GrowthCap’s Top 40 Under 40 Growth Investors Of 2017
12.12.17
Rankings

Intro Logo_5It gives us great pleasure to announce GrowthCap’s list of Top 40 Under 40 Growth Investors.  This is our fourth year publishing the list and 2017 presented some of the strongest, most impressive candidates to date.  Among the awardees are partners who have risen through the ranks at highly reputable organizations, founders who have started their own growth equity firms, and up and comers who have demonstrated a mastery in growth investment deal making.

Each candidate provided detailed information on their professional background, investment track record, and unique approach to working with portfolio companies, all of which was thoroughly evaluated.  In some cases, we were lucky enough to have worked directly with an investor in the past, and in other cases, we received distinct feedback and nominations from their growth investor peers.

Not surprisingly, there are several notable standouts in our 2017 list, including Nehal Raj who leads TPG’s multi-billion-dollar technology investing practice globally to Alex Soltani who embraced a bold approach to deal making when successfully starting his own firm in his late 20s to Dominic Ang who purpose-built a fund to dramatically accelerate portfolio company growth through his proven operating model.

This year we present the list in three categories: Magnates, Pioneers, and Stars.  Unlike in years past, we did not assign individual rankings due to the challenge of comparing apples to apples each individual’s unique investment experience.  The awardees selected for this list have clearly differentiated themselves from their broader peer set and truly represent the most exceptional professionals in the field of growth investing.

– RJ Lumba, Managing Partner

THE MAGNATES

Through deal making prowess, an eye for success, and years of old fashioned hard work, the best investment professionals rise to Partner. The best of the best do so before they turn 40.  The Partner title comes with tremendous responsibility, not only to perform consistently, but also to continually refine their approach in order to consistently produce strong returns for limited partners.  This year’s Magnates exhibit a mastery in identifying opportunities, influencing key individuals to bring a deal together, optimizing deal structure, and orchestrating a successful exit.  They are visionaries, strategists, and statesmen all rolled into one.

NEHAL RAJ

Firm:  TPG

Title:  Partner

1. Nehal Raj

Nehal joined TPG in 2006 and currently runs the firm’s Technology investment practice globally. Nehal’s responsibility covers large check technology private equity, traditional growth equity, and social impact investing deals. Over the course of his career at TPG, Nehal has completed 15 investments across the firm’s Capital, Growth and Rise funds. Nehal is currently a Director of C3 IoT, Domo, EverFi, Mediware, Noodle Analytics (Chairman), Sutherland Global Services, and Zscaler. In addition to significant investment activity, Nehal has successfully exited several investments with impressive returns on invested capital. He previously served as Director of Aptina Imaging (acquired by ON Semiconductor), CCC Information Services (acquired by Advent International), Decision Insight Information Group (acquired by CoreLogic), IMS Health (public), Intergraph (acquired by Hexagon AB), and Symbility Solutions (public). Nehal’s success can be attributed not only to his deep understanding of the software space — particularly in the areas of healthcare IT, security, big data, AI, and IoT — but also to his distinct hands-on partnership approach with portfolio companies.

“For more than a decade, TPG’s technology team has worked to identify management teams and companies that are disrupting markets and changing industries,” said Nehal Raj, Partner at TPG. “By working across three funds – TPG Capital, TPG Growth, and The Rise Fund – we are uniquely positioned to study, understand, and access a wide variety of investment opportunities across technology. This approach has led us to partner with some of today’s most innovative companies, from category-defining IoT platform C3 IoT; to socially-conscious, education technology company EverFi; to leading healthcare SaaS provider Mediware. I look forward to continuing to partner with great management teams and companies across the technology landscape.” – Nehal Raj, TPG

BOB NYE

Firm:  JMI Equity

Title:  General Partner

2. Bob Nye

Bob joined the JMI team in 2005. With deep expertise in software across a variety of segments, Bob has completed 10 deals representing in excess of $330m of invested capital throughout his career. Bob has also successfully exited 6 deals — where he played a critical role in providing strategic guidance to management teams to help drive value — for returns topping industry averages. For example, Bob helped a prior portfolio company recruit an experienced management team, quadruple revenue, transition to a recurring revenue model, and eventually sell to a publicly traded buyer at an attractive valuation. Bob currently sits on the boards of Adknowledge, Benevity, Higher Logic, Level Access, and the Mid-Atlantic Venture Association.

