Benchmark (venture capital firm)

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Limited liability company
Industry Venture capital
Founded 1995
Headquarters Menlo Park, California, United States
San Francisco, California, United States

Benchmark is an American venture capital firm responsible for the early stage funding of several successful startups including Twitter,[1] Uber,[2] Snapchat,[3] and Instagram.[4] In 1997, the firm invested $6.7 million in eBay, which made it worth more than $5 billion by the spring of 1999.[5] Other high-profile investments have included or currently include Instagram, Shoptiques, Zillow, Zipcar, Zendesk, Yelp, Demandforce, and Proofpoint[6] as well as Ariba, Juniper Networks, Red Hat, and Twitter.[1] Benchmark is noted for creating the first equal ownership and compensation structure for its partners.[7] The "maverick" firm[8] differs from most VC firms, which are named for their founders and are structured hierarchically; Benchmark is "a lean operation in which its six full-time partners share profits equally."[8]

The firm announced in May 2012 it would be expanding beyond its Menlo Park, California headquarters by opening a second headquarters with more than 10,000 square feet in San Francisco’s emerging tech corridor, the Mid-Market neighborhood.[6]

General partners[edit]

The firm's general partners are Matt Cohler, Peter Fenton, Bill Gurley, Mitch Lasky and Eric Vishria.[9][10][11][12]


Benchmark has invested in more than 250 startups[13] since its inception in 1995, including, CTERA Networks, Confluent,[14] Duo,[15] HackerOne,[16] Infinera, Lithium Technologies,[17] Marin Software,[18] Minted, MySQL, OpenTable, ResearchGate,[19] Second Life, Snapchat,[3] Talend, Tellme Networks, Vessel,[20] Yelp, Inc., Zillow, and Zuora,[21] as well as franchise companies like eBay, Juniper Networks, Tictail, Tropos Networks, and Red Hat.[22] The firm manages nearly $3 billion in committed capital and has been widely recognized for its commitment to open source.[23] Other notable investments include AOL, 1-800-Flowers,, Friendster, JAMDAT, MetaCafe, Palm Computing, Seeking Alpha, ServiceSource, Xapo,[24] and Zipcar.[25] Benchmark made its first China deal, Baixing, in 2009.

Since early 2011, Benchmark has had 25 exits, including 10 IPOs and 15 mergers and acquisitions, representing a total market value of more than $55 billion (as of January 2014).[13]

In September 2013, Benchmark invested $7 million in CyanogenMod, which is based on Google's Android Open Source Project.[26]


  1. ^ a b "Benchmark Capital". Company Profile. Mashable. Retrieved 22 August 2012. 
  2. ^ Helft, Miguel (6 June 2014). "These are the venture firms celebrating Uber's massive $18B valuation". Fortune (Fortune). Retrieved 29 September 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Wortham, Jenna (8 February 2013). "A Growing App Lets You See It, Then You Don’t". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 May 2013. 
  4. ^ Indvik, Lauren (2 February 2011). "Instagram Raises $7 Million, Hits 1.75M Members". Mashable (Mashable). Retrieved 29 September 2014. 
  5. ^ "EBAY'S IPO RETURN IS JUST PEANUTS TO SOME". Retrieved 2012-11-16. 
  6. ^ a b Levy, Ari (27 April 2012). "Benchmark Capital Scores With Instagram, Demandforce and IPOs". Bloomberg. Retrieved 22 August 2012. 
  7. ^ Stross, Randall (2009-12-29). eBoys: The First Inside Account of Venture Capitalists at Work. Ballantine Books (May 29, 2001). p. 89. ISBN 978-0-345-42889-9. 
  8. ^ a b Hempel, Jessi (11 February 2013). "Bill Gurley: The sage of Silicon Valley". Fortune. Retrieved 2 May 2013. 
  9. ^ Lawler, Ryan (23 July 2014). "Rockmelt Co-Founder Eric Vishria Joins Benchmark As Its Newest Partner". TechCrunch (TechCrunch). Retrieved 29 September 2014. 
  10. ^ "VentureBeat Facebook’s Matt Cohler leaves for Benchmark Capital". 2008-06-19. 
  11. ^ "Peter Fenton: Prominent VC, successful triathlete". 2007-05-11. 
  12. ^ "Benchmark Capital hires Lasky, of Jamdat fame". 2007-03-19. 
  13. ^ a b "Benchmark Capital". Company Profile. CrunchBase. Retrieved 4 February 2014. 
  14. ^ Lawler, Ryan. "Benchmark Backs Real-Time Data Processing Startup Confluent". Retrieved 3 December 2014. 
  15. ^ Lawler, Ryan (22 September 2014). "Two-Factor Authentication Startup Duo Security Raises $12 Million From Benchmark". TechCrunch (TechCrunch). Retrieved 29 September 2014. 
  16. ^ Gage, Deborah (28 May 2014). "HackerOne Emerges With $9 Million to Root Out Software Bugs". Wall Street Journal (Wall Street Journal). Retrieved 29 September 2014. 
  17. ^ O'Malley, Gavin (January 8, 2010). "Social Media Tools Provider Lithium Raises $18M". MediaPost. 
  18. ^ Deal Book, "New York Times", April 7, 2008, ""
  19. ^ "ResearchGate brings in strong funding round for 'scientific Facebook'". The Guardian. 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-09. 
  20. ^ Kafka, Peter (24 June 2014). "Jason Kilar’s New Startup Has a Name, and a Whole Lot of Money". Re/code (Re/code). Retrieved 29 September 2014. 
  21. ^ Schonfeld, Erick (13 March 2008). "Benchmark and Benioff Put $6.5 Million Into Zuora to Create a Salesforce for Online Billing". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2 May 2013. 
  22. ^ "Benchmark, Marissa Mayer Put $5.5M In Stationery Design And Retail Site Minted". TechCrunch. 
  23. ^ Asay, Matt (2008-04-01). "Open-source venture investing hits an all-time high | The Open Road - CNET News". Retrieved 2012-11-16. 
  24. ^ Rusli, Evelyn (13 March 2014). "Latest Bitcoin Craze? Actual Bank Vaults". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 17 March 2014. 
  25. ^
  26. ^ Cutler, Kim-Mai (18 September 2013). "Cyanogen Mod Raises $7M To Find A Direct-To-Consumer Route For Android Firmware". TechCrunch. Retrieved 7 October 2013. 

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