Taking Stock Of The Past Decade And Looking Ahead To The Next

Today we announced a major new milestone for Sapphire Ventures: $1 billion in new capital commitments. Not bad for a couple of immigrants and transplants from various corners of the United States, whose paths started in vastly different places around the world: India, Israel, England, Germany, Croatia and the somewhat less exotic Minneapolis, Chicago and Los Angeles.

My partners and I all ventured to Silicon Valley independently, feeling the pull of this exceptional region and determined to get a piece of what surely must be the modern American dream. What bound us all together were our shared values, a passion for investing and making an impact, and the desire to build a differentiated, world-class VC firm. None of these things have changed over the last decade, and we consistently look for these traits in every team member we add to the Sapphire family.

For just a little history and context: The organization that led to the creation of Sapphire was founded 20 years ago as the venture arm of SAP. I joined about 10 years ago and shortly after took the leadership role and recruited my partners to help me evolve and build the firm. During these years, we laid the foundation for our collaborative culture, strong values and differentiated investment approach. In 2011 we spun out of SAP to create a fully-independent VC firm owned and operated solely by our team.

In 2012, we expanded our business by adding a dedicated fund investing effort to invest in early-stage VC funds and established a market development team to work closely with our portfolio executives to help them accelerate growth. We do so by building bridges between startups and Global 1000 companies across the enterprise technology ecosystem and by creating great events such as our annual Sapphire CIO Summit and the recent Next-Gen Tech Stack Forum.

Over the last five years, we made more than 45 new direct investments and committed capital to more than a dozen early-stage fund managers across four continents. Thanks to the hard work of our entrepreneurs, in this same time period, 15 of our portfolio companies went public and 23 were acquired.

And here we are today with a new capital commitment to further our work. We believe this commitment is a strong testament to our differentiated investing approach and accomplishments thus far. It is also a vote of confidence that we are building something important here at Sapphire. Most importantly, it means that with over $2.4 billion in assets under management, we have sufficient capital to take advantage of future opportunities, strengthen our brand and support our portfolio companies over the long haul.

And of course we’ll continue to evolve. How remains to be defined, but some things I know. We will continually aim to back great entrepreneurs who aspire to become industry leaders. We will continue to find impactful and creative ways to leverage our robust enterprise network for the benefit of our portfolio companies. And our relationship with our investor SAP will remain an important ingredient of our strategy.

We will also maintain our focus on developing authentic relationships with the entrepreneurs who make it all happen and do everything we can to help them build global category-defining technology companies. Lastly, we will insist on nurturing a culture that’s rooted in hard work, collaboration, no nonsense communication, agility, integrity and the desire to win — together.

Today, Sapphire is 27-people strong, all with a passion to make a difference and a hunger for success. And with a whole lot of gratitude. Towards the many entrepreneurs who have trusted us on their journeys. Towards the SAP executives who have offered tremendous connections and generous resources to build our global enterprise network. And towards each other, for having been the yin to each other’s yang.

Thanks to my partners, my colleagues and our entrepreneurs for making our work stimulating, rewarding and fun every day.

A billion dollars is a significant amount of capital. With this scale comes longevity and opportunity — and incredible responsibility.

We are up for the challenge.


Disclosures

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.