“At JMI, I’ve had the privilege of working with great enterprise software companies at all stages of growth. What they have in common is a need not just for capital, but also for counsel, collaboration, and a business partner. Building companies is hard work. We have a lot of experience with this at JMI, and I hope to share that burden with entrepreneurs and founders.” – Bob Nye, JMI Equity

HAN SIKKENS

Firm:  Summit Partners

Title:  Managing Director

3. Hans Sikkens

Han joined Summit Partners in 2004 and today leads the firm’s European investment efforts as the head of Summit’s London office. Since 2004, Han has invested nearly $1 billion in capital in 11 companies. He works with companies across the technology sector with specific focus on identifying category-leading, high-growth businesses in enterprise software, cybersecurity, internet and financial technology. His investment experience includes companies such as Avast, Darktrace and 360T, and he has developed a deep understanding of supporting growth stage businesses as they aim to expand beyond their domestic markets and establish a global presence. This thesis was executed in Summit’s investment in Flow Traders, which established 24-hour global trading capabilities prior to completing its IPO on the Euronext at a market capitalization of more than €1.6 billion in 2015.

“At Summit, we partner with world-class, late-stage growth companies. Quite a lot of the strong innovation we are witnessing across fintech, cyber security and enterprise software globally is driven by the talented entrepreneurs with whom we are partnered. As part of my role leading Summit’s team in Europe, it is a privilege to work closely with these talented entrepreneurs every day – individuals who are at the forefront of their industries, tackling some of today’s greatest challenges and building strong businesses with new, game-changing technology solutions.” – Han Sikkens, Summit Partners

DAN LOMBARD

Firm:  Polaris Partners

Title:  Partner

4. Dan Lombard

Dan has worked in growth equity for 10 years. Prior to joining Polaris Partners in 2015, Dan worked as an investment professional at Symmetric Capital and HIG Growth Partners. Dan is a member of the Polaris Partners later stage software and tech-enabled services practice, which focuses on growth equity as well as recapitalizations of founder-led, bootstrapped businesses that are profitable. By employing a focused approach on defining growth strategies and executing on TAM expansion, Dan assists management teams on creating compelling pathways that position them for long-term sustainable growth and viable exit opportunities. Dan currently serves on the boards of Baxter, Cityworks, Dealer Spike, and TRG.

“We are lucky at Polaris to be able to leverage 20+ years of technology investing, which has fostered a wealth of resources and growth experts that we bring in support of our portfolio. Our later stage strategy focuses on partnering with bootstrapped entrepreneurs to unlock future growth and value by expanding into new products, customer segments, and geographies. We have the additional significant benefit of leveraging the experience, relationships, and portfolio companies of our early stage practice.  The privilege of working with talented founders and teams – and embracing the challenge of setting the business up for sustainable, profitable growth – is what inspires our team on a daily basis.” – Dan Lombard, Polaris Partners

RYAN HINKLE

Firm:  Insight Venture Partners

Title:  Managing Director

5. Ryan Hinkle

Following his undergraduate degree at the University of Pennsylvania, Ryan joined the Insight team. Over the course of his 14-year career, Ryan has been promoted to Partner, participated in high profile deals like Twitter, and deployed over $1.9 billion in capital across 25 investments. Over the last 12 months, Ryan has assisted portfolio companies in completing seven add-on acquisitions with total value greater than $500 million. With a trusted, empathy-based approach to his relationships with management teams, Ryan has amassed a wealth of respect and expertise in a variety of software sub-sectors, particularly in Education.

