Most winters, the world’s top surfers flock to Mavericks Beach, just south of San Francisco, in search of opportunities to ride waves cresting at over 60 feet. In a way, that’s what our investment climate feels like right now. Just like Mavericks lures more big wave surfers every year, growth investing continues to attract greater interest and capital. Amidst this storm, the number and magnitude of opportunities for IVP have grown significantly. Our focus on backing the top growth-stage entrepreneurs for more than two decades puts us in a strong competitive position and we expect to benefit from the sustained swell of activity.
2021 has already been one of our busiest years ever. Five of our portfolio companies have listed publicly since we welcomed the new year. Coinbase executed a direct listing on Nasdaq, marking the largest U.S. company opening in exchange history, as well as one of the largest capital markets transactions ever. Hims & Hers went public through a SPAC, an alternative route to exit which has exploded in popularity, while Compass, The Honest Company and UiPath listed publicly through traditional IPOs. Five more IVP portfolio companies are expected to go public by the end of summer. With 120 IPOs to date, we are the most experienced partner to help businesses get ready to become independent, publicly traded companies.
Our Ongoing Quest To Back World-Changing Entrepreneurs
IVP’s portfolio companies are led by founders with incredible life stories. Growing up in Berkeley, California, Compass co-founder Robert Reffkin watched his mother, a real estate agent, struggle to grow her business. He vowed to create a technology company that would empower agents to grow their businesses more effectively. UiPath founder Daniel Dines grew up in Bucharest, graduating from high school as the Iron Curtain collapsed. While Romania went through a convulsing transition, Daniel’s talents led him to Microsoft. When his entrepreneurial drive hit high gear, Daniel returned to Bucharest to fulfill his dream, launching a company to elevate human potential by automating mundane tasks. When he founded MasterClass, David Rogier took inspiration from his grandmother, who having fled persecution in World War II, imparted upon him that “Education is the only thing that a person can’t take away from you.” In the years since, David and team have built an education platform giving anyone access to the expert advice they didn’t know they had longed to learn, and the popularity of the site has exploded through the pandemic. Working with such incredible entrepreneurs fuels our passion to be the best investment partner through challenging and good times.
Globalization, Socialization and Digital Transformation Continue
When IVP was founded over 40 years ago the technology industry was tiny when compared to banking, manufacturing, transportation and utilities. Corporate mainframes filled buildings, but few households owned a computer. The commercial internet didn’t exist.
Fast forward to today. Computers, software and the data that they generate have transformed the world. The pandemic accelerated digital transformation across industries, a trend we expect to see for years ahead. While we continue to monitor the health and safety of our coworkers, portfolio and communities, it is clear that, as the end of the pandemic draws near, record innovation will continue.
These changes present opportunities for IVP to partner with visionary entrepreneurs as they target multi-billion-dollar market opportunities for changing how people play (Supercell, Zynga, Niantic), live (Compass), learn and stay healthy (Hims & Hers, MasterClass, Lyra Health, WHOOP), manage finances (Coinbase, Klarna, SoFi, Robinhood, Wise), socialize (Discord, Hopin, Snap), shop (Glossier, Honest) and work in a world transformed by software (HashiCorp, LegalZoom, Slack, UiPath). Across each category, we see rich opportunities to invest in innovative front-end applications as well as in the fundamental technologies that make those life and business transformations possible.
Entrepreneurs come to IVP seeking unique expertise to help build their company at the growth stage, and startups are getting to that phase much more quickly. In working with IVP, founders and CEOs benefit from our experience helping companies build their teams and recruit exceptional executives, scale their operations, strengthen their culture, refine business strategies and prepare for life as a public company.
Strong Team of Hypergrowth Experts Ready for the Next Wave
Today we are the stewards of $8.7 billion in committed capital after the recent close of IVP XVII, a $1.8 billion later-stage fund. We’re off to a strong start with six investments including Aledade, Papaya Global, Productiv and Veriff. Our newest portfolio companies span locations from Tallinn to Tel Aviv, Boston to Palo Alto, highlighting the global nature of technology today.
We work hard to maintain our reputation as one of the industry’s top growth-stage firms by promoting from within and attracting top talent. Most recently we added Cack Wilhelm as Partner, who led our investments in CircleCI and Papaya Global. Former Dropbox CFO Ajay Vashee joined as General Partner, bringing deep operational and financial experience. We promoted Tom Loverro to General Partner and Alex Lim to Partner. Tom is working actively with companies like Coinbase, Attentive and HashiCorp and Alex is actively involved in our investments in industry-defining companies like Discord, Hopin and UiPath. We will continue to develop our team’s deep operational and capital markets expertise for the benefit of current and future portfolio companies. With over 150 years of collective experience, IVP’s team remains the investment partner of choice for the most successful technology companies as they pursue accelerated growth.
Looking Ahead: The Future Looks Bright
IVP appreciates the foundation of trust and collaboration with our LPs. While it is rewarding to reflect on the past four decades: over 400 portfolio companies, 120 IPOs, and more than 25 recent exits north of $1 billion, our job is far from done. We instead prefer to supercharge our work by focusing on the next wave of opportunities – from next-generation social platforms to the digitization of health; from transformative technologies like AI and machine learning to 5G – and backing category defining companies led by exceptional entrepreneurs.
We will see up cycles and down cycles, yet technology innovation continues to accelerate. While the last 40 years witnessed dramatic changes in technology, the pace is only accelerating and the next 40 years represent an unprecedented opportunity for the industry. We are excited to be the growth-phase investment partner of choice for the next generation of great entrepreneurs.