There has been a bit of a landrush of late on enterprise companies focused on big data and how best to harness that in the cloud, and today sees the launch of a new fund that will fuel the growth of even more companies working in that space. OpenView Venture Partners is today announcing its third fund of $200 million, aimed at operational support for enterprises, including in areas like big-data management in the cloud, which accounts for 75 percent of OpenView's investments to-date.
Boston-based OpenView says the fund was originally intended to be around $150 million but got oversubscribed - a testament not only to how much investment money is swirling around at the moment, but also the focus specifically on the field of enterprise services that OpenView has been championing up to now.
“Since 2006 and 2007, a lot of VCs have been focused on the shiny toy of consumer services,” says Adam Marcus, the MD of OpenView. “We have stayed true to our mission of being a B2B software [VC]. That has made it easy to raise funds for us.” OpenView will not use the fund to move into early-stage or seed investing, he says. Typically the companies OpenView funds are already bringing in a minimum of $1 million in revenues and are at their expansion stage.
Marcus says that the first investment from the fund is due to be announced next week. It will be in the identity-management space, he says, a company based out of Texas. “It's about big data and the cloud and taking advantage of these two underlying tsunamis,” he said. “And about helping to manage the data onslaught overwhelming companies today.” It will be a new investment for OpenView.
What else is the fund interested in? Although mobile has been a hot area in consumer startups, it has been slightly more problematic at the B2B end, Marcus says. “We have a hard time finding competitive advantage and product differentiation in mobile,” he admits.
But he does point out that one good area is mobile device management and subsequent security across the network. Another is in the area of enterprise companies that help make the consumer propositions work better. That includes an investment in the API platform Mashery, which picked up $11 million from OpenView last year. “The thesis was that APIs are the new plumbing and Mashery is the leader there,” he says.
Another area that OpenView will be exploring for investment is the area of personalization and targeting software.
Funding will also be used to further OpenView's approach of helping to build up companies that are already in its portfolio. That has included staffing them up, offering go-to-market support, market research, lead generation and in some cases even product development.