Costanoa Ventures raises $175 million fund

Costanoa Ventures has raised a $175 million fund, the third fund for the Palo Alto-based venture firm.

With a focus on enterprise technology, Costanoa Ventures typically invests at seed stage and Series A. The new fund brings the total capital for the five-year-old firm to $500 million under management.

Founder and managing partner Greg Sands came from Sutter Hill, and before that was known for coming up with the name Netscape, the dot-com-era web browser where he worked.

Recently, the firm celebrated its exit of Intacct, the accounting software company that was acquired by Sage Group for about $850 million. They were also in Datalogix, which sold to Oracle for more than $1 billion.

Sands tells TechCrunch that he’s looking for “companies that are data-driven, SaaS and the infrastructure that supports them.” He’s also open to opportunities that don’t fit that mold, like their investment in popular flashcard app Quizlet. Costanoa’s team is “smart enough to recognize a really special opportunity and company when we see it.”

The group emphasizes their hands-on approach, considering themselves particularly involved for an early-stage fund. Operating partners Martina Lauchengco and Jim Wilson help incubate the startups and work with product-oriented founders to build sales and go-to-market strategies.

Antony Brydon, founder and CEO of Directly, provided us this quote. “The Costanoa team started working with us months before we were even thinking about raising a round, working on pricing in our office and introducing us to customers, candidates and collaborators that were deep in our domain. Most investors lean back until they invest; I’ve never met an investor that added so much before they had an ownership stake. They are entrepreneurs as much as investors — they’re looking first and foremost to build something great.”

Most of Costanoa’s investments have been in the United States, but they also have a few portfolio companies in Australia.