“Insight’s platform provides access to many resources, but it’s our management teams that ultimately drive the degree of success.  It is such a privilege to work alongside these teams, and I am particularly grateful for my relationships with them.  The reality is that we only have great outcomes if our teams have great outcomes.  Observing the life-changing impact successful exits have on our management teams is one of the most rewarding aspects of this profession.  Growth equity is particularly powerful as we can witness metamorphic evolution from ~25 employees to over 1000 employees.  Growth in equity value is matched—if not exceeded—by the personal growth of the leadership teams that drive the businesses.  It is humbling to witness it unfold as a participant in the board room.  I am attracted to opportunities where great vision meets great execution and I can imagine history repeating itself in driving tenfold (or greater) increases in scale, value, and impact.” – Ryan Hinkle, Insight Venture Partners

BEN WEINBERG

Firm:  Susquehanna Growth Equity

Title:  Partner

6. Ben Weinberg

Ben is a Partner at Susquehanna Growth Equity, where he focuses on enterprise software companies serving slow-adopting and fragmented industries.  SGE’s orientation as a hybrid between a growth equity firm and family office enables Ben to approach investment opportunities with a long term time horizon. Ben’s investments include Buildout, Field Nation, GlobalTranz, HighRadius, iContracts, Macropoint (acquired by Descartes Systems) and 10-4 Systems (acquired by Trimble). Prior to joining SGE, Ben was a Principal at Element Partners. He earned his MBA from Harvard Business School, and a BA from Yale.

“At SGE, we get to work with the most dynamic growth companies in the world.  We invest evergreen capital, which allows us to be uniquely flexible on investment horizon, check size and ownership structure. This approach has been especially valuable in our work with companies in slow-adopting markets where we can leverage our strong market knowledge and long-term orientation to make transformational bets and help build enduring value.” – Ben Weinberg, SGE

JENNY BAXTER MOSER

Firm:  TSG Consumer

Title:  Partner

7. Jenny Baxter Moser

Jenny joined TSG Consumer in 2007 following completion of her MBA at Harvard Business School. She previously worked at Bain & Company in a strategy consulting role. While Jenny works across a range of consumer categories at TSG, she has developed deep experience in the areas of beauty, apparel, and e-commerce. She has taken an active role in building out TSG’s digital advisory network, strengthening the firm’s existing sourcing efforts, and serving as a mentor to junior level employees. Over the course of Jenny’s time at TSG, the firm has successfully raised three funds including it’s current fund, TSG7, with roughly $2.5 billion of committed capital. Jenny has been personally involved in TSG’s investments in Smashbox Cosmetics, Dogswell, Kenra Professional, e.l.f. cosmetics, Paige, Alexis Bittar, REVOLVE, and Backcountry.

“I feel very fortunate to be part of TSG Consumer because I get to work alongside passionate founders and management teams to help build innovative brands.  TSG has been investing exclusively in the consumer sector for 30 years which gives us a differentiated ability to identify and support those brands we believe have the potential to become leaders in their respective categories.  Our unique insights on customer behaviors and purchasing habits led us to invest in the digital space earlier than many of our competitors, including our investments in REVOLVE and Backcountry.  As part of our digital expertise, we have assembled best-in-class digital resources to support our partner companies across social media, user experience design, platform technology and beyond.  It’s been incredibly rewarding to be part of TSG’s growth and success over the last ten years, and I think the best is yet to come!” – Jenny Baxter Moser, TSG Consumer

RAFAEL COFIÑO

Firm:  Great Hill Partners

Title:  Partner

8. Rafael Cofino

Rafael has worked at Great Hill for over 5 years where he currently is a Partner. Throughout his career, Rafael has invested over $650 million across 10 companies. He helped lead the first institutional investment in Wayfair, which has grown into the second largest independent ecommerce vendor in the United States. Today he focuses on growth investments with a particular interest in healthcare, enterprise software, and technology-enabled business services. Rafael currently sits on the board of PartsSource, Qualifacts, Quantum Health, and RxBenefits. He has also been involved in Great Hill’s investments in DealerRater (acquired by Cars.com), Passport Health Communications (acquired by Experian), and Wayfair (NYSE: W). Rafael began his investing career at Technology Crossover Ventures and also spent time at Battery Ventures. He has a Bachelor of Business Administration from The University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

