4

Sutter Hill Ventures

American private equity firm focused on venture capital investments in technology-based start-up companies.
Sutter Hill Ventures
Leadership team

Mike Speiser (Managing Director)

Sam Pullara (Managing Director)

Stefan Dyckerhoff (Managing Director)

Jeff Bird (Managing Director)

Jeff Bird (Limited Partner)

James Gaither (Partner)

Dave Anderson (Partner)

Jim White (Limited Partner)

Number of Employees
50 - 100
Headquarters
Palo Alto, California, U.S.
Established
1964
Social Media
Summary

Sutter Hill Ventures is an American private equity firm focused on venture capital investments in technology-based start-up companies. Founded in 1964, Sutter Hill is one of the oldest venture capital firms still in operation. Based in Palo Alto, CA, the firm is primarily focused on investments in the fields of networking and computer technology, business and financial services, healthcare, web development, and pop culture, and have been known to invest in angel funds.

History

Sutter Hill Ventures is a venture capital firm that has been operating since 1962, and it is based in Menlo Park, California. The firm has been an active player in the technology industry, particularly in the Silicon Valley area, and has invested in some of the most successful companies in the industry.

Sutter Hill Ventures was founded by Bill Draper, a former US Export-Import Bank executive, and Pitch Johnson, a Stanford Graduate School of Business professor, and it was named after Sutter Hill, a small mountain range near Sacramento, California. Initially, the firm focused on investing in companies that had strong ties to the US Department of Defense, particularly in the aerospace and defense sectors. Some of the early investments of the firm included companies like Amdahl Corporation, which was a pioneer in mainframe computing, and Teledyne, which was a leading manufacturer of electronic components.

In the 1970s, Sutter Hill Ventures shifted its focus to the emerging technology industry and started investing in companies that were developing cutting-edge technologies. The firm invested in companies like Atari, a video game manufacturer, and Scientific Micro Systems, a manufacturer of high-performance computer systems. During this time, the firm also invested in the initial public offerings of companies like Apple and Intel, which went on to become some of the most successful companies in the industry.

In the 1980s, Sutter Hill Ventures continued to focus on the technology industry and invested in companies that were developing new software and hardware technologies. The firm was an early investor in companies like LSI Logic, a manufacturer of computer chips, and Symantec, a leading provider of antivirus software. During this time, the firm also invested in the initial public offerings of companies like Sun Microsystems and Oracle.

In the 1990s, Sutter Hill Ventures continued to invest in the technology industry, but it also started to diversify its portfolio and invest in companies in other industries. The firm invested in companies like Genentech, a biotechnology company, and Starbucks, a coffee retailer. During this time, the firm also invested in the initial public offerings of companies like eBay and NetApp.

In the 2000s, Sutter Hill Ventures continued to focus on the technology industry and invested in companies that were developing new software, hardware, and internet technologies. The firm was an early investor in companies like Salesforce.com, a provider of customer relationship management software, and Pure Storage, a provider of flash-based storage systems. During this time, the firm also invested in the initial public offerings of companies like Google and LinkedIn.

Today, Sutter Hill Ventures continues to be an active player in the technology industry and has invested in some of the most successful companies in the industry. The firm has a strong reputation for identifying promising startups and helping them to grow into successful companies. Some of the current portfolio companies of Sutter Hill Ventures include Snowflake, a cloud-based data warehousing company, and Sumo Logic, a provider of cloud-based log management and analytics software.

Investment criteria

Sutter Hill Ventures has a rigorous investment process, and it carefully evaluates potential investment opportunities before making a decision. Sutter Hill Ventures has a set of investment criteria that it uses to identify promising startups and determine whether they are a good fit for its portfolio.

  • Strong Founding Team: Sutter Hill Ventures places a high value on the founding team of a startup. The firm looks for entrepreneurs with a track record of success, deep industry knowledge, and a strong vision for their company. The founding team should also have the skills and experience necessary to execute on their vision and take their company to the next level.
  • Large Market Opportunity: Sutter Hill Ventures looks for startups that are targeting a large and growing market opportunity. The firm wants to see evidence that there is significant demand for the product or service that the startup is offering and that the market has the potential to support a large and successful company.
  • Differentiated Product or Service: Sutter Hill Ventures looks for startups that are developing a product or service that is differentiated from what is currently available in the market. The firm wants to see evidence that the startup has a unique approach to solving a problem or meeting a need that sets it apart from competitors.
  • Scalable Business Model: Sutter Hill Ventures looks for startups that have a scalable business model. The firm wants to see evidence that the startup can grow quickly and efficiently without incurring significant costs. The business model should be able to support large-scale growth and should be adaptable to changing market conditions.
  • Strong Financials: Sutter Hill Ventures looks for startups that have a clear path to profitability and strong financials. The firm wants to see evidence that the startup has a solid understanding of its business model and can generate significant revenue and cash flow. The startup should also have a plan for managing its expenses and achieving profitability in the long term.
  • Potential for Value Creation: Sutter Hill Ventures looks for startups that have the potential to create significant value for its investors. The firm wants to see evidence that the startup has a strong competitive advantage, a clear path to growth and profitability, and the potential to disrupt existing markets or create new ones.

