Emergence, the 18-year-old, San Mateo, California-based venture firm focused on enterprise tech startups, has rounded up nearly a billion dollars in capital commitments across two funds. It closed its sixth early-stage fund with $575 million; the outfit also raised a so-called opportunity fund for the first time, closing it with $375 million in capital commitments.
It’s a significant shift away from standard operating procedure for Emergence, which has funded a string of highly successful companies at their earliest stages but has, until now, maintained a conservative approach when it comes to fundraising, closing its fifth fund in 2018 with $435 million and its fourth fund with $335 million in 2015.
Emergence was an early investor in Zoom, Veeva, Bill.com, SuccessFactors and Box, among many other outfits.
We talked with co-founder Jason Green late last year about the firm’s approach and he said then that it had picked up the pace during the pandemic.
As he told TC, Emergence is now “very much a data-driven, thesis-driven outbound firm, where we’re reaching out to entrepreneurs soon after they’ve started their companies or gotten seed financing.” He also said that as of late last year, the firm was poised to close more deals than “maybe [we] have ever done in the history of the firm, which is amazing to me [considering] COVID. I think we’ve really honed our ability to build this pipeline and have conviction.”
Zoom, whose $30 million Series C round was led by Emergence in 2015, made a considerable difference from a tech perspective. “Zoom is actually helping expand the landscape that we’re willing to invest in,” Green said at the time. “We’re probably seeing 50% to 100% more companies and trying to whittle them down over time and really focus on the 20 to 25 that we want to dig deep on as a team.”
We talked with Green, who is stepping back from the firm, about this new fund yesterday; we’ll have more from that new conversation tomorrow.
In the meantime, the new funds will be managed by co-founder and general partner Gordon Ritter and general partners Kevin Spain, Santi Subotovsky, Joe Floyd and Jake Saper, each of whom joined the firm as junior investment professionals. They are joined by principal Carlotta “Lotti” Siniscalco, who joined the firm in 2018.