“At Great Hill, our singular focus is to partner with founders and executives to help build category leading growth companies. We believe our success is defined by the accomplishments of our portfolio companies and over the years have been fortunate to partner with a talented group of executives that have built great value for their customers, employees and investors. As we look forward, we are excited for the opportunity to invest in the next generation of innovative companies that we see reshaping industries as diverse as healthcare, consumer retail, financial services and enterprise.” – Rafael Cofiño, Great Hill Partners

MATT EMERY

Firm:  JMI Equity

Title:  Partner

9. Matt EmeryMatt has 11 years of growth equity investing experience, all of which has been at JMI. Over his career, Matt has deployed $375m of invested capital across 10 deals, $90m of which was invested over the last 12 months. With a distinct focus on Software and Healthcare IT businesses, Matt has been instrumental in generating industry leading returns on JMI’s most recent exits in the space. Matt currently sits on the boards or oversees the JMI investments in Axonify, Healthx, PointClickCare, and Workfront where he utilizes his expertise to drive operational best practices and sustainable value.

“Working with innovative software and healthcare IT companies that are solving complex challenges for their customers is incredibly fulfilling. JMI’s holistic approach of standing shoulder-to-shoulder with founders and management teams is core to the success stories that we’ve delivered to our investors. We see tremendous opportunities for continuing to help management teams build value in this fast-growing sector.” – Matt Emery, JMI Equity

MIKE ZAPPERT

Firm:  Adams Street Partners

Title:  Partner

10. Mike Zappert

Mike Zappert joined Adams Street in 2009 and currently leads the firm’s efforts in Enterprise SaaS, Data, Cloud, and Mobile investments. Mike has completed 22 deals during his career, representing over $370m in deployed capital. He currently sits on the board of directors at Lever, Visier, Smule, and Mintigo, and is a board observer at Tripping and Couchbase. Most notably, Mike led Adams Street’s investment in ServiceMax, which was acquired by GE for nearly $1 billion in 2016.

“Adams Street Partners has a long tradition in the technology space of backing world-class teams who are going after big markets with great products.  We focus on helping accelerate our companies’ growth from initial product/market fit to an IPO and beyond.  I’m thrilled to partner with Entrepreneurs building the next generation of public companies in the SaaS, Cloud and Mobile spaces.  It’s a real privilege to continue Adams Street’s impressive tradition of late stage venture investing.” – Mike Zappert, Adams Street

BLAKE HESTON

Firm:  W Capital Partners

Title:  Partner

11. Blake Heston

Blake joined the W Capital team in 2007, prior to which he worked in technology M&A at Lehman Brothers. While W Capital employs a generalist approach to investing, Blake spends a significant amount of his time focused on opportunities for software, security and tech-enabled companies. Over the course of his career he has completed 16 investments, representing more than $400 million of total invested capital. Blake’s current investments include Acquia, Brainshark, Inspirato, Jordan Health, MINDBODY (NASDAQ: MB), Ravn Air and Vision Critical.  His past investments included Dynacast (acquired by Partners Group), Neolane (acquired by Adobe) and Ping Identity (acquired by Vista Equity).

“The entrepreneurs and management teams that I work with are remarkable.  It is their passion and commitment to building market leading businesses with great long-term growth potential that drives me and helps define W Capital’s mission. We provide flexible capital solutions that alleviate the natural shareholder liquidity pressures that emerge over a company’s lifecycle. Partnering with companies and their shareholders, we craft non-disruptive liquidity transactions to renew stakeholder alignment and support continued growth.  Over the past 16 years W Capital has pioneered this approach to minority investing, building an incredible portfolio, team and culture that I’m fortunate to be part of.” – Blake Heston, W Capital Partners

MICHAEL MEDICI

Firm:  Summit Partners

Title:  Managing Director

12. Michael Medici

Michael joined Summit Partners in 2005 and currently focuses on leading many of the firm’s technology-focused venture capital investments. Michael has specific expertise in the enterprise software/SaaS, communications technology, financial technology, retail technology and infrastructure software segments. Since 2005, Michael has invested more than $300 million in capital in 15 companies and exited seven investments. Michael was involved in Summit’s 2013 investment in Acacia Communications – a provider of ultra-high-speed coherent optical interconnect solutions. Over the next three years, Michael worked closely with Acacia management to help scale the business and position the company for its 2016 IPO (NASDAQ:ACIA). Today, the company is valued at a market capitalization of more than $1.5 billion.