Sutter Hill Ventures is focused on identifying startups that have the potential to become market leaders in their industry. The firm takes a long-term approach to invest and works closely with its portfolio companies to help them achieve their goals and grow into successful businesses.

Values
  • Integrity: Sutter Hill Ventures believes in always doing the right thing, even when it's difficult or unpopular. The firm has a strict code of ethics that guides its behaviour and decision-making, and it expects its portfolio companies to operate with the same level of integrity.
  • Entrepreneurship: Sutter Hill Ventures was founded by entrepreneurs and has a deep appreciation for the entrepreneurial spirit. The firm seeks out founders who are passionate, creative, and willing to take risks to build innovative companies.
  • Partnership: Sutter Hill Ventures believes in working closely with its portfolio companies to help them achieve their goals. The firm takes an active role in helping its founders develop their business strategies, recruit talent, and navigate challenges.
  • Excellence: Sutter Hill Ventures strives for excellence in everything it does. The firm seeks out the best investment opportunities, hires the best team members, and sets high standards for performance.
  • Diversity: Sutter Hill Ventures recognizes the value of diversity in the workplace and in the companies it invests in. The firm is committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion and actively seeks out opportunities to invest in underrepresented founders.
Mission

"To partner with exceptional entrepreneurs to build disruptive, market-leading technology companies."

This mission statement reflects Sutter Hill Ventures' focus on identifying and partnering with the best and brightest entrepreneurs in the technology industry. The firm is committed to helping these entrepreneurs build companies that have the potential to disrupt existing markets and create new ones.

The mission statement also highlights Sutter Hill Ventures' commitment to building market-leading technology companies. The firm is focused on identifying startups that have the potential to become industry leaders and providing the support and resources necessary to help them achieve that goal.

Finally, the mission statement reflects Sutter Hill Ventures' commitment to partnership. The firm sees itself as a partner to its portfolio companies, working closely with them to help them achieve their goals and overcome any challenges they may face along the way.

Portfolio

The firm has a diverse portfolio of companies across a range of industries, including software, healthcare, and consumer technology. Here are some examples of companies in Sutter Hill Ventures' portfolio:

  • Snowflake: Snowflake is a cloud-based data warehousing company that allows customers to store, analyze, and share data across multiple platforms. Sutter Hill Ventures was an early investor in Snowflake, and the company went public in 2020.
  • Sumo Logic: Sumo Logic is a cloud-based log management and analytics platform that helps customers analyze and manage their data in real time. Sutter Hill Ventures was an early investor in Sumo Logic, and the company went public in 2020.
  • Sight Sciences: Sight Sciences is a medical device company that develops and commercializes innovative solutions for glaucoma and dry eye disease. Sutter Hill Ventures led a funding round for Sight Sciences in 2017.
  • PagerDuty: PagerDuty is a cloud-based platform that helps businesses manage their IT operations and respond to incidents in real-time. Sutter Hill Ventures was an early investor in PagerDuty, and the company went public in 2019.
  • NetBrain: NetBrain is a network automation platform that helps businesses automate their network documentation, troubleshooting, and change management processes. Sutter Hill Ventures led a funding round for NetBrain in 2018.
  • Feedzai: Feedzai is a machine-learning platform that helps businesses detect and prevent fraud in real-time. Sutter Hill Ventures led a funding round for Feedzai in 2019.
  • Bill.com: Bill.com is a cloud-based platform that helps businesses automate their accounts payable and accounts receivable processes. Sutter Hill Ventures was an early investor in Bill.com, and the company went public in 2019.

Overall, Sutter Hill Ventures has a diverse portfolio of companies that are disrupting their respective industries with innovative technologies and business models. The firm's investments span a range of industries, and it has a strong track record of identifying and partnering with the best and brightest entrepreneurs in the technology industry.

References
Sutter Hill Ventures
Leadership team

Mike Speiser (Managing Director)

Sam Pullara (Managing Director)

Stefan Dyckerhoff (Managing Director)

Jeff Bird (Managing Director)

Jeff Bird (Limited Partner)

James Gaither (Partner)

Dave Anderson (Partner)

Jim White (Limited Partner)

Number of Employees
50 - 100
Headquarters
Palo Alto, California, U.S.
Established
1964
Social Media