Year in Review 2020
To our founders, leaders, and friends
Throughout 2020, we’re reminded that necessity and resilience are the mothers of invention. Historically, we’ve found that truly category-defining companies are often built during periods of uncertainty. We expect this year to be no different. In venture capital, we are long-term optimists, and the work of our founders, their teams, and the technology they build is proof that the future is always a source of hope and progress.
On a personal note, Bessemer welcomed seven new babies and 11 new pets. As the year comes to a close, we hope this letter finds you and your loved ones healthy.
Looking back on 2020
- Teamed up with 39 exceptional CEOs
- Three IPOs: Enjoei, Kymera, and nCino
- Notable exits: Affirmed Networks, Bread, Retail Solutions, Verata Health, and Vlocity
- Several of our enduring portfolio companies exceeded $40 billion in market capitalization, including Shopify, Twilio, Docusign, and Pinterest
Thinking from 2020
To glean patterns from those particularly beneficial early-stage decisions (and sometimes just to nourish our fragile egos), we find it helpful to publish and scrutinize the Investment Recommendation Memoranda that we circulated years ago.
One pattern that consistently emerges is that Bessemer’s best investment decisions centered on people. In retrospect, the early products themselves are barely recognizable today. Rather, passionate, analytical, and relentless founders zigged and zagged their way to that elusive product-market fit, and these memos provide a glimpse of those winning entrepreneurs before they were famous. Explore our Memos.
A few of our partners, across disciplines and stages, connect directly with entrepreneurs through podcasts and share insights on how founders and teams can build, lead, and serve the industries they’re looking to revolutionize.
Our growing community
In February, we hosted more than 50 founders at our B2B Marketplace Summit to discuss emerging trends in B2B commerce and payments, and we walked away convinced we’re on the cusp of a B2B purchasing renaissance that will grow dozens of $1 billion+ companies.
Our fifth annual Cloud 100 Celebration, the definitive ranking of the 100 private cloud companies, was unlike any other year as a virtual summit. Top CEOs discussed the digital industrial revolution that’s underfoot and what matters to the new guard of tech. Watch the full program on-demand.
We’re thankful for our community of leaders for sharing their best practices and insights on business challenges. Joining us this year as mentors within our community, our Operating Advisors share their functional expertise and provide counsel for our founders and leaders.
In 2021, here are a few areas of investment we’re excited to further explore.
To a new year
We’re honored to be a small part of your journey. To our founders, leaders, and friends—thank you for partnering with us.