Today, we announced our new fund. On one hand, Greylock has a deep history of venture operations – being founded in 1965 with one of our founders being a co-creator of the beginnings of venture capital. On the other hand, we re-located our headquarters to Silicon Valley in 2010 as part of the insight that the best investment opportunities were here.
So, our new fund combines the historic and the new. Our firm invested in some of the earliest venture capital, in companies like Continental Cablevision and Prime Computer. But we realized through a set of investments in both consumer internet – like Linkedin (LNKD) and Facebook (FB) – and enterprise– like Workday (WDAY) and Palo Alto Networks (PANW) – that Silicon Valley was accelerating its creation of industry-transforming companies. Moreover, in order to be the best partners with entrepreneurs, our experience showed that the right background for venture investors was a foundation in operating and experience, from founding to scale.
Of course, partnering begins with great partners. Since our last fund, we’ve added John Lilly, Josh Elman, and Simon Rothman to the consumer practice. John brings a depth of technical experience, knowledge as a founder, and the scale of Mozilla Firefox. Josh brings early stage experience from Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter. And, Simon brings his experience building eBay Motors together with broad, world-class knowledge on building marketplaces. They have joined David, Reid, and James to form our consumer investing team – founders, product people, and operators at scale.
On our enterprise team, we’ve added Joseph Ansanelli and Jerry Chen. Joseph brings his experience as a founder, angel investor, and sought-after board member. Jerry brings his experience as a transformational product executive at VMWare. They have joined Aneel and Asheem to form our enterprise investing team – again, all founders, product people, and operators at scale.
We also realized that there are sets of functions that are key to supporting our entire consumer and enterprise portfolio. Since our last fund, we have also added key operational partners. Jeff Markowitz brings a depth of experience in technology recruiting for both enterprise and consumer; he heads the executive talent function at Greylock. Dan Portillo brings a set of experiences heading talent for technology companies; he heads the core talent function at Greylock. Tom Frangione brings the experience of a founder and executive to become our COO; managing the suite of services we provide our portfolio.
Greylock’s role is to help focus on the long game, build lasting relationships, respect entrepreneurs, and be the most value added partner for our companies. As always, though, the success of Greylock is about the entrepreneurs – not about us. We always look to be surprised and excited by the ideas that entrepreneurs have; they are the creators and drivers. In the last few years, these ideas and entrepreneurs has tended to include marketplaces and networks on the consumer side – such companies as Airbnb, Dropbox, Edmodo, and Nextdoor. On the enterprise side, it has tended to include the continuing transformation of the cloud with Cloudera and Okta, but also key new disruptions like Pure Storage.
We also focus on early stage. For example, in our last fund, 120 of the 140+ investments we made were seed or series A. An additional 10 were series B. And we do invest selectively when we think that we can help a growth investment the way we help our startups.
Moving forward, most notably, we see a transition from a technology-in-your-face phase to one where tech melds into the background and stops becoming work. For consumers, the long-predicted vision of the “many any’s” - an anywhere, anytime, and anyhow Internet - is finally coming true. Networks, platforms, and marketplaces are poised to benefit - and is one of the many reasons we our committing $100 million to marketplaces. And, for enterprises, companies and their employees will no longer need to be a slave to technology. Instead, they will have tech serve them as it moves to the cloud and gains consumer-like interfaces. As our newest enterprise partner Jerry Chen says, this creates ample opportunity to knock down the walls of an enterprise market that enjoys an annual $150 billion IT spend and still remains dominated by old school incumbents.
But, as always, it comes down to a great entrepreneur with a unique idea and the ability to bring it to market — and we just love working with these entrepreneurs.
— David Sze & Reid Hoffman