Icon Ventures is one of the newest Silicon Valley firm on the block, which is placing its bets on early-stage enterprise technology startups.
The firm was co-founded by veteran investors Charles Beeler and Jeff Hinck, who are working out of offices in Menlo Park, Calif. and Minnesota respectively.
In a phone interview, Beeler told me the partners planned to raise just $80 million, but the fund was oversubscribed. Business software is trendy these days — even “sexy” — and Beeler has over a decade of relevant experience as an operator and investor.
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“It’s great to see the next generation of entrepreneurs focus on selling to businesses (not consumers),” said Beeler. “Frankly, it’s a huge market opportunity.”
Both partners are open to investing in a broad range of business software startups — they are on the hunt for security solutions, developer tools, mobile marketing software, and potentially even health IT.
“We’ve put together programs to help our companies scale quickly,” said Beeler. “We’re bringing experts to the table to figure out how to minimize the cost of going to market.”
Silicon Valley is saturated with investors, including a number of smaller enterprise-focused firms, such as Data Collective and Costanoa Ventures. But Icon Ventures believes it has a competitive edge. The firm has recruited 80 partners to serve as advisors to the portfolio companies, including Google CIO Ben Fried. The partners have each invested in the fund.
“I’ve known the team at Icon for years and am excited to be included in the network of successful entrepreneurs and senior executives they brought together to form the Icon Technology Partners fund,” said Fried in a statement.
Icon Venture has already invested in five young enterprise companies to date:
Appboy, a platform for mobile relationship management
Bugcrowd, a security platform enabling enterprises to connect with security researchers worldwide
9Lenses, a SaaS solution that enables the collection and analysis of organizational intelligence
Sport NGIN, a provider of web and mobile software solutions for sports organizations
Swiftstack, a provider of private cloud storage solutions powered by OpenStack Swift
The investment team has generated recent exits from early investments in companies, including Compellent, Enstratius, iTKO and Jigsaw.
In addition to investing, the firm’s managing partners help run the Node Summit, which is popular with Node.js developers, and they serve on the boards of some well-known cloud companies, such as Atlantis Computing, and Joyent.