These Boots Were Made for Walking

Five years goes by fast. The combination of raising the $175 million Costanoa Fund III and our five year anniversary makes me acutely aware of the value of each day. So much can be accomplished when you string together productive days and have the time to build. In the same way that time compounds, people compound too, which is what’s most notably changed for me.

In 2012, it was just Pamela and me. By the time we closed Fund II in 2014, we added Neill as a partner and Mike to manage the money. Bucky and John joined over the next two years, finding great opportunities and analyzing the hell out of them. Mark joined in 2015 adding a unique talent as both an entrepreneur and investor. Rachel hung up her cleats and joined us to foster the community in our portfolio.

But growing the investing team and infrastructure is to be expected at any venture firm. What was really new for us was the unconventional leap in 2015 to add Martina as our first Operating Partner focused on marketing, followed by Jim for sales. Their combined expertise makes an enormous difference to our typical product-oriented founders in accelerating their go-to-market.

Simply put, all these moves and additions gives Costanoa the ability to scale and respond to the needs of our portfolio in ways that few other venture capital firms of our size can. The feedback we’ve heard from our founders validates our approach. I love this quote from our most recent survey: “There are no better partners for early stage entrepreneurs.”

One thing that isn’t going to change: Our focus to lead Series A and Seed financings in companies that change the way business gets done. By combining a dedication to the craft of venture capital (yes, it’s a little old school) with a purpose built operating team, we’ve made it our mission to wrap excellence for founders into a small package.

Venture firms have reputations that are earned, not just brands that are promoted. At Costanoa we want to be judged by how we do the work every day. We’re not afraid to crawl, walk, run as a firm. Five years in, we feel like we’re just getting started; maybe we’ve reached the ‘walk’ stage. To our LPs, thanks for your trust, and to our portfolio companies, thanks for letting us be part of your journeys.