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Greenspring Associates

Pioneered the "flywheel" of venture capital investing, blending funds, direct and secondary investments while also providing bespoke solutions on behalf of large institutions.
Greenspring Associates
Leadership team

C. Ashton Newhall  (Managing General Partner )

James Lim ( Managing General Partner)

John Avirett  (General Partner )

Hunter Somerville (General Partner)

Lindsay Redfield  (General Partner)

Number of Employees
0 - 50
Headquarters
Owings Mills, Maryland, United States of America
Established
2000
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Summary

Greenspring Associates is a venture fund that invests in a variety of sectors, including Information Technology, Healthcare, Communications, and Energy. They have two main investment arms. Firstly, they operate a funds-of-funds platform where they invest in established and emerging venture and growth capital managers. This means that Greenspring Associates invests in other venture capital funds rather than directly investing in companies. Secondly, they also invest directly alongside their managers in companies that they find particularly attractive. This allows them to have a direct stake in these companies.

In addition to direct and indirect investments, Greenspring Associates is also involved in secondary positions. This means that they may acquire positions from other funds, providing liquidity to investors who want to sell their holdings.

As for the types of deals they engage in, Greenspring Associates covers a range of investment sizes. They typically look to invest between $50,000 and $5 million in a single deal, but they may go outside these limits for the right opportunity. In terms of their size, Greenspring Associates manages approximately $7 billion USD in assets. They have a team of 17 professionals and operate from two offices. The firm was founded in 2000, making it around 20 years old.


History

Greenspring Associates has a history rooted in the world of venture capital and investment. The firm was founded in 2000 as Montagu Newhall Associates by C. Ashton Newhall and Rupert Montagu. C. Ashton Newhall, the son of venture capitalist Chuck Newhall, brought a strong background in the industry to the firm.

Originally based in Owings Mills, Maryland, Greenspring Associates focused on investing in the information technology, biotechnology, healthcare, and telecommunications sectors. Over the years, the firm expanded its operations and established additional offices in Palo Alto, California, Miami, Florida, London, and Beijing, reflecting its global reach.

One of the firm's notable contributions to venture capital investing was the pioneering of the "flywheel" approach. Greenspring Associates blended fund investments, direct investments, and secondary investments to create a comprehensive investment strategy. This allowed them to provide bespoke solutions on behalf of large institutions and offered a unique approach to venture capital investing.

Throughout its history, Greenspring Associates made several direct investments in promising companies. Some of the notable investments include Chewy.com, Fuze, Everything But The House, ExactTarget (now Salesforce Marketing Cloud), NeoTract (now Teleflex), euNetworks, GrubHub, Cologix, Cvent, Gigya, Intarcia Therapeutics, Workfront, Teamviewer, DemandBase, Proofpoint, ChannelAdvisor, Cameron Health (now part of Boston Scientific), ScanSafe, and Assent Compliance. These investments showcased the firm's focus on technology-driven sectors and its ability to identify high-potential companies.

In 2010, the firm rebranded as Greenspring Associates, signalling a new chapter in its evolution. The name change reflected the firm's growth and its commitment to maintaining a strong presence in the venture capital industry.

As Greenspring Associates continued to thrive, it garnered recognition for its success and expertise. It raised significant capital for its funds and managed substantial assets under management (AUM). In July 2021, it was announced that Greenspring Associates had agreed to be acquired by StepStone Group in a transaction valued at over $725 million. The acquisition brought the combined firm's assets under management to around $27 billion, solidifying its position as a major player in the venture capital landscape.


Investment criteria

Greenspring Associates follows a specific set of investment criteria when evaluating potential investment opportunities. While the exact criteria may vary depending on the specific circumstances, the following factors generally influence Greenspring Associates' investment decisions:

  • Sector Focus: Greenspring Associates has a broad sector focus, with a particular emphasis on information technology, biotechnology, healthcare, and telecommunications. They seek opportunities in these sectors where they believe there is strong potential for growth and innovation.
  • Stage of Investment: Greenspring Associates invests across various stages of a company's lifecycle. This includes seed capital for early-stage companies, venture capital for emerging and growth-stage companies, and late-stage and IPO investments. They are also open to listed equity investments.
  • Investment Size: Greenspring Associates typically looks to invest between $50,000 and $5 million in a single deal. However, they are flexible and may go outside these limits for the right investment opportunity.
  • Capital Structure: Greenspring Associates employs a flexible capital structure. They make fund investments, direct investments alongside their managers, and secondary investments. This approach allows them to access a diverse range of investment opportunities and provide liquidity options to investors.
  • Management Team: The quality and experience of the management team are crucial factors for Greenspring Associates. They assess the track record, expertise, and vision of the management team to determine the potential for success.
  • Market Potential: Greenspring Associates evaluates the market potential of the target company's products or services. They look for companies operating in large and growing markets with a clear value proposition and competitive advantage.
  • Financial Performance: The financial performance and potential for revenue growth are important considerations for Greenspring Associates. They assess the company's financials, revenue projections, and profitability to gauge its ability to generate returns.
  • Scalability and Innovation: Greenspring Associates looks for companies that have scalable business models and innovative products or services. They seek companies that can disrupt traditional industries or create new market opportunities.
  • Due Diligence: Greenspring Associates conducts thorough due diligence on potential investments, including analyzing the company's financials, market position, competitive landscape, intellectual property, and legal and regulatory factors. They also assess the overall risk-reward profile of the investment.

