Benchmark (venture capital firm)
|Type||Limited liability company|
|Headquarters||San Francisco, California, United States|
|Matt Cohler, General Partner|
Peter Fenton, General Partner
Bill Gurley, General Partner
Mitch Lasky, General Partner
Eric Vishria, General Partner
Chetan Puttagunta, General Partner
Sarah Tavel, General Partner
The firm's most successful investment was a 1997 investment of $6.7 million in eBay for 22.1% of the company. In 2011, it invested $12 million for an 11% stake in Uber, worth $7 billion in 2019.
The firm's most infamous investment was in WeWork, the troubled office rental social networking company. On April 1, 2012, Benchmark became WeWork's first major investor when it led WeWork’s $17 million Series-A seed funding.
Companies funded by the firm include Dropbox, Twitter, Uber, Snapchat, Instagram, Discord, Domo, New Relic, Nextdoor, Stitch Fix, WeWork, Yelp, Zendesk, Zillow and Zipcar.
Benchmark is noted for creating the first equal ownership and compensation structure for its partners. The "maverick" firm 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." There is no differentiation between its "junior partners" and "senior partners," as each partner benefits equally from company profits. In addition, there is no CEO-like position held.
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.
Benchmark has invested in more than 250 startups since its inception in 1995, including:
- CTERA Networks
- Cerebras Systems
- Cockroach Labs
- Juniper Networks
- Marin Software
- Modern Treasury
- New Relic
- Palm, Inc.
- Seeking Alpha
- Snapchat - In February 2013, Snapchat confirmed a $13.5 million Series A round of funding led by Benchmark Capital, which valued the company at between $60 million and $70 million. Beyond the two founders, the two biggest shareholders for the planned early 2017 Snap IPO were Benchmark and Lightspeed Venture Partners, both prior Snap investors and venture-capital firms from Silicon Valley. They held a combined stake of about 20%.
- Stitch Fix
- Tellme Networks
- Yelp, Inc.
- "Loans to EBay Provide a Big Payoff for Venture-Capital Firm". The Washington Post. April 9, 1999.
- Muoio, Danielle. "The early Uber investor suing Travis Kalanick turned its $12 million investment into $7 billion stake". Business Insider. Retrieved 2019-06-19.
- Winkler, Rolfe (24 September 2019). "For WeWork Investor Benchmark, a Struggle to Balance Board Duties with Founder Support". Wall Street Journal.
- "WeWork U-turn reignites SoftBank and Benchmark battle". Financial Times. 14 April 2020.
- Konrad, Alex. "The Benchmark Way: Five Partners Who Make Other VC Firms Look Outgunned And Overstaffed". Forbes.
- Helft, Miguel (6 June 2014). "These are the venture firms celebrating Uber's massive $18B valuation". Fortune.
- Wortham, Jenna (8 February 2013). "A Growing App Lets You See It, Then You Don't". The New York Times.
- Indvik, Lauren (2 February 2011). "Instagram Raises $7 Million, Hits 1.75M Members". Mashable.
- Takahashi, "Fates Forever mobile game maker Hammer & Chisel raises funding from Benchmark and Tencent", Venture Beat, February 10, 2015.
- Konrad, Alex. "Domo Reveals Its Business Software, Raises $200 Million At $2 Billion Valuation". Forbes.
- Cromwell, Schuberth. "Big winners on New Relic, Hortonworks IPOs are mostly Benchmark, Peter Fenton". Silicon Valley Business Journal.
- Chapman, Lizette (March 4, 2015). "Valued at $1.1 Billion, Nextdoor's Pivot Appears to Be Paying Off". The Wall Street Journal.
- Gannes, Liz (9 June 2014). "Happy Stitch Fix Investors Pump Another Round Into Personal Shopping Startup". Re/code.
- Alex, Konrad. "Inside The Phenomenal Rise Of WeWork". Forbes.
- Empson, Rip. "Twitter, Yelp Board Member Peter Fenton On How Enterprise Is Learning From The Consumer Web". TechCrunch.
- Connie, Loizos. "Benchmark's Newest Partner, Eric Vishria, On His First Year at the Powerhouse Firm". TechCrunch.
- Jackson, Eric. "Interview With Bill Gurley: The Guy Who Backed OpenTable, Yelp, GrubHub, Twitter, Zillow And Uber". Forbes.
- Chapman, Lizette (2 January 2013). "For Venture Firms, Zipcar Purchase a Profitable but Disappointing Exit". Wall Street Journal.
- 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.
- Hempel, Jessi (11 February 2013). "Bill Gurley: The sage of Silicon Valley". Fortune.
