Highland Capital Partners
|Founder(s)||William J. Boyce, Paul Maeder, Bob Higgins|
|Headquarters||Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States|
|Products||Investments, Private equity funds|
|Total assets||$3.4 billion|
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.
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.
|History of private equity
and venture capital
|(Origins of modern private equity)|
|(Leveraged buyout boom)|
|(Leveraged buyout and the venture capital bubble)|
|(Dot-com bubble to the credit crunch)|
Investments and investment funds
Highland is typically the first institutional investor in the companies they back.
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)
The company has invested some $2.5 billion in more than 200 companies since its founding. Among Highland's most notable current and past investments are:
Source: Company website
Current and former employees
In February 2005, Thomas G. Stemberg, the founder and former CEO of Staples joined Highland. 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.
- The Rebirth of Venture Capitalism. New York Times, September 24, 2006
- COMPANY NEWS; STAPLES NAMES ITS CHIEF AS CHAIRMAN. New York Times, March 12, 2005