It hasn’t taken long for B Capital to amass a lot of assets under management.
Just five years after the venture firm was launched by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin and Raj Ganguly, a veteran of private-equity firm Bain Capital, the firm says it has closed its second fund with $822 million in capital commitments.
That’s more than two times what the now 70-person, growth-stage outfit raised for its $360 million debut effort in 2016.
Both funds count as an anchor investor the management consulting giant Boston Consulting Group, where Ganguly was an advisor for several years and with which the firm continues to work closely.
As Ganguly has explained the relationship to us previously, through their affiliation, B Capital gets an inside track into what BCG’s corporate clients are missing so it can invest in startups accordingly. B Capital companies also gain access to a dedicated BCG partner who opens up his or her resources and network, which can ostensibly result in big partnerships and other deals.
Both count the firm’s partners — including Saverin — as outsize investors. But while they were the biggest investors in their first fund, and through the first close of this second fund last year (when it was sized at $410 million), that’s no longer the case, says Ganguly. Outside limited partners now own slightly more of the new fund, including two sovereign wealth funds, along with a U.S. nonprofit foundation, an untold number of pension funds and family offices. (If helpful to know, Asia makes up a substantial part of B Capital’s limited partner base, but it has backers in Europe, as well as the U.S., which is home to the majority of its investors.)
The investors are a reflection of the firm’s global approach, Ganguly said yesterday, noting that the firm has, and continues to see, promising opportunities outside of Silicon Valley. Among its biggest bets to date are Icertis, an 11-year-old, Seattle-based contract life cycle management software company, and Ninja Van, a now six-year-old, Singapore-based company that specializes in next-day deliveries for e-commerce companies.
Still, the firm, which has offices in Manhattan Beach, California; San Francisco, New York and Singapore, sees plenty of promise in the Bay Area, especially when it comes to companies whose cross-border strategies it can help develop. For example, B Capital has backed Evidation Health, an eight-year-old, San Mateo, California company that provides clinical validation of health apps and that is expanding into Asia with the help of B Capital.
B Capital, which has two partners in San Francisco, also sees a growing number of interesting startups with a small presence in the Bay Area but a large focus elsewhere. Ganguly points to a CRM company that B Capital recently funded (but can’t yet name publicly). Its executives are based primarily in Mexico and Brazil and the company isn’t selling into U.S. markets. As for why they have a business development person and a sprinkling of other employees in Silicon Valley, it mostly “helps them get a better valuation,” observes Ganguly.
In the meantime, other trends B Capital is tracking center around increasingly distributed teams, and overlooked small- and mid-sized businesses in India specifically that have proven durable over time but could be run far more efficiently given the right tools.
Toward that end, among the firm’s newest bets is Synack, a Redwood City, California-based crowdsourced cybersecurity testing platform that protects critical assets (which is especially helpful in a world with decentralized workplaces); and Khatabook, a Bangalore-based startup that digitizes local businesses through bookkeeping and online payments.
More broadly, B Capital invests in enterprise tech, fintech, healthcare tech, consumer enablement technology and transportation and logistics. The firm typically invests between $10 and $60 million in companies at Series B, C and D stages, and Ganguly says that with its newest fund, it has the flexibility to write a check as small as $100,000 and to invest upwards of $100 million in a company.
Correction: This story originally reported that B Capital just closed its third fund, but the $822 million in capital commitments it has collected represents the second close of a previously reported $410 million fund. Sincere apologies for the confusion.