It hasn’t taken long for B Capital to amass a pretty hefty third fund.
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 is taking the wraps off a third fund that has amassed $822 million in capital commitments.
That’s almost precisely twice what the now 70-person, growth-stage outfit raised for its second, $410 million fund, which was itself closer in size to B Capital’s debut fund. (That closed with $360 million in capital commitments in 2016.)
All three 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.
All three funds count the firm’s partners — including Saverin — as outsize investors. But while they were the biggest investors in their first two funds, that’s no longer the case, says Ganguly, who says 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 Manahattan Beach, Calif.; 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, Calif. 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 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 are 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, Ca-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.
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