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

Introducing, Memos

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.

Bessemer voices

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.

On Cloud Giants, you’ll hear the conversations Byron Deeter has with exceptional cloud CEOs that have taken their businesses through IPO success.

On A Healthy Dose, Steve Kraus and his co-host and friend Trevor Price of Oxeon Partners interview experts, leaders, and practitioners from the healthcare industry.

On This Is Series A, Talia Goldberg and Jeremy Levine talk to early-stage founders and internet philosophers about building startups and what keeps them inspired every day.

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.

Highlights and news from our companies

Microsoft acquires 5G specialist Affirmed Networks
Online car marketplace taps veteran tech CFO, raises $55M
Alloy, Melio Payments, and Zapier top the charts of The Information’s Top 50 List
Axonius secures $58M for its cybersecurity-focused network asset management platform
Bread joins forces with Alliance Data
Bright Health raises $500M Series E
Courier: A single API for managing multi-channel notifications
Cypress.io raises $40M in Series B funding
Discord now has a $3.5B valuation and $100M for a sales pitch lighter on the gaming
FOLX is the virtual, queer doctor’s office that wants to revolutionize LGBTQ+ healthcare
Forter raises $125M Series E to fight e-commerce fraud
Friday app, a remote work tool, raises $2.1M
On-demand mental health service provider Ginger raises $50M
Guild Education CEO inspires business leaders to help #StopTheSpread
Hinge Health, the digital solution for chronic back and joint pain, closes $90M Series C
Hyperscience is taking on the $60B enterprise automation industry
Intercom announces the promotion of Karen Peacock to CEO
Iris Automation raises $13M for visual drone object avoidance tech
LaunchDarkly CEO Edith Harbaugh explains why her company raised another $54M
Data lineage leader Manta is changing the way enterprises manage data at scale
Melio Payments: Out of stealth with $144M
Netdata extends Series A funding to $31M to democratize IT infrastructure monitoring
NYDIG raises a $50M growth equity round
Papaya Global raises $40M for a payroll and HR platform aimed at global workforces
Sales CRM Pipedrive takes majority investment from Vista Equity to reach unicorn status
Rigetti Computing raises $79M Series C Round
Salto emerges from stealth with $27M to automate business app configurations
Shippo raises a $30M Series C after posting rapid 2019 growth
Shopmonkey and the next great $800B vertical SaaS market
How Tackle is changing the future of B2B software sales
Toast announces $400M in Series F funding
Personal finance startup Truebill raises $17M
Our Series A investment in Unito
Zoomin raises a total of $21 million to turn product content into a strategic asset

Looking ahead

In 2021, here are a few areas of investment we're excited to further explore.

Team charles birnbaum bio

Charles Birnbaum on Fintech

“From market-leading vertical SaaS platforms to consumer and business-to-business marketplaces, fintech is now everywhere. We believe that value will continue to accrue to the infrastructure providers that enable both consumer and enterprise players with already strong distribution to embed financial services into their offerings and to those applications that most thoughtfully leverage those platforms.”

Team david cowan bio

David Cowan on Quantum Computing

“The immense computational power that QC can unleash will lead to life-changing medicines, more accurate weather forecasts, smarter AIs, longer-lasting batteries, safer space travel, sustainable energy sources, and benefits society has yet to even discover.”

Team alex ferrara bio

Alex Ferrara on Europe

“The virtuous cycle of entrepreneurship in Europe is due to the first wave of successful tech companies, the deep pool of technical talent, and the wellspring of venture dollars funding the breakout startups across the continent.”

Team talia goldberg 2 bio

Talia Goldberg on Enabling the Entrepreneurial Economy

“We're excited about the technology platforms that democratize the CEO by reducing the friction to starting and scaling a small business. The Internet is powering a rebirth of the American Dream.”

Team steve kraus bio

Steve Kraus on Digital Healthcare

“The pandemic has been a watershed moment for the digital healthcare industry in the same way that electronic medical records have become table stakes powering the healthcare industry. Telemedicine has become a core chassis in the care delivery stack, and we’ll continue to see new full-stack healthcare delivery platforms serve patients of different backgrounds, conditions, and more.”

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.

Forge ahead.