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Backing entrepreneurs with $3.3B+ in new funds

Expanding our leadership with five new partners

By The Bessemer Partners 2.25.21 FIRM

As venture capitalists, we pay too much attention to pattern recognition and matching when in reality, the biggest opportunities exist where those patterns break. Our job is to make perceptive bets on the future, especially those that others will dismiss and ridicule. We are fundamental optimists and strong believers in the power of innovation; our life’s work is putting our reputation, time, and money to help entrepreneurs realize a different future. They’re the ones pioneering something entirely new and obscure - a technology, a business model, a category. In support of these entrepreneurs and our mission, we’re proud to share that we raised $3.3 billion across two new funds and expanded our leadership with five new partners.

Since the formation of our very first fund, our partners have invested across the company lifecycle – from seed through growth. These two new funds allow us to back entrepreneurs at scale, across all stages around the world, specifically:

  • At $2.475 billion, BVP XI will focus on early-stage companies spanning across enterprise, consumer, healthcare, and frontier technologies.
  • Our $825 million Century II fund is specifically designed for growth-stage companies that will define the next century, from our existing portfolio to the ones we missed the first time.

We’ve had the privilege of being in the venture business since 1965, and remain committed to building a future for Bessemer that long outlasts the partners at our firm today. Autonomy and intellectual honesty are deeply embedded in how we work. A key tenet of our firm’s philosophy is empowering each partner to find their own roadmaps, build their own domain expertise, and call their own shots. Before any investment decision, our partners write their own investment memo, detailing in full transparency their assessment of the opportunity, team, business model, competition, and risks. In turn, the firm weighs in to help strengthen their thinking and conviction by asking the hard questions, pointing out blind spots, and sharing their own perspectives. This dynamic happens regardless of how long you’ve been a partner or how much you’ve invested. (Just ask David Cowan, who just passed over $1 billion invested!)

At Bessemer, there’s no corner office or consensus; every partner has the choice, independently, to pen a check. This kind of accountability and autonomy means a founder is teaming up with a partner and board director who thoroughly understands your business and can respond quickly and decisively.

With a leadership team of 21 partners and over 45 investors, advisors and platform operators - located all over the world in San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Seattle, Boston, New York, London, Tel Aviv, Bangalore, and Beijing - we’re doubling down on the foundation that matters: our people.

We’re incredibly excited to share the promotion of Andrew Hedin, Tess Hatch, Mike Droesch, and Mary D’Onofrio to partner - each of whom has made countless contributions to the firm and brings deep expertise and support to our entrepreneurs.

Andrew Hedin joined Bessemer in 2015 and has spearheaded investments in Bright Health, Collective Medical, Hinge Health, Ginger, Groups, Qventus and Artemis Health. He also serves on the boards of Kymera (KYMR) and TScan Therapeutics. As partner, Andrew will lead investments across the healthcare ecosystem in new biotech therapeutics and novel digital health technologies, bolstering Bessemer’s healthcare practice in Boston.

“Andrew and Bessemer co-led Kymera’s Series B in 2018 and we’ve been fortunate to partner with him since as an active board member in our journey from a privately-held company to the public markets,” said Nello Mainolfi, CEO of Kymera. “Andrew is passionate about bringing transformational healthcare technologies to market and serves as a deeply strategic, supportive thought partner thanks to his breadth and depth of healthcare experience.”

Mary D’Onofrio has sourced and led Bessemer’s investments in category-defining cloud companies, including Hyperscience, LaunchDarkly, HashiCorp, BigID, and Forter. As a key architect behind the BVP Nasdaq Emerging Cloud Index, Mary’s knowledge of private and public markets has spurred Bessemer’s growth investments across our roadmaps, including cloud, developer, data privacy, and fintech. She is also the co-author of Bessemer’s State of the Cloud and the 10 Laws of Cloud. Mary joined at the inception of Bessemer’s growth practice and will be fully dedicated to growth investing as partner.

“Our growth stage partnership with Bessemer, and having Mary on our side, makes our business better positioned for what’s ahead,” said Peter Brodsky, the CEO and co-founder of Hyperscience. “She is thoughtful about measuring business performance and helping us to understand changing market and competitive dynamics. Mary is incredibly valuable to the Hyperscience team.”

Bessemer partner Elliott Robinson shared, “Mary has served as a thought leader and early architect of Bessemer’s dedicated growth equity practice and the Century fund. Her mastery of best-in-class SaaS metrics, KPIs and strategic drivers for operational success have resulted in her becoming a trusted partner by an increasing number of expansion stage startup founders and CEOs. As a partner on the Bessemer Growth team, Mary will be leading investments alongside the most ambitious, high-growth tech companies on the planet.”

Mike Droesch began his career as a systems engineer before going on to work with a number of venture-backed startups in Boston, including two Bessemer portfolio companies, Fuze and InsightSquared. At Bessemer, Mike championed our Series A investment in automated IT support provider, Electric, and led our seed investment in front-end test automation platform, Cypress.io and Series A investment in Tackle.io, a B2B selling and buying software platform. He currently serves as a board director for Tackle.io and Cypress.io. Mike will continue to sharpen our roadmaps and focus his investments in cloud software, infrastructure, developer platforms, open source software, and B2B marketplaces.

“Mike has excellent judgment in finding investment opportunities and assessing talent in those companies,” shared Bob Goodman, partner at Bessemer. “Mike has earned the respect of the entrepreneurs he works with.”

Tess Hatch has expanded Bessemer’s frontier technology investments in commercial space, drones, autonomous vehicles, and agriculture and food technology. Tess currently serves as a board director for Phantom Auto, Spire Global, and Iris Automation, and as a board observer for Rocket Lab, DroneDeploy, Velo3D, Forever Oceans, and Crosschq.

“As a champion and investor in Rocket Lab, Tess consistently provides our company with incisive points-of-view on the commercialization of space and strategic counsel for our team, after several successful completed missions,” said Peter Beck, CEO and founder of Rocket Lab. “On a personal level, I love Tess’ passion for aerospace and satellite technology. She’s a true believer that our collective investment in space is a long-term investment in humanity, and this strategy is currently making life on Earth safer and even more connected.

“Tess has proven to be a creative, collaborative aerospace engineer whom entrepreneurs widely respect as a thoughtful leader in frontier technology, “ stated David Cowan, partner at Bessemer. Tess will continue to invest and build out Bessemer’s frontier technology roadmap, partnering with deep tech founders who are developing solutions for society’s most pressing problems.

We seldom look outside Bessemer when we think of expanding our leadership, but when we heard that Jeff Blackburn was considering a career change, we literally jumped at the opportunity to work with him.

Jeff Blackburn is the rarest of humble leaders we know. Few leaders in history have been part of building Amazon from its early days to a trillion-dollar market capitalization. Only a small subset of those have launched and led several multi-billion dollar businesses — spanning Amazon’s core marketplace business, its advertising business, and its music and movie studio businesses. He oversaw dozens of Amazon’s minority investments and more than a hundred acquisitions across almost every business line from retail to Kindle/Echo/Alexa to AWS. As partner, Jeff will apply the same innovative mindset and world-class experience to invest in and help customer-focused entrepreneurs from early to growth.

We’re incredibly fortunate to get a front-row seat to these exceptional entrepreneurs, many of whom convinced us of a different future, and helped shape it in ways that exceeded our wildest expectations. To the entrepreneurs that no one has heard of (yet), forge ahead.