Benchmark (venture capital firm)

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Benchmark is a venture capital firm founded in 1995 by Bob Kagle, Bruce Dunlevie, Andy Rachleff, Kevin Harvey, and Val Vaden.[1]

TypeLimited liability company
IndustryVenture capital
Founded1995; 28 years ago (1995)
FounderBob Kagle
Bruce Dunlevie
Andy Rachleff
Kevin Harvey
Val Vaden
Headquarters140 New Montgomery
San Francisco, California, United States
Key people
Matt Cohler, General Partner
Peter Fenton, General Partner
Bill Gurley, General Partner
Mitch Lasky, General Partner
Eric Vishria, General Partner
Chetan Puttagunta, General Partner
Sarah Tavel, General Partner
Victor Lazarte, General Partner

Investments edit

The firm's most successful investment was a 1997 investment of $6.7 million in eBay for 22.1% of the company.[2] In 2011, it invested $12 million for an 11% stake in Uber, worth $7 billion in 2019 and $9.4 billion in 2023.[3]

Notable companies funded by the firm include 1-800-Flowers, Amplitude,[4]AOL,, Asana,[5] Baixing, CTERA Networks, Cerebras Systems,[6] Confluent,[7] Cockroach Labs,[8] CouchSurfing,[9] Cyanogen,[10] Digits,[11] Discord,[12] Duo Security,[13] Domo, Inc.,[14][15] Docker,[16] Dropbox,[17], eBay, Friendster, HackerOne[18] Instagram,[19][20] JAMDAT, Juniper Networks, Marin Software,[21] Metacafe, Minted, Modern Treasury,[22] MySQL, New Relic,[23][24] Nextdoor,[25][26] OpenTable, Optimizely,[27] Palm, Inc., ResearchGate,[28] Seeking Alpha, ServiceSource, Sketch,[29] Snapchat,[30][31][32] Solv,[33] Stitch Fix,[34][35] Twitter,[36] Tellme Networks,[37] Uber,[38][39] Ubiquity6,[40] Vessel,[41] WeWork,[42][43][44][45] Xapo,[46] Yelp, Inc.,[47] Zendesk,[48] Zillow,[49] Zipcar,[50] and Zuora.[51][52]

Partner structure edit

Benchmark is noted for creating the first equal ownership and compensation structure for its partners.[53] The "maverick" firm[54] differs from most VC firms, which are named for their founders and are structured hierarchically; Benchmark was described by Fortune as "a lean operation in which its six full-time partners share profits equally."[54] While there are no differentiation between its "junior partners" and "senior partners," there is also no CEO-like position held.[55]

In popular culture edit

Benchmark Capital was featured in the Apple TV+ original TV series WeCrashed starring Jared Leto and Anne Hathaway. In the show, Anthony Edwards portrays Benchmark co-founder Bruce Dunlevie, who became WeWork's first major investor on the 1st of April in 2012 when Benchmark led WeWork's $17 million Series-A seed funding.[citation needed]

