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Norwest Venture Partners

Leading venture and growth equity investment firm managing more than $12.5 billion in capital
Norwest Venture Partners
Leadership team

Promod Haque (Senior Managing Partner)

Jeff Crowe  (Managing Partner)

Jon Kossow ( Managing Partner )

Matthew Howard  (Managing Partner )

Sonya Brown  (Chief People Officer)

Number of Employees
100 - 500
Headquarters
Palo Alto, California, USA
Established
1961
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Summary

Norwest Venture Partners is a venture capital and growth equity fund with its headquarters in Silicon Valley. It also has subsidiaries in India and Israel. The firm invests across various stages, ranging from seed to late stage, and covers a wide range of sectors.

In the venture capital space, Norwest Venture Partners invests in early-stage projects that have world-class technologies and entrepreneurs. They also invest in later-stage companies with existing customers, strong sales, top-tier management, and co-investors. For early-stage companies with strong growth potential, their general goal is to invest between $10 million and $15 million in each company over time, although they may start with smaller amounts as low as $1 million to $5 million, and have the capacity to invest up to $25 million to $30 million.

In the growth equity space, Norwest Venture Partners invests in profitable, market-leading companies that demonstrate exceptional growth potential. They take a long-term and flexible approach to partner with founders and executives, both in minority and control investments. Their investment size typically ranges from $20 million to $150 million. They focus on sectors such as technology, information services, business services, financial services, consumer products/services, and healthcare.


History

Norwest Venture Partners has a rich history that dates back to its founding in 1961. Originally known as Northwest Venture Fund, it was established as a private equity and venture capital affiliate of Norwest Corporation in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The firm experienced early growth and success under the leadership of its CEO, Robert Zicarelli.

In the 1980s, Northwest Venture Fund expanded its operations and influence in the venture capital industry. It opened an office in Silicon Valley, which further solidified its presence in the technology and innovation hub of the United States. During this period, the firm made strategic investments and developed a strong portfolio of companies.

The leadership baton was passed from Robert Zicarelli to Daniel Haggerty, who served as CEO in the 1990s. Under Haggerty's guidance, Northwest Venture Fund continued to thrive and gain prominence in the venture capital landscape.

In 1994, a significant transition took place at the firm. Promod Haque and George J. Still, Jr. took over as managing partners, marking a new era for the company. Promod Haque, with his extensive experience and expertise, played a pivotal role in shaping the future of Norwest Venture Partners.

Over the years, Norwest Venture Partners expanded its investment focus to include a wide range of sectors, such as cloud computing, information technology, internet, SaaS, business and financial services, and healthcare. The firm established itself as a trusted investor in early to late-stage venture and growth equity investments, backing companies with high growth potential and innovative technologies.

Throughout its history, Norwest Venture Partners has been able to build a strong track record of successful investments. It has funded over 650 companies, supporting their growth and development. The firm's investments have included notable companies such as Adaptive Insights, Casper, Dairy Queen, Cray, Dave, Kendra Scott, Opendoor, Plaid, Spotify, Uber, Talkspace, Udemy, and Wiliot, among others.

Norwest Venture Partners has also demonstrated its ability to raise substantial capital to support its investment activities. The firm has raised multiple funds over the years, with significant commitments from limited partners. Notable funds include Norwest Venture Partners XIII, Norwest Venture Partners XIV, Norwest Venture Partners XV, and the most recent one, Norwest Venture Partners XVI, which raised $3 billion and brought the firm's total capital under management to $12.5 billion.

Today, Norwest Venture Partners continues to be a leading venture capital and growth equity investment firm. Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, with additional offices in San Francisco and subsidiaries in Mumbai, India, and Herzelia, Israel, the firm remains dedicated to identifying and supporting promising companies with transformative ideas and strong growth potential across various sectors.


Investment criteria

Norwest Venture Partners follows comprehensive investment criteria to identify and evaluate potential investment opportunities. The firm's investment philosophy revolves around partnering with exceptional entrepreneurs and supporting companies with strong growth potential. Here are some key aspects of Norwest Venture Partners' investment criteria:

  • Stage of Investment: Norwest invests across a range of stages, including early-stage, expansion-stage, and late-stage investments. The firm seeks to back companies at critical points in their growth trajectory, from early development to scaling and market expansion.
  • Sector Focus: Norwest has a diverse sector focus, with particular emphasis on technology-related industries. The firm invests in sectors such as cloud computing and information technology, internet, SaaS, business and financial services, and healthcare. This broad sector approach allows Norwest to identify and capitalize on emerging trends and disruptive technologies.
  • Growth Potential: Norwest seeks companies with significant growth potential. This includes evaluating the market size and opportunity, competitive landscape, scalability of the business model, and the ability to achieve sustainable competitive advantages. The firm looks for companies that can disrupt existing markets or create entirely new ones.
  • Strong Management Team: Norwest places great importance on partnering with exceptional management teams. The firm looks for founders and executives who demonstrate deep domain expertise, strong leadership skills, and a clear vision for their company's future. Norwest values collaborative partnerships and seeks entrepreneurs who are receptive to guidance and support.
  • Differentiation and Innovation: Norwest seeks companies that offer unique products, services, or technologies that differentiate them from competitors. The firm is attracted to companies that demonstrate innovation and have the potential to disrupt traditional industries or create new markets.
  • Scalability and Market Potential: Norwest looks for companies with the potential to achieve significant scale. This involves evaluating the total addressable market (TAM) and assessing whether the company's business model and growth strategies can support substantial expansion. Norwest seeks companies that can achieve sustainable revenue growth and generate attractive returns on investment.
  • Value-Add Partnership: Norwest aims to be a value-add partner to the companies it invests in. Beyond providing capital, the firm leverages its deep industry expertise, network, and operational resources to support portfolio companies. This includes strategic guidance, access to potential customers and partners, assistance with talent recruitment, and help with scaling operations.

