Norwest Venture Partners
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|Headquarters||Palo Alto & San Francisco, CA|
|Total assets||$6+ billion|
Number of employees
Norwest Venture Partners (Norwest) is a venture and growth equity investment firm with approximately $6B in capital under management. The firm targets early- to late-stage venture and growth equity investments across several sectors, including cloud computing and information technology, Internet and consumer, software as a service, business and financial services, and healthcare. Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, Norwest has an office in San Francisco and subsidiaries in Mumbai and Bengaluru, India and Herzelia, Israel. The firm has funded more than 575 companies since inception. As of early 2016, the firm has approximately 130 active companies across its venture and growth equity portfolio.
|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)|
Norwest Venture Partners traces its roots back to 1961 with the formation of the Northwest Venture Fund, a private equity and venture capital affiliate of Norwest Corporation, a midwestern bank based in Minneapolis that merged with Wells Fargo in 1998. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Minneapolis was an early site for both venture capital and high-technology business.
The VC industry was active with the formation of the first Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) and First Midwest Capital Corporation. In 1957, Control Data Corporation, a pioneering supercomputer company, was founded by William Norris. Two years later Norris was instrumental in the formation of the Northwest Growth Fund and the firm was active in the Minneapolis high-tech industry.
The Northwest Growth Fund grew under the leadership of CEO Robert Zicarelli including the opening of an office in Silicon Valley. Zicarelli retired in 1988 and was succeeded by Daniel Haggerty who retired in the 1990s. George J, Still, Jr. (now partner emeritus) and Promod Haque took over as managing partners in 1994.
In January 2016, the firm announced Norwest Venture Partners XIII, a $1.2B fund. NVP XIII marked Norwest's third consecutive $1.2B fund raised in fewer than six years.
Norwest provides resources to funded companies through its Portfolio Services group. Resources include strategies and services for employee talent and retention, market development, human resources, public relations and marketing, and operations. The group manages the Norwest Loop, an online community for company leaders to use for sharing information and experiences with each other and their Norwest contacts.
The Portfolio Services group also hosts events for Norwest-funded companies several times a year. Topics have included educational technology, demand generation strategies, employer branding, and an event series focused on female founders of companies.
Norwest is led by senior managing partner Promod Haque and managing partners Jeff Crowe and Matthew Howard.
Promod Haque joined Norwest in 1990. As of early 2016, his investments in more than 70 companies have produced more than $40B in exit values, as 25 of his portfolio companies have gone public and 37 have been acquired (or have gone public and been acquired). His most notable deal was cybersecurity company FireEye, which had the second-best performing initial public offering (IPO) in the U.S. in 2013. His recent investments include Dtex Systems, Palerra, Shape Security, Health Catalyst, and CareCloud. Haque has been named to the Forbes Midas List of top tech investors since 2001, and in 2014 was named by Forbes as a “Hall of Fame” investor. 2017 marked his 13th appearance on the list, including 2004, when he was ranked the #1 venture capitalist based on performance over the previous decade.
Jeff Crowe joined Norwest in 2004 and became a managing partner in 2013. He worked in the tech world for 20 years as cofounder and CEO of software company Edify. In recent years, Crowe has invested in Jet.com, as well as HoneyBook and Modsy. He currently serves on the boards of public companies Lending Club (NYSE: LC) and RetailMeNot (NASDAQ: SALE) and private companies Extole, Glint, HoneyBook, Madison Reed, Modsy, Opendoor, Owler, Talkspace and Turn. Crowe is a board observer at Minted and is responsible for Norwest's investments in Jet.com (acquired by Walmart), Spotify, and Uber. He was named to the Forbes Midas List in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Matthew Howard joined Norwest in 2000 as a general partner and was named a managing partner in 2013. He has appeared on the Forbes Midas List as a top 100 investor three times and was recognized in 2013 by Business Insider as one of the “19 Best Enterprise Tech Venture Capitalists.” He focuses his efforts on mobile, security, rich media, cloud-based services/applications, networking and storage sectors. He serves on the board of several companies, including Avere Systems, Bitglass, Blue Jeans Network, Bluenose Analytics, Exabeam, Mist Systems and MobileIron (Nasdaq: MOBL). He serves on the Technical Advisory Board for In-Q-Tel's Lab 41 initiative to address mission-critical problems for the United States Intelligence Community. Before joining Norwest, Howard was an early employee of Cisco.
George J. Still, Jr., partner emeritus, was named to the Forbes Midas List in 2011.