“Working alongside business leaders who are helping to shape the landscape of technology is far and away the best part of my job. Summit Partners has been investing in exceptional entrepreneurs across the technology sector for more than three decades, providing strategic and tactical resources to support their growth. It has been incredibly rewarding to partner with several of these entrepreneurs to help them realize their vision.” – Michael Medici, Summit Partners

DAVID GREENBERG

Firm:  JMI Equity

Title:  General Partner

13. David Greenberg

David worked as an associate at Cascadia Capital and an analyst at Houlihan Lokey prior to joining the JMI team in 2006. With nearly $300 million of invested capital across 8 deals, David has assisted his portfolio companies on successfully navigating the complexities of increasing the scale of their operations. Of particular note was David’s involvement on a prior investment where he played a critical role in helping the company exponentially increase revenue, double the customer list, strengthen the management team, and position the business for sale to a publicly traded strategic acquirer. David currently sits on the boards of Businessolver, CoreHR, Intelex, and SiriusDecisions.

“It gives me great satisfaction to discover and partner with talented software entrepreneurs who are looking to rise to the next level of expansion. JMI brings not just sector expertise and experience, but also a keen appreciation for developing sound leadership principles at our portfolio companies that set the stage for long-term success.” – David Greenberg, JMI Equity

NICK CAYER

Firm:  Great Hill Partners

Title:  Partner

14. Nick Cayer

Nick has spent the last 12 years at Great Hill where he currently serves as a Partner. Nick has deployed $800 million of equity capital across 15 investments over the course of his career. With deep sector experience in FinTech and SaaS, Nick has generated strong, industry leading returns across his 8 exits. Of particular note was Nick’s investment in Advanced Payment Technologies, an integrated payment business which was taken private in 2008, built over 4 years, and sold in 2012 to Global Payments. Nick currently sits on the board of Confirmation.com, AffiniPay, Chrome River Technologies, Network Merchants, BlueSnap, and Vanco Payment Solutions.

“The best part of my job is meeting new people and learning about exciting companies and their business models. I enjoy hearing how entrepreneurs and management teams have built their businesses… and hope my investing experience can provide value-added insight, regardless of whether I become an investor in the business.  This approach is embedded in Great Hill’s DNA – we pride ourselves with a comprehensive research-driven investment model that allows us to build deep domain expertise across various market sectors.  This has allowed me to be a strong board-level strategic partner to management teams.” – Nick Cayer, Great Hill Partners

KATIE STITCH

Firm:  W Capital Partners

Title:  Partner

15. Katie Stitch

Katie started her career in various finance roles at JP Morgan and Bank of America prior to joining the W Capital team in 2005 during the early days of W Capital defining the emerging direct secondary market. Katie leverages her experience from existing investments in the information technology, consumer, retail, and financial services sectors to provide a unique shareholder liquidity solution across a myriad of industries. During her time at W Capital, Katie has completed more than 25 transactions and has invested roughly $350 million. Katie prides herself on her data-driven approach to management partnerships, which manifests in a hands-on, collaborative relationship with portfolio companies and fellow board members. Katie currently sits on the board of FreshDirect.

“Since pioneering the market for shareholder liquidity at W Capital, we have had the privilege of being invited to invest in so many incredible companies. I’ve been fortunate to have had the opportunity to grow with our market and, given our firm’s relationship-first approach, to invest alongside many great investment firms and dedicated management teams. The renewed energy our liquidity transactions bring is always exciting: While our deals involve creatively solving the liquidity needs of shareholders, we approach our investments with a growth mindset and relish opportunities to deploy equity for organic or inorganic growth initiatives.” – Katie Stitch, W Capital Partners

THOMAS BREMNER

Firm:  Adams Street Partners

Title:  Partner

16. Thomas Bremner

Thomas Bremner joined Adams Street in 2013 following six years at Summit Partners. Over his 10-year growth equity career, Thomas has developed significant expertise in the healthcare technology space and maintains a deep network of contacts across the healthcare landscape. He has led or co-led 16 investments totaling roughly a $250 million in capital deployed.  Thomas currently sits on the board of Solera Health, healthfinch, and Maxwell Health and is a board observer for CareCloud.

