Sutter Hill Ventures has added two new directors from Twitter and Juniper Networks — a move that speaks to the next big focus in investment — enterprise IT and its integration with consumer technologies.
Stefan Dyckerhoff joins Sutter from Juniper Network Systems where he worked as executive vice president of the company’s platform systems division. Sam Pullara now works at Twitter as a senior infrastructure engineer.
For Sutter, it’s noteworthy for the otherwise very quiet venture capital firm. It’s the company’s 50th anniversary as a venture capital firm. Sutter rarely takes on new directors and has a reputation for its low-key approach. Sutter has only had 12 partners in the history of the firm, 9 of which are active today. All the partners have extensive operating backgrounds – not finance or banking.
Sutter has a different fund structure than most venture capital firms. The firm operates according to an evergreen model. Capital rolls over so the firm is not in perpetual fundraising. The model means the VC firm spends less time promoting itself and raising capital. Sutter puts up over 25% of the capital it invests in companies. It also means Sutter has a longer time horizon with its companies since it is not raising funds every three years, nor managing reserves or capital in a fund structure on a company by company basis.
Sutter has made investments both current and past in Pure Storage, Feedburner, NetApp and SumoLogic.
Dyckerhoff and Pullara come from different backgrounds but their combination points to the convergence the enterprise faces. Dyckerhoff comes from a background in network computing that few others have. Pullara is part of an elite group who really understands what is required to build an infrastructure from the ground-up.
Dyckerhoff has worked at Juniper since 1997. He joined the company from Stanford University as Juniper’s 33rd employee. He worked on the company’s founding engineering team. He has deep experience in software and systems.
At Twitter, Pullara has had the task of moving the company’s infrastructure from Ruby-on-Rails to Scala, a Java framework. In 2011, Twitter acquired Bagcheck, where he worked as co-founder and CEO. Previously Pullara worked as Yahoo’s chief technologist, responsible for technology strategy across the audience organization and platform team. Prior to Yahoo he worked as chief architect of Borland after the acquisition of Gauntlet Systems where he was also a co-founder and CEO.
Venture capitalists have neglected the enterprise but not anymore. Both Dyckerhoff and Pullara said in interviews today that fundamental changes are taking place in the enterprise with the rise of data. It’s a fundamental change that is forcing a fundamental shift in how the enterprise views software, hardware, data, mobile and security.