Venture investments: Norwest's early-stage or seed investments include such companies as Casper, Cognitive Scale, Fireglass, Glint, IFTTT, and Modsy. Other Norwest-funded ventures include Act-On, Adaptive Insights, Bitglass, Blue Jeans Network, Borqs, Bracket Computing, Button, Dtex Systems, Engagio, Exabeam, Exablox, HoneyBook, Jet.com, Lumosity, Madison Reed, Minted, Mist, ModCloth, NextHealth Technologies, Opendoor, Palerra, PCH International, Second Measure, Sensay, Simpplr, Spotify, StellaService, Talkspace, Turn, Uber, and Udemy.
In India, Norwest's venture investments include such companies as Attune, Capillary Technologies, CRMNEXT, Fashion and You, IndusInd Bank, ING Vysya Bank, Manthan Systems, NationWide Primary Healthcare Services, Ovum, Pepperfry, Perfint, Quikr, RevX (formerly Komli), Sulekha.com, Suvidhaa, Swiggy, Yatra.com, Yes Bank, and Zenoti. In Israel, Norwest's venture investments include such companies as Fireglass, Gong, Personali, Pontis, Ravello Systems, Seculert, SolarEdge (Nasdaq: SEDG), SundaySky, and Velostrata.
Growth equity investments: Norwest's growth equity investments include Kendra Scott, Medgate, My Alarm Center, PCA Skin, PICS, Rainmaker, The Learning Experience, Turnitin, and WineAccess. In India, Norwest's growth investments include Asian Genco, Cholamandalam Finance, National Stock Exchange of India, Nueclear Networked Imaging Centres, RBL Bank, Sadbhav Engineering Ltd., Shriram City Union Finance, Snowman Logistics (NSE: SNOWMAN), and Thyrocare.
Enterprise, cloud and IT infrastructure: Norwest investments include Act-On, Adaptive Insights, Appnomic, Appriss, Attune, Avere Systems, Badgeville, Bitglass, Blue Jeans Network, Bluenose, Borqs, Bracket Computing, Brite Semiconductor, Button, Capillary Technologies, ClariPhy, Cognitive Scale, CRMNEXT, Dtex Systems, Engagio, Exabeam, Exablox, Extole, FireEye, Fireglass, Glint, Gong, IFTTT, Manthan Systems, mBlox, Mist, MobileIron, Motif, National Stock Exchange of India Limited, Palerra, PCH International, Owler, Personali, PICS, Pontis, Qubole, Rafter, Rainmaker, Rallyteam, Ravello Systems, RevX (formerly Komli), Sadbhav, Second Measure, Seculert, Shape Security, ShotSpotter, Snowman Logistics, SolarEdge, TrustID, Turnitin, Velostrata, Zenoti, and ZIRX.
Consumer/internet: Norwest investments include Asian Genco, Bailey44, Casper, Cholamandalam Finance, Clarus Commerce, Fashion and You, Gemvara, Gilt Groupe, Hobnob, HoneyBook, IndusInd Bank, ING Vysya Bank, iProf, Jet.com, Kendra Scott, Lending Club, Lumosity, Madison Reed, Manta, Minted, ModCloth, Modsy, My Alarm Center, NinthDecimal, Opendoor, PCA Skin, Pepperfry, Quikr, Rafter, RBL Bank, RetailMeNot (Nasdaq: SALE), Sensay, Shriram City, SketchDeck, Skyward, Sojern, Spotify, StellaService, SundaySky, Sulekha.com, Suvidhaa, Swiggy, The Learning Experience, Topo Athletic, Turn, Uber, Udemy, WineAccess, Yatra.com, and Yes Bank.
Healthcare: Norwest investments include analyticsMD, Capsugel, CareCloud, ClearData, Crossover Health, HealthCatalyst, iCardiac Technologies, Intersect ENT (Nasdaq: XENT), iRhythm Technologies, Medgate, NationWide Primary Healthcare Services, NextHealth Technologies, Nueclear Networked Imaging Centres, Omada Health, Ovum, Perfint, RiverMend Health, Talkspace, Telcare, Thyrocare, and TigerText.
Initial public offerings
Norwest-funded companies that have filed for an initial public offering (IPO) include iRhythm Technologies (Nasdaq: IRTC), FireEye (Nasdaq: FEYE) and Apigee (Nasdaq: APIC) in 2016; Lending Club (NYSE: LC), Intersect ENT (Nasdaq: XENT) in 2015; and MobileIron (Nasdaq: MOBL) in 2014.
In India, Thyrocare Technologies (NSE: THYROCARE) and RBL Bank (NSE: RBLBANK) filed for IPO status in 2016. Sadbhav Engineering Ltd. (NSE: SADBHAV) filed in 2015, and Snowman Logistics (NSE: SNOWMAN) filed in 2014.
Israel-based SolarEdge filed in 2015 (Nasdaq: SEDG).
Mergers and acquisitions
Norwest-funded companies that have been acquired include:
- Apigee was acquired by Google in November 2016 for approximately $625M.
- Palerra was acquired by Oracle in September 2016.