Values

Norwest Venture Partners operates based on a set of core values that guide its approach to investing and building partnerships. These values reflect the firm's commitment to integrity, collaboration, and long-term success. Here are the key values upheld by Norwest Venture Partners:

  • Integrity: Norwest places a strong emphasis on integrity in all aspects of its business. The firm maintains the highest ethical standards, acting with transparency, honesty, and fairness in its interactions with entrepreneurs, co-investors, and other stakeholders. Integrity is the foundation of trust, which is essential for building successful and enduring partnerships.
  • Entrepreneurial Spirit: Norwest embraces an entrepreneurial spirit and fosters a culture that encourages innovation, calculated risk-taking, and bold thinking. The firm values and supports visionary entrepreneurs who are driven to create transformative companies. Norwest believes in the power of entrepreneurship to drive economic growth and create positive change.
  • Partnership Approach: Norwest adopts a collaborative and partnership-oriented approach in its dealings with entrepreneurs and portfolio companies. The firm believes that successful investing requires active engagement, mutual respect, and a shared vision between investors and founders. Norwest aims to be a trusted and value-added partner, providing strategic guidance, operational support, and access to its extensive network.
  • Long-Term Orientation: Norwest takes a long-term view when it comes to investing. The firm understands that building great companies takes time and is committed to supporting its portfolio companies throughout their growth journey. Norwest seeks to establish enduring relationships with entrepreneurs, providing patient capital and ongoing support to help companies achieve their full potential.
  • Diversity and Inclusion: Norwest recognizes the value of diversity and inclusion in driving innovation and success. The firm is committed to fostering an inclusive culture and seeks to partner with entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds and perspectives. Norwest believes that diverse teams and leadership contribute to better decision-making, stronger performance, and more robust businesses.
  • Learning and Adaptability: Norwest embraces a culture of continuous learning and adaptability. The firm stays at the forefront of industry trends and evolving market dynamics to identify emerging opportunities. Norwest encourages its team members to stay curious, embrace new ideas, and remain agile in order to navigate the ever-changing landscape of venture capital and support its portfolio companies effectively.
  • Social Responsibility: Norwest acknowledges its social responsibility and strives to make a positive impact beyond financial returns. The firm actively supports initiatives and causes that drive social and environmental change. Norwest is committed to responsible investing practices and considers environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors when evaluating investment opportunities.

Mission

Norwest Venture Partners is driven by a clear and ambitious mission: to partner with exceptional entrepreneurs to build and scale transformative companies that redefine industries and create lasting value. The firm's mission encapsulates its commitment to identifying and supporting visionary founders who have the potential to disrupt markets, drive innovation, and solve real-world challenges. Norwest aims to be more than just a financial investor; it strives to be a trusted and value-added partner throughout the entrepreneurial journey.

At the heart of Norwest's mission is the belief in the power of entrepreneurship to drive economic growth, create jobs, and make a positive impact on society. The firm seeks out opportunities where it can deploy its capital, expertise, and network to help entrepreneurs build world-class companies that have a lasting and meaningful impact. By fostering an environment of collaboration, integrity, and long-term thinking, Norwest aims to empower entrepreneurs to realize their bold visions and unlock the full potential of their businesses.


Portfolio

Norwest Venture Partners has built an impressive portfolio of investments across a wide range of sectors, reflecting its diverse investment strategy and focus on identifying high-potential companies. With over 650 companies funded since its inception, Norwest has a proven track record of partnering with innovative entrepreneurs and supporting their growth journeys. Here are some notable companies in Norwest Venture Partners' portfolio:

  • Spotify: A leading music streaming platform that has transformed the way people listen to music globally.
  • Plaid: A financial technology company that provides APIs for connecting financial accounts and enabling seamless financial transactions.
  • Uber: A ride-hailing and transportation company that has revolutionized the way people commute in cities around the world.
  • Opendoor: A real estate technology company that offers a streamlined process for buying and selling homes.
  • Talkspace: An online therapy platform that provides accessible and convenient mental health services.
  • Kendra Scott: A popular jewellery and accessories brand known for its stylish designs and philanthropic initiatives.
  • Adaptive Insights: A cloud-based financial planning and analysis software company that helps businesses make informed financial decisions.
  • Dairy Queen: A well-known international chain of fast-food restaurants, particularly famous for its soft-serve ice cream and signature Blizzard treats.
  • Udemy: An online learning platform that offers a wide range of courses on various subjects taught by industry experts.
  • Wiliot: A semiconductor company that develops battery-free Bluetooth tags for tracking and monitoring objects.

References
Norwest Venture Partners
Leadership team

Promod Haque (Senior Managing Partner)

Jeff Crowe  (Managing Partner)

Jon Kossow ( Managing Partner )

Matthew Howard  (Managing Partner )

Sonya Brown  (Chief People Officer)

Number of Employees
100 - 500
Headquarters
Palo Alto, California, USA
Established
1961
Social Media