- Konrad, Alex (March 25, 2015). "The Benchmark Way: Five Partners Who Make Other VC Firms Look Outgunned And Overstaffed". Forbes.
- Levy, Ari (25 May 2012). "Benchmark Joins Twitter in San Francisco's Startup Zone". Bloomberg News.
- "Amplitude raises another $30M for its product-focused analytics tools". TechCrunch. August 10, 2017.
- "Peter Thiel-backed workplace app Asana files for direct listing on NYSE". Reuters. 24 August 2020.
- Lawler, Ryan (November 6, 2014). "Benchmark Backs Real-Time Data Processing Startup Confluent". TechCrunch.
- Novet, Jordan (June 4, 2015). "Peter Fenton's latest investment is a database startup called Cockroach". VentureBeat.
- "CouchSurfing Raises $7.6 Million in Series A From Benchmark Capital and Omidyar Network to Expand Services and Fuel Growth in Cultural Exchange Network" (Press release). PR Newswire. 25 August 2011.
- Culter, Kim-Mai (September 18, 2013). "Cyanogen Mod Raises $7M To Find A Direct-To-Consumer Route For Android Firmware". TechCrunch.
- Perez, Sarah (November 6, 2019). "Stealth fintech startup Digits raises $10.5 million Series A from Benchmark and others". TechCrunch.
- Lawler, Ryan (22 September 2014). "Two-Factor Authentication Startup Duo Security Raises $12 Million From Benchmark". TechCrunch.
- Lacy, Sarah (July 13, 2011). "Series A Whopper: Benchmark Invests $33M in New BI Company Domo". TechCrunch.
- Alex, Williams (January 21, 2014). "Docker Raises $15M For Its Open-Source Platform That Helps Developers Build Apps In The Cloud". TechCrunch.
- Gage, Deborah (28 May 2014). "HackerOne Emerges With $9 Million to Root Out Software Bugs". The Wall Street Journal.
- Gannes, Liz. "Instagram Raises $7M Led by Benchmark". All Things Digital.
- "Benchmark leads series B for marin software". The New York Times. April 7, 2008.
- Roof, Katie (19 December 2019). "Venture Firm Benchmark Invests in Payments Startup as Sector Heats Up". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 21 June 2020.
- Rao, Leena (November 16, 2011). "Cloud App Management Platform New Relic Raises $15M From DAG, Benchmark". TechCrunch.
- Isaac, Mike (July 24, 2012). "Nextdoor Raises $18.6M From Benchmark, Greylock in First Major Funding Round".
- Ha, Andrew (10 April 2013). "Website Testing Service Optimizely Raises $28M Round Led By Benchmark, Plans Global Expansion". TechCrunch. TechCrunch. Retrieved 3 June 2021.
- "ResearchGate brings in strong funding round for 'scientific Facebook'". The Guardian. September 8, 2010.
- Loizos, Connie (13 March 2019). "Sketch, maker of popular design tools, just landed $20 million in Series A funding from Benchmark in its first outside round". TechCrunch. Archived from the original on 14 March 2019. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
- Primack, Dan (June 26, 2013). "Snapchat's liquidity trap – The Term Sheet: Fortune's deals blogTerm Sheet". Fortune.
- Winkler, Rolfe (February 3, 2017). "Snap IPO Will Mint Fortunes for Founders, Two Big Investors". The Wall Street Journal.
- "This Startup Wants to Be the OpenTable for Urgent Care". Fortune. April 19, 2017.
- Kucera, Danielle (October 17, 2013). "Stitch Fix Nabs $12 Million From Benchmark to Customize Commerce".
- Chapman, Lizette (October 4, 2013). "Twitter Investor Benchmark Capital Gets Smaller Taste In Potbelly IPO". The Wall Street Journal.
- Arrington, Michael (February 14, 2011). "Huge Vote Of Confidence: Uber Raises $11 Million From Benchmark Capital". TechCrunch.
- "AR startup Ubiquity6 lands $27M Series B to build a more user-friendly augmented reality". TechCrunch.
- Kafka, Peter (24 June 2014). "Jason Kilar's New Startup Has a Name, and a Whole Lot of Money". Recode.
- Kosoff, Maya. "WeWork, a startup that rents out office space to other startups, may soon be valued at $10 billion". www.businessinsider.com. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
- Rusli, Evelyn (March 13, 2014). "Latest Bitcoin Craze? Actual Bank Vaults". The Wall Street Journal.
- 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.
- "Benchmark, Marissa Mayer Put $5.5M In Stationery Design And Retail Site Minted". TechCrunch.