Following the close of its $85 million fourth fund last year, early-stage venture firm SoftTechVC is bringing on a new venture partner. With an eye on SaaS and enterprise investments, it’s hired Huddle co-founder Andy McLoughlin to join the team and invest in companies in that area.
McLoughlin brings with him a wealth of experience in technology, product, marketing and strategy from Huddle, the enterprise content collaboration company he co-founded in 2006. But following a big round of growth funding that Huddle raised last year, McLoughlin began to think about what the next step in his career would be.
“[Huddle] began to run well enough that I could think about what I wanted to do next,” McLoughlin told me by phone. Turns out his next move will be into the VC world, joining SoftTech after spending the last several years as an active angel investor.
McLoughlin has made 35 investments as an angel, putting his own money into startups like Postmates, Secret Escapes, Apiary, Tray.io, Buffer, Intercom and Pipedrive — some of which overlapped with SoftTech’s portfolio. McLoughlin told us that while he wasn’t actively looking to become a VC, but after spending time with Jeff Clavier and the other partners they all mutually agreed it would make a good fit.
Clavier tells us that SoftTech had been looking for someone who fit McLoughlin’s profile — that is, “a SaaS founder who has seen a company go from zero to a level that Huddle has.” The firm also wanted to bring on board someone who had done angel investing and had the experience of putting their own money in companies.
In his new role, McLoughlin will begin by working with existing enterprise, SaaS and B2B companies within the portfolio, while also looking for new opportunities in that area. Like most every other angel-turned-VC, McLoughlin is aware that he’ll need to slow down his pace of investing as the check size gets bigger.
“You will see tons of deals that you’ll like… But when you’re only able to pull the trigger four or five times a year, you have to be judicious about the chances you take,” McLoughlin said.
The firm, which was founded by Jeff Clavier about 10 years ago, has been gradually growing the size of its funds and the amount it invests into startups. While originally focused on seed and small Series A deals, SoftTechVC’s $85 million fourth fund means its average check size has grown substantially, and so has the amount of time the partners spend with the entrepreneurs and companies they back.
Partly as a result of that shift in investment focus, SoftTech VC partner Charles Hudson will be transitioning into more of a part-time role with the firm. As McLoughlin comes aboard, Hudson will be looking to raise his own fund to invest specifically in very early-stage pre-seed deals.