- Jet.com was acquired in August 2016 by Walmart Stores for approximately $3B.
- Ravello Systems was acquired by Oracle for approximately $500M in March 2016.
- Clarus Commerce was acquired by Trivergance, LLC in March 2016.
- 1010data was acquired by Advance in August 2015 for $500M.
- Skybox Imaging (now Terra Bella) was acquired in June 2014 by Google for approximately $500M.
- Misfit Wearables was acquired by Fossil Group for approximately $260M in late 2015.
- Elemental was sold to Amazon for $296M.
- RiseSmart was sold to Randstad for approximately $100M.
Other mergers and acquisitions included the sale of online marketing firm AdChina to Alibaba Group (NYSE: BABA), the acquisition of map tech startup deCarta by Uber, the sale of video advertising company true[x] to 21st Century Fox, the sale of software-defined networking startup ConteXtream to HP, software-defined networking company Cyan Inc. to Ciena, predictive analytics for retail businesses The Retail Equation to Appriss, big data startup Hadapt to Teradata, and the merger of Pertino with Cradlepoint.
- Norwest Raises New $1.2B Fund to Support its Growing Network of Portfolio Companies. Norwest blog post, January 20, 2016.
- This 55-year old VC firm just raised its third $1.2B fund in a little over 6 years Business Insider, January 20, 2016.
- Richard Florida (Carnegie Mellon University) and Martin Kenney (Ohio State University). Venture Capital and High Technology Entrepreneurship. Elsevier Science Publishing Co, 1988
- EXECUTIVE CHANGES: Norwest Venture Capital Management. The New York Times, November 28, 1988
- George J. Still, Jr. - Partner Emeritus Company website
-  Norwest 2016 Year in Review, accessed February 6, 2017
- Norwest - Portfolio Services Company website, accessed 04-14-16
- Norwest Events Company website, accessed 04-14-16
- #52 Promod Haque Forbes Midas List 2016.
- Norwest Team - Jeff Crowe Company website (accessed February 6, 2017).
- Jeff Crowe Forbes Midas List 2016.
- Matthew Howard - LinkedIn LinkedIn (accessed April 21, 2016)
- The 19 Best Enterprise Tech Venture Capitalists Business Insider, May 15, 2013
- Norwest Team - Matthew Howard Company website (accessed February 6, 2017)
- George Still Forbes Midas List, 2011
- Portfolio Companies Company website, accessed 04/14/16
- Primack, Dan. "Deals of the day: Shape Security raises $40 million". Fortune. Fortune. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
- EDGAR Online, accessed 02-06-17
- Google will acquire Apigee for $625 million TechCrunch, September 8, 2016
- Oracle buys Palerra to boost its security stack TechCrunch, September 18, 2016.
- Walmart is buying Jet.com for $3 billion TechCrunch, August 7, 2016
- Oracle buys cloud software startup Ravello Systems for $500 million, source says VentureBeat, February 22, 2016
- Norwest Venture Partners sells Clarus Commerce PE Hub Network, March 23, 2016
- In Big Data Deal, Advance/Newhouse Acquires 1010data for $500M Wall Street Journal, August 3, 2015
-  Google Buys Skybox Imaging -- Not Just For Its Satellites, Forbes, June 10, 2014
- Fossil Group to Buy Misfit for $260 Million Wall Street Journal, November 12, 2015
- Amazon Acquires Elemental Technologies For A Reported $500 Million In Cash TechCrunch, September 3, 2015
- Randstad Acquires Outplacement Innovator RiseSmart to Complement Portfolio and Drive Technological Disruption in the Global HR Services Landscape PR Newswire, September 25, 2015
- Alibaba buys controlling stake in digital marketing firm AdChina Reuters, January 13, 2015
- Uber Is Acquiring Mapping Company deCarta Forbes, March 4, 2015
- 21st Century Fox to Acquire Ad Tech Firm TrueX for $200 Million The Wall Street Journal, December 17, 2014
- HP buying SDN company for NFV Network World, May 26, 2016
- Ciena closes Cyan acquisition, begins integration Lightwave Online, August 3, 2015
- Appriss buys The Retail Equation PE Hub, August 19, 2015
- Teradata Acquires Hadapt, Revelytix For Big Data Boost InformationWeek, July 22, 2014
- Cradlepoint Buys Pertino in SD-WAN Deal eWeek, December 8, 2015
- Norwest Venture Partners Closes Its Third $1.2 Billion Fund. The Wall Street Journal, January 20, 2016
- Norwest Venture Partners forms new early-stage fund. San Jose Business Journal, April 17, 2006
- Saving Yipes. Forbes, July 17, 2002
- Old Money Chasing the New; Seeing Windfalls, Big Banks Finance Start-Ups Again. The New York Times, December 24, 1999
- Norwest Venture Partners (company website)