In addition to Bessemer's long history of successful enterprise software investing, we have been particularly focused on the emergence of Cloud Computing. We believe Cloud Computing is the most important trend in the software industry of the decade. We have been fortunate to work with many of the early pioneers in this high growth market segment, and continue to invest actively to grow our current portfolio. We define Cloud Computing as the umbrella encompassing Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platforms-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). Historically, we have been very active in the SaaS space and will continue to do so. However, as cloud computing has expanded beyond just providing applications as a service, so has our practice.
At Bessemer Venture Partners, we believe that our long history and successful track record in cyber security provide us a key advantage in identifying and assisting the most important security startups – our investors have been involved in starting or funding over thirty cyber security companies over the last two decades, including 6 IPOs and many more large acquisitions. By sharing our perspective on how we invest capital in this space, we hope to inspire like-minded entrepreneurs, and attract them as our partners.
In today’s programmable world, developers embody many archetypes: they are the creators that build our software, the heroes that solve real issues, the outlaws and jesters testing the limitations of cyber security. As a result developers are now the kingmakers at large organizations empowered to make major purchasing decisions and deploy big budgets. A new ecosystem of B2D companies that bypasses traditional enterprise IT and sells directly to developers via the cloud has emerged to enable their full power and creativity.
BVP has a long history of investment in the financial services. The 1970s saw it investing in bank services roll-ups; thereafter it moved into areas as diverse as investment services (Quadriserve, LifeHarbor, Gerson Lehrman, Motilal Oswal and Soleil) and personal banking (Truaxis, Shriram City Financial, and Zopa). Blending technology and financial expertise and experience, the partners at BVP can understand and anticipate the changes occur in this rapidly evolving sector.
BVP has invested in healthcare-related companies for more than two decades. Drawing on our investors’ experience in medicine, science, information technology, and management, BVP has backed developers of innovative therapeutics - Isis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ISIP) and Sirtris (NASDAQ:SIRT); providers of healthcare service - VistaCare (NASDAQ:VSTA) and U.S. Behavioral Health (acquired by United Healthcare, NYSE:UBH); and suppliers of healthcare information technology - GMIS (NASDAQ:GMIS) and Allscripts (NASDAQ:MDRX). As the world's healthcare needs increase, we relish the opportunity to support entrepreneurs who will create the innovations of tomorrow.
India's vibrant economy offers huge potential in fulfilling demand for both domestic and export consumption. Just as BVP saw the long term opportunity when it entered Silicon Valley in the 1970s, the firm sees a similar opportunity in India driven by the growth in middle class prosperity and innovation. BVP's investment advisory team combines local knowledge and technical expertise with a global platform to help guide portfolio copmaines to global success. Since 2004, BVP has invested in 21 companies and established a 14-person Mumbai-based advisory team.
Industry-specific cloud software companies don’t get as much attention as their horizontal brethren like Salesforce or Workday. Why? It’s been assumed that the markets they serve are simply too small and sleepy. We think that’s misguided. While companies like Guidewire, athenahealth, DealerTrack, Veeva, Demandware, and RealPage don’t get much fanfare in the press, they are solving real problems in each of their industries. And they have quietly grown to become multi-billion-dollar publicly-traded companies. This is just the beginning. We’re convinced that many more industries—from banking to mining to agriculture—will be transformed by ditching their legacy vendors and migrating to the cloud.
Bessemer has been investing in industry-leading IT infrastructure companies for close to forty years, yet we have never been more excited about the potential for innovation in this arena. Several key technology trends and market developments promise to transform the industry (again) in the coming decade, creating the opportunity for a new set of industry leaders to emerge.
As investors, we believe that the best business model ever conceived could be the marketplace model. Because marketplaces benefit from powerful network effects – supply and demand follow each other – it’s often a high-stakes battle for leadership: when one marketplace achieves undisputed leadership, it can generate huge profits, retain customers and keep competitors at bay. We admire this winner-take-all (or, occasionally, winner-take-most) dynamic, and are actively evaluating marketplace investments.
Bessemer’s history in communications spans more than three decades, dating back to companies like Ungermann-Bass, which pioneered local area networking (the term “LAN” was actually coined in the living room of BVP’s Neill Brownstein). Our investments have followed the rapid evolution of the communications landscape with many of our recent investments focused on the mobile space around the themes of mobile device penetration, the consumer experiences they enable, and the challenges these devices bring to operators.
Throughout history, the exploration of new frontiers has yielded economic bounties in the forms of resources, living space, military advantage, and scientific research. Today, our new frontiers lie in space, which humanity must eventually colonize for minerals, energy and new homelands. As Carl Sagan observed, “All civilizations become either space-faring, or extinct.”