Highland Capital Partners

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This article is about the venture capital firm. For the alternative investment management firm, see Highland Capital Management.
Highland Capital Partners
Industry Venture Capital
Founded 1988
Founder William J. Boyce, Paul Maeder, Bob Higgins
Headquarters Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Products Investments, Private equity funds
Total assets $3.4 billion
Website www.hcp.com

Highland Capital Partners is a global venture capital firm with offices in Silicon Valley, Boston and Shanghai. Highland has raised over $3 billion in committed capital and invested in more than 225 companies. Investments include 2U, Aereo, Ask Jeeves, Bromium, Gigamon, Leap Motion, Lululemon Athletica, LevelUp, Lycos, MapQuest, Nebula, Qihoo 360, Quattro Wireless, Rent the Runway, Starent Networks, Sybase, VistaPrint and WePay. Highland also serves as a mentor for future entrepreneurs through Summer@Highland, a program that provides students and university-affiliated startups with the environment and resources to take their initiative to the next level.

Founded in 1988, the company has offices in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA; Menlo Park, California, USA; Geneva, Switzerland; London, UK and Shanghai, China.

Led by Thomas G. Stemberg, the Highland Consumer Fund was formed by Highland in 2006 to invest in consumer-facing enterprises that are in need of capital for growth and expansion. The firm finished fundraising in 2007 with over $300 million of investor commitments, exceeding its $250 million target.[1]


Investments and investment funds[edit]

Highland is typically the first institutional investor in the companies they back.[2]

From inception in 1988 through the middle of 2009, the firm has raised eight venture capital funds with aggregate investor commitments of approximately $3 billion:

  • 1988 — Highland Capital Partners ($78 million)
  • 1992 — Highland Capital Partners II ($86 million)
  • 1996 — Highland Capital Partners III ($126 million)
  • 1998 — Highland Capital Partners IV ($250 million)
  • 2000 — Highland Capital Partners V ($505 million)
  • 2001 — Highland Capital Partners VI ($808 million)
  • 2006 — Highland Capital Partners VII ($800 million)
  • 2007 — Highland Consumer Fund I ($303 million)
  • 2009 — Highland Capital Partners VIII ($400 million)

Notable investments[edit]

The company has invested some $2.5 billion in more than 200 companies since its founding.[3]

Current and former employees[edit]

In February 2005, Thomas G. Stemberg, the founder and former CEO of Staples joined Highland.[4] Other notable members of the team include Bob Davis, the founder of Lycos; Peter Bell the co-founder and CEO of information storage software company StorageNetworks; Andy Miller, the co-founder of Quattro Wireless (acquired by Apple Computer in 2009), and most recently the Vice President Mobile Advertising responsible for the iAd team; and Wycliffe Grousbeck, who reduced his role in Highland to become managing partner and co-owner of the Boston Celtics. A recent addition to the Highland team is James Cash, Jr., who has served on eighteen public company boards - currently Wal-Mart, General Electric and Chubb Corporation.


Highland Capital Partners is not affiliated with Highland Capital Management, the multi billion dollar distressed investment firm, hedge fund sponsor, and mutual fund manager based in Dallas, Texas.