“At Adams Street, we’ve been investing in and partnering with incredibly talented entrepreneurs since 1972.  It’s been a privilege to carry on this tradition by seeking out the best leaders across the healthcare technology and services landscape.  The rapid change in healthcare is accelerating the adoption of technology and creating great opportunities for innovative companies.  I feel fortunate to be with a firm like Adams Street that provides flexibility across the venture and growth investing ecosystem so we can focus on partnering with great entrepreneurs and doing our best to support them in building world-class companies.” – Thomas Bremner, Adams Street

BRIAN HERSMAN

Firm:  JMI Equity 

Title:  General Partner

17. Brian Hersman

Prior to joining JMI in 2008, Brian was a senior associate at Vista Equity Partners. He also worked with software and services companies as a business analyst at McKinsey & Company. Brian has completed 7 deals over the course of his career, representing $275m of invested capital. Most importantly, Brian’s exited investments have achieved cumulative gross returns well in excess of industry averages. Brian played an active role in assisting one of his investments in driving a 30% revenue CAGR, dramatically increasing recurring revenue, and successfully positioning the business for sale to a publicly traded strategic buyer. Brian currently sits on the boards of Arena, Classy, EMS Software, Innovative Interfaces, and Intradiem.

“It’s exciting to play a part in building leading software businesses, and to see the impact that these companies bring to diverse industries. At JMI, our track record of partnering closely with management teams combines with a flexible approach to investments that yields successful outcomes for founders and investors.” – Brian Hersman, JMI Equity

SUSAN BIHLER

Firm:  Catalyst Investors

Title:  Partner

18. Susan Bihler

Susan joined Catalyst Investors in 2009 and has since deployed over $200 million of growth capital across 11 investments. Susan primarily focuses on B2B software and mission critical business services companies that operate across a variety of verticals (e.g. HR technology, education technology, healthcare technology). Susan worked heavily on Catalyst’s investment in MindBody (Nasdaq:MB) which was exited for a strong return within the last year. Susan currently sits on the board of Envoy Global, Datavail, and Clinicient.

“I started my career as a lender and was always drawn to high-growth companies. When I moved to Catalyst as an equity investor eight years ago, it became clear that growth stage investing satisfied my conservative lending mentality while providing amazing upside potential for the equity. I focus on B2B technology across various functional and vertical areas with investments that range from business management SaaS for fitness studios to software that simplifies collections for physical therapists. It’s exciting to know that these companies have the potential to change how we live and do business. As a growth equity investor, I am fortunate to partner with incredibly talented entrepreneurs and management teams and I look forward to continuing to help them build great growth companies.” – Susan Bihler, Catalyst Investors

HOLLY MCCONNELL

Firm:  General Catalyst

Title:  Managing Director

19. Holly McConnell

Holly began her growth equity career at Guidepost Growth Equity (fka North Bridge Growth Equity) in 2010. At Guidepost, Holly worked closely on sourcing and executing investments in software-based companies in the infrastructure, communications, human capital management, marketplaces, manufacturing, and digital media spaces. Since joining General Catalyst in 2017, Holly continues to focus on later-stage companies that have achieved product market fit and sufficient capital efficiency. Holly prides herself on a partnership and data driven, pattern recognition approach to assisting her portfolio company CEOs on successfully disrupting industries and creating meaningful value. Holly’s prior investment experience includes Dyn, WP Engine, erecruit, Spoonflower.

