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2004 World Technology Awards Winners & Finalists

Benchmark Capital

Please describe the work that you are doing that you consider to be the most innovative and of the greatest likely long-term significance.

At Benchmark Capital, we're focused on one, and only one, mission: to help talented entrepreneurs build great technology companies. That's what drives us and everything we do - from how we organize our firm to our investment strategy.

When we created Benchmark, we created a new kind of venture firm - one that's based on teamwork, superior service to entrepreneurs and an intense dedication to building technology companies of lasting value.

Teamwork and Experience: A Combination That Works

Unlike other venture firms whose partners work independently and even compete for resources, we function as a team in which every partner is equal in terms of contribution and compensation. And, every partner is invested - both financially and personally-in each other's success.

This unique team approach gives our portfolio companies the benefit of having all of our experienced, well-connected partners working for them, not just one. Whether it's to help recruit an executive, facilitate a corporate partnership, or get advice on a strategic move, each company has access to the combined resources of the entire firm. [More on how our funds are managed.]

Our emphasis on teamwork and providing quality service are big reasons why the industry's top entrepreneurs like Marc Andreesen, Mike Homer, Paul Levy, Atiq Raza and Meg Whitman turn to Benchmark for help. It's also why we've been able to back more franchise technology companies in the last few years than any other firm in the business.

Our Approach To Investing

Our strategy is to be the first investor in technology-driven companies that seek to create new markets with significant growth potential. We focus on early-stage investing and take a labor-intensive, service-oriented approach in markets where we have direct experience. These markets include enterprise software and services, communications & security, semiconductors, mobile computing, consumer services and financial services.

And, to ensure that each portfolio company gets the support it needs to succeed, we actively limit the number of companies we invest in. This gives us an unusually high partner-to-company ratio and guarantees that our portfolio companies get the attention they deserve.

Our investments range in size from as little as $100,000 to as much as $10 or $15 million. Typically, we invest $3 to $5 million initially and expect to invest $5 to $15 million over the life of a company. We invest for the long haul, not 'quick flips,' and look for entrepreneurs with a similar perspective.