Benchmark was also featured in the Showtime original Super Pumped starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt. In the series, Kyle Chandler plays Benchmark General Partner Bill Gurley, portraying his involvement in leading Ubers' $11 million round of fundraising in February of 2011.[56]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Bill Gurley is stepping away from an active role at Benchmark, 21 years after joining the firm". TechCrunch. Retrieved August 3, 2023.
  2. ^ "Loans to EBay Provide a Big Payoff for Venture-Capital Firm". The Washington Post. April 9, 1999.
  3. ^ Muoio, Danielle. "The early Uber investor suing Travis Kalanick turned its $12 million investment into $7 billion stake". Business Insider. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  4. ^ "Amplitude raises another $30M for its product-focused analytics tools". TechCrunch. August 10, 2017.
  5. ^ "Peter Thiel-backed workplace app Asana files for direct listing on NYSE". Reuters. August 24, 2020.
  6. ^ "Company".
  7. ^ Lawler, Ryan (November 6, 2014). "Benchmark Backs Real-Time Data Processing Startup Confluent". TechCrunch.
  8. ^ Novet, Jordan (June 4, 2015). "Peter Fenton's latest investment is a database startup called Cockroach". VentureBeat.
  9. ^ "CouchSurfing Raises $7.6 Million in Series A From Benchmark Capital and Omidyar Network to Expand Services and Fuel Growth in Cultural Exchange Network" (Press release). PR Newswire. August 25, 2011.
  10. ^ Culter, Kim-Mai (September 18, 2013). "Cyanogen Mod Raises $7M To Find A Direct-To-Consumer Route For Android Firmware". TechCrunch.
  11. ^ Perez, Sarah (November 6, 2019). "Stealth fintech startup Digits raises $10.5 million Series A from Benchmark and others". TechCrunch.
  12. ^ Takahashi (February 10, 2015). "Fates Forever mobile game maker Hammer & Chisel raises funding from Benchmark and Tencent". Venture Beat.
  13. ^ Lawler, Ryan (September 22, 2014). "Two-Factor Authentication Startup Duo Security Raises $12 Million From Benchmark". TechCrunch.
  14. ^ Konrad, Alex. "Domo Reveals Its Business Software, Raises $200 Million At $2 Billion Valuation". Forbes.
  15. ^ Lacy, Sarah (July 13, 2011). "Series A Whopper: Benchmark Invests $33M in New BI Company Domo". TechCrunch.
  16. ^ Alex, Williams (January 21, 2014). "Docker Raises $15M For Its Open-Source Platform That Helps Developers Build Apps In The Cloud". TechCrunch.
  17. ^ Konrad, Alex. "The Benchmark Way: Five Partners Who Make Other VC Firms Look Outgunned And Overstaffed". Forbes.
  18. ^ Gage, Deborah (May 28, 2014). "HackerOne Emerges With $9 Million to Root Out Software Bugs". The Wall Street Journal.
  19. ^ Indvik, Lauren (February 2, 2011). "Instagram Raises $7 Million, Hits 1.75M Members". Mashable.
  20. ^ Gannes, Liz. "Instagram Raises $7M Led by Benchmark". All Things Digital.
  21. ^ "Benchmark leads series B for marin software". The New York Times. April 7, 2008.
  22. ^ Roof, Katie (December 19, 2019). "Venture Firm Benchmark Invests in Payments Startup as Sector Heats Up". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved June 21, 2020.
  23. ^ Cromwell, Schuberth (December 15, 2014). "Big winners on New Relic, Hortonworks IPOs are mostly Benchmark, Peter Fenton". American City Business Journals.
  24. ^ Rao, Leena (November 16, 2011). "Cloud App Management Platform New Relic Raises $15M From DAG, Benchmark". TechCrunch.
  25. ^ Chapman, Lizette (March 4, 2015). "Valued at $1.1 Billion, Nextdoor's Pivot Appears to Be Paying Off". The Wall Street Journal.
  26. ^ Isaac, Mike (July 24, 2012). "Nextdoor Raises $18.6M From Benchmark, Greylock in First Major Funding Round".
  27. ^ Ha, Andrew (April 10, 2013). "Website Testing Service Optimizely Raises $28M Round Led By Benchmark, Plans Global Expansion". TechCrunch. Retrieved June 3, 2021.