“The best businesses offer customers something truly valuable, whether it’s mission-critical infrastructure, an amazing experience, or an application that simplifies processes. My philosophy as an investor is to bring entrepreneurs exceptional value through a trusted partnership — helping to scale their companies to the next level while further innovating, building unique cultures, and delivering an excellent customer experience.” – Holly McConnell, General Catalyst

JAMES BURKE

Firm:  Triangle Capital Corporation 

Title:  Managing Director

20. James Burke

James joined Triangle Capital (NYSE:TCAP)—a publicly traded business development company focused on a variety of customized financing solutions including first lien, unitranche, and subordinated debt as well as equity for lower middle market companies—in 2010. James has completed over 35 transactions representing $500 million in invested capital over the course of his career. With expertise in enterprise software, digital media, and eCommerce, James has positioned himself as an investor who can help provide creative financing solutions that address both operational and financial challenges as businesses navigate growth. To this end, James has successfully supported numerous sponsors and management teams in creating unique capital structures from traditional growth financings to license to SaaS revenue model transitions.

“We offer a variety of financing structures and have the flexibility to structure our investments to meet the needs of our portfolio companies.  Our senior management team has extensive experience advising, investing in, lending to and operating companies across changing market cycles. The members of our management team have diverse investment backgrounds, with prior experience at investment banks, commercial banks, and privately and publicly held companies in the capacity of executive officers.  We believe this diverse experience provides us with an in-depth understanding of the strategic, financial and operational challenges and opportunities of the lower middle market companies in which we invest.” – James Burke, Triangle Capital Corporation

 

THE PIONEERS

What’s exceptional about this set of individuals is their skill in starting their own firms, their sheer determination, and their ability to compete and win in a hyper competitive marketplace.  Many started out on a deal-by-deal basis and over time accumulated impressive track records that represent astounding returns. The Pioneers embody the entrepreneurial spirit and approach investing with an energy and mindset that inspire the management teams they back to scale rapidly and achieve their full potential.

ALEX SOLTANI

Firm:  Skyview Capital

Title:  Founder and Chairman

21. Alex Soltani

Alex founded Skyview 13 years ago, prior to which he worked at Platinum Equity. Since inception, Skyview has completed over 30 transactions and has exited 13 of its portfolio companies. With a heritage of executing complex corporate carve-outs in the enterprise software and telecom space, Alex has developed significant expertise in driving operational best practices and accelerating growth through strategic add-on acquisitions. For example, Skyview acquired Syncplicity in 2015 at a point when it was burning a significant amount of cash. Within 18 months, Skyview assisted in rightsizing the business, optimizing sales and marketing, and accelerating revenue growth. Skyview successfully sold Syncplicity to Axway in February of 2017. Alex recently launched Skyview Ventures which focuses on earlier stage disruptive technology investments.

“I enjoy working with businesses that we feel have untapped yet significant potential; we like to think of ourselves as a hybrid financial/operational resource that founders, management teams and stakeholders alike can leverage for growth. Although it can be a significant undertaking, there is a deep sense of satisfaction that comes with taking a historically stagnant, mature, or underperforming business and unlocking its true inherent potential. At Skyview, we provide a unique and differentiated solution to large multinational corporations, business owners and any stakeholders who need help realizing value in their business. Many publicly traded companies within the Fortune 2000 community enjoy working with us because of our ability to quickly execute on some very complex corporate carve-outs with minimal disruption to their internal processes, employees and customers. We also work closely with founders and management teams to identify organic growth initiatives by driving operational best practices, while also combing for add-on strategic acquisitions to further accelerate that development.” – Alex Soltani, Skyview Capital

DOMINIC ANG

Firm:  Turn/River Capital

Title:  Founder

22. Dominic Ang

Dominic founded Turn/River Capital in 2012 following roles at Vector Capital and Advent International. Turn/River was founded with a distinct focus on investing in high-growth SaaS companies and helping them drive additional scale through optimizing marketing, pricing, sales, and renewals. Over the course of his career, Dominic has completed more than 15 deals representing over $500 million of invested capital. Since inception, Turn/River has generated returns that position it at the top of the growth equity asset class. With significant traction in terms of new investments and exits, the fund will likely continue to outperform peers while providing impressive outcomes for growth stage companies.