Values

While specific information about Greenspring Associates' values is not readily available, we can infer certain values and principles based on their investment approach and industry reputation. Here are some values that are commonly associated with venture capital firms like Greenspring Associates:

  • Partnership and Collaboration: Greenspring Associates is known for its collaborative approach. They often partner with other venture capital firms, investment managers, and entrepreneurs to leverage their collective expertise and resources. This emphasis on collaboration reflects a value for building strong partnerships and fostering a supportive ecosystem.
  • Long-Term Vision: Venture capital investments are typically long-term in nature, and Greenspring Associates is likely to value a strategic and forward-thinking perspective. They may prioritize investments that have the potential for sustainable growth and long-term success, rather than focusing solely on short-term gains.
  • Innovation and Disruption: Greenspring Associates invests in sectors such as technology and biotechnology, which are known for their disruptive potential. This suggests a value for innovation and supporting companies that have the ability to transform industries through groundbreaking technologies, products, or services.
  • Responsible Investing: Many venture capital firms are increasingly incorporating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations into their investment decisions. While the specific approach of Greenspring Associates in this regard is not available, they may place importance on responsible investing practices and consider factors such as sustainability, ethical considerations, and social impact.
  • Trust and Integrity: Trust is paramount in the investment industry, and Greenspring Associates is likely to value integrity, transparency, and ethical conduct. Maintaining strong relationships with investors, portfolio companies, and other stakeholders is essential to their long-term success.
  • Entrepreneurial Spirit: Greenspring Associates is deeply involved in the startup ecosystem and works closely with entrepreneurs and innovators. They may value the entrepreneurial spirit, embracing risk-taking, creativity, and adaptability as key drivers of success.
  • Value Creation: As a venture capital firm, Greenspring Associates seeks to generate value for its investors. They may prioritize investments that have the potential for significant growth and value creation, whether through market expansion, product innovation, or operational efficiency.

Mission

Greenspring Associates' mission is to identify and invest in innovative companies with high growth potential while delivering strong returns for their investors. They aim to support entrepreneurs and visionary founders by providing the necessary capital, expertise, and strategic guidance to help these companies succeed. By actively managing a diverse portfolio of investments, Greenspring Associates seeks to drive economic growth, foster innovation, and contribute to the development of industries and markets.

Through their investments, Greenspring Associates strives to be a trusted partner and value-added resource for their portfolio companies. They are dedicated to building long-term relationships based on collaboration, integrity, and shared success. Their mission is not only to generate financial returns but also to support the growth and transformation of their portfolio companies, helping them navigate challenges, scale their operations, and reach their full potential. By fostering entrepreneurship, driving innovation, and creating value, Greenspring Associates aims to make a positive impact on the broader business ecosystem and contribute to the advancement of the global economy


Portfolio

Venture capital firms like Greenspring Associates typically build a diverse portfolio of investments in various companies across different sectors and stages of development. Companies from sectors such as information technology, biotechnology, healthcare, and telecommunications, which are known for their potential for innovation and disruption.

  • Chewy.com: An online retailer of pet food and pet-related products that offers a wide range of brands and delivers directly to customers' doors. Chewy.com has experienced significant growth and was acquired by PetSmart in 2017.
  • Fuze: A cloud-based communications platform that provides unified voice, video, and messaging services to businesses. Fuze enables seamless collaboration and communication across organizations.
  • Everything But The House: An online estate sale marketplace that connects buyers and sellers of unique and collectible items. Everything But The House offers a platform for people to discover and bid on a wide variety of items from art and antiques to furniture and jewellery.
  • ExactTarget (now Salesforce Marketing Cloud): A provider of cloud-based marketing software that helps businesses engage with their customers through email marketing, social media advertising, and other digital marketing channels. ExactTarget was acquired by Salesforce in 2013.
  • NeoTract, Inc. (now Teleflex): A medical device company that develops and manufactures innovative products for the treatment of urological conditions. NeoTract's flagship product, UroLift System, provides a minimally invasive treatment option for patients with an enlarged prostate. NeoTract was acquired by Teleflex in 2017.
  • GrubHub: An online and mobile food ordering platform that connects hungry customers with local restaurants. GrubHub offers a convenient way for users to order food for delivery or pickup from a wide selection of restaurants in their area.

References
Greenspring Associates
Leadership team

C. Ashton Newhall  (Managing General Partner )

James Lim ( Managing General Partner)

John Avirett  (General Partner )

Hunter Somerville (General Partner)

Lindsay Redfield  (General Partner)

Number of Employees
0 - 50
Headquarters
Owings Mills, Maryland, United States of America
Established
2000
Social Media