  28. ^ "ResearchGate brings in strong funding round for 'scientific Facebook'". The Guardian. September 8, 2010.
  29. ^ Loizos, Connie (March 13, 2019). "Sketch, maker of popular design tools, just landed $20 million in Series A funding from Benchmark in its first outside round". TechCrunch. Archived from the original on March 14, 2019.
  30. ^ Wortham, Jenna (February 8, 2013). "A Growing App Lets You See It, Then You Don't". The New York Times.
  31. ^ Primack, Dan (June 26, 2013). "Snapchat's liquidity trap – The Term Sheet: Fortune's deals blogTerm Sheet". Fortune.
  32. ^ Winkler, Rolfe (February 3, 2017). "Snap IPO Will Mint Fortunes for Founders, Two Big Investors". The Wall Street Journal.
  33. ^ "This Startup Wants to Be the OpenTable for Urgent Care". Fortune. April 19, 2017.
  34. ^ Gannes, Liz (June 9, 2014). "Happy Stitch Fix Investors Pump Another Round Into Personal Shopping Startup". Re/code.
  35. ^ Kucera, Danielle (October 17, 2013). "Stitch Fix Nabs $12 Million From Benchmark to Customize Commerce".
  36. ^ Chapman, Lizette (October 4, 2013). "Twitter Investor Benchmark Capital Gets Smaller Taste In Potbelly IPO". The Wall Street Journal.
  37. ^ Festa, Paul (January 2, 2002). "Start-up Tellme grabs $47 million in financing". CNET.
  38. ^ Helft, Miguel (June 6, 2014). "These are the venture firms celebrating Uber's massive $18B valuation". Fortune.
  39. ^ Arrington, Michael (February 14, 2011). "Huge Vote Of Confidence: Uber Raises $11 Million From Benchmark Capital". TechCrunch.
  40. ^ "AR startup Ubiquity6 lands $27M Series B to build a more user-friendly augmented reality". TechCrunch. August 14, 2018.
  41. ^ Kafka, Peter (June 24, 2014). "Jason Kilar's New Startup Has a Name, and a Whole Lot of Money". Recode.
  42. ^ Winkler, Rolfe (September 24, 2019). "For WeWork Investor Benchmark, a Struggle to Balance Board Duties with Founder Support". The Wall Street Journal].
  43. ^ "WeWork U-turn reignites SoftBank and Benchmark battle". Financial Times. April 14, 2020.
  44. ^ Alex, Konrad. "Inside The Phenomenal Rise Of WeWork". Forbes.
  45. ^ Kosoff, Maya (June 24, 2015). "WeWork, a startup that rents out office space to other startups, may soon be valued at $10 billion". Business Insider.
  46. ^ Rusli, Evelyn (March 13, 2014). "Latest Bitcoin Craze? Actual Bank Vaults". The Wall Street Journal.
  47. ^ Empson, Rip (June 10, 2012). "Twitter, Yelp Board Member Peter Fenton On How Enterprise Is Learning From The Consumer Web". TechCrunch.
  48. ^ Connie, Loizos (July 7, 2015). "Benchmark's Newest Partner, Eric Vishria, On His First Year at the Powerhouse Firm". TechCrunch.
  49. ^ Jackson, Eric. "Interview With Bill Gurley: The Guy Who Backed OpenTable, Yelp, GrubHub, Twitter, Zillow And Uber". Forbes.
  50. ^ Chapman, Lizette (January 2, 2013). "For Venture Firms, Zipcar Purchase a Profitable but Disappointing Exit". The Wall Street Journal.
  51. ^ Schonfeld, Erick (March 13, 2008). "Benchmark and Benioff Put $6.5 Million Into Zuora to Create a Salesforce for Online Billing". TechCrunch.
  52. ^ "Benchmark, Marissa Mayer Put $5.5M In Stationery Design And Retail Site Minted". TechCrunch. November 15, 2011.
  53. ^ Stross, Randall (December 29, 2009). eBoys: The First Inside Account of Venture Capitalists at Work. Ballantine Books (May 29, 2001). p. 89. ISBN 978-0-345-42889-9.
  54. ^ a b Hempel, Jessi (February 11, 2013). "Bill Gurley: The sage of Silicon Valley". Fortune.
  55. ^ Konrad, Alex (March 25, 2015). "The Benchmark Way: Five Partners Who Make Other VC Firms Look Outgunned And Overstaffed". Forbes.
  56. ^ Clarendon, Dan (February 26, 2022). "The Uber-Complex Battle Behind Showtime's 'Super Pumped'". TV Insider. Retrieved May 1, 2023.

External links edit