Benchmark used to be the quintessential Silicon Valley venture firm. It was small. It was focused. It was aggressive while also remaining founder friendly. It fastened to its knitting when it came to its money immensity, collecting fund after store in the $450 million range.
Over the years, all countries of the world altered. Some of the most important brands in the crusade business now succeed many billions of dollars, having fostered a series of increasingly massive stores over the past few decades. They now supervise big” expertise units .”
Not Benchmark. In fact, by operating much the same as it did when it was founded in 1995, produce approximately the same relatively conservative quantity of fund each time it closes a fund and running the firm with a handful of general spouses — no superintendents , no identifies, time manager helpers for these partners — Benchmark is no longer the stereotypical crusade house. Instead, it has become an anomaly.
Who is keeping the firm on this path? While seemingly all of the firm’s partners maintain a relationship with Benchmark( no matter if they were investing in the late’ 90 s or a decade ago ), Peter Fenton is now the firm’s most senior member. It’s Fenton to whom Benchmark’s most famous investor, Bill Gurley, is overstepping the ignite as he steps away from an active role at the house, 21 years after assembling it. It is Fenton who — poached from Accel back in 2006 at the age of 33 — has also outlived other peers, including Matt Cohler and Mitch Lasky, both of whom moved on from actively investing on behalf of Benchmark in 2018.
We don’t know how involved Fenton was in bringing aboard the two other general spouses who’ve connected Benchmark in recent years — Eric Vishria and Chetan Puttagunta — but guess what? We’re thrilled to have the chance to ask him that question and many more during this year’s TechCrunch Disrupt, where Fenton is meeting us this year in a moderately rare public appearance.
We can’t wait to talk with him. As someone who has long been considered a top VC hitherto too controlled a low profile, Fenton is someone who we’re genuinely interested “is talkin to” about a wide range of issues, from how an seeming exodus from the Bay Area might impact the local startup incident, to his thoughts on rolling stores, to whether Benchmark would ever sponsor — or even try to manage — a SPAC.( We wrote recently about how these part;Bill Gurley wrote soon after about why they might make more sense than they have in the past .)
We’re likewise wondering: Will Fenton take over a higher-profile capacity on behalf of Benchmark? Given the firm’s outsize returns — its early bet on Uber alone reportedly raised more than $ 7 billion in returns to its limited collaborators — that wouldn’t seem necessary. Then again, houses like Benchmark and Sequoia stay on top accurately since they are travel that last mile.
Either way, you won’t want to miss Fenton at this year’s show, which is shaping up in every channel to be an incredible program. Disrupt 2020 runs from September 14 through September 18 and will be 100% virtual this year. Get your front row set to see Fenton live with a Disrupt Digital Pro Pass or a Digital Startup Alley Exhibitor Package. If you act before Thursday, August 27 at 11:59 p.m. PDT, you are eligible to even save an additional $ 100 during our blink auction! We’re provoked to see you there.
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