve been active in the government technology space with investments in Socrata and Scytl.
While we’re very excited to continue investing in the next generation of enterprise trends and companies (e.g., the future of work, IoT), this year you can also expect us to strongly engage in other areas such as sports technology and health technology. Both of these areas leverage expertise we have developed via prior investments such as Fitbit (NYSE:FIT), Imprivata (acquired by Thoma Bravo), Livongo and Ticketfly (acquired by Pandora). And both leverage our unique VC network, industry relationships and market development efforts.
It’s pretty simple. We are looking to be a value-add partner to the best technology entrepreneurs with businesses that have achieved nascent product-market fit and require capital to rapidly scale.
So in 2017, when you think of Sapphire, don’t just think enterprise software. Think NoEnterprise.
*Went public in 2011 under NYSE:LNKD; acquired by Microsoft Corporation in 2016
Nothing presented herein 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. Sapphire Ventures does not solicit or make its services available to the public and none of the funds are currently open to new investors.
The investments identified above do not necessarily represent all of the investments made or recommended by Sapphire Ventures, and were not selected based on the return on Sapphire Ventures’ investment in them. The companies listed above represent all of Sapphire Ventures’ investments, IPOs and exits in the SMB, financial services, digital media, sports technology and health technology domains since 2011. It should not be assumed that any current or future investments were or will be profitable. Past performance is not indicative of future performance. View all of Sapphire Ventures’ investments here.