“At Turn/River, we believe that the new breed of technology and SaaS companies we see today — leaner teams, data driven while moving with high velocity — requires a new kind of investor.  Turn/River was purpose-built for these companies, combining flexible capital that can power growth, liquidity, and acquisitions for bootstrapped companies, spin-outs, and roll-ups with an incredibly deep operational team and playbook focused on accelerating sales and marketing.  On average, we help our companies double their growth rate in the first 9 months, building significant value for everyone.” – Dominic Ang, Turn/River

MATTHEW SAFAII

Firm:  Arrowroot Capital

Title:  Founder

23. Matthew Safai

Following a role at TA Associates and serving as Head of Acquisitions at Actua (NASDAQ:ACTA), Matthew founded Arrowroot Capital in 2014. Under Matthew’s leadership, Arrowroot has achieved significant early success and recently closed its oversubscribed third fund for $177 million (November 2017). Matthew brings a wealth of experience to his portfolio companies, most importantly deep expertise in building out successful sales and marketing strategies. While at Actua, Matthew led the firm’s investment in VelocityEHS, which just announced its sale to CVC for $340 million. Matthew currently sits on the board of MedNet Solutions, Cygialnt, Zift Solutions, Evergage, Embiotics, Hookit, and Leadspace and previously sat on the board of VelocityEHS.

“It is an honor to collaborate with our management teams during an exciting phase of their companies’ journeys. We are uniquely positioned in bringing large, private equity resources to the lower middle-market enterprise software space, where we can be a value-added partner and help accelerate growth efficiently through our Strategic Resources Group and expertise and in scaling SaaS companies.” – Matthew Safaii, Arrowroot Capital

KEVIN ANGELIS

Firm:  BHMS

Title:  Co-Founder

24.-Kevin-Angelis.jpgPrior to co-founding BHMS in 2010, Kevin worked for Morgan Stanley investing in both distressed debt and private equity transactions.  In his last role at Morgan Stanley, Kevin was in the Special Situations Group where he primarily worked with distressed portfolio companies.  Kevin also invested over $425 million in global private equity and venture capital as part of Morgan Stanley Principal Investments.  Prior to Morgan Stanley, Kevin focused on middle market buyout and mezzanine opportunities at The Carlyle Group and American Capital.  Kevin co-founded BHMS in 2010 to form a lower middle-market focused vehicle with the resident expertise to actively participate in the different parts of the investing cycle.  Outside of the office, Kevin serves on the Financial Policy Committee of the Lafayette College Board of Trustees.

ROBERT SALAMON

Firm:  BHMS

Title:  Co-Founder

25.-Rob-Salamon.jpgPrior to co-founding BHMS in 2010, Robert worked at KKR where he co-managed a generalist $1.25 billion opportunistic value portfolio.  At KKR, Robert sourced and invested in both public debt and equity using a long-term, concentrated, private equity approach.  Prior to KKR, Robert worked as an investment banker at JPMorgan.  In his last role at JPMorgan, Robert led several highly structured transactions and developed new financial products.  In co-founding BHMS, Robert leverages his diverse investing experience and structuring background to provide flexible partnership-centric solutions to companies in the lower middle-market.  Outside the office, Robert serves on the UJA Private Equity Committee.

STEVE WOLFE AND NATE GROSSMAN

Firm:  Growth Street Partners

Title:  Co-Founders

26. Nate and Steve Grossman

Steve and Nate founded Growth Street Partners in late 2016 following multiple years working together at Mainsail Partners. Growth Street’s first fund was oversubscribed and capped at $70 million in just four months. Since founding Growth Street, Steve and Nate have completed investments in Pear Deck, a K-12 SaaS classroom engagement company, and ChildCareCRM, a sales and marketing SaaS company focused on the early childhood learning space. Steve and Nate are focused on high-growth, differentiated software businesses founded by experienced management teams.

“We launched Growth Street Partners to provide early growth capital to founders of vertically focused, rapidly growing B2B SaaS and technology-enabled services companies. We seek to partner with founders located outside the country’s technology centers who come from industry. This means they lived the problem their business is now solving – giving them significant scaling efficiencies and unique perspective. The firm’s goal is to provide the entrepreneur with a balance of capital and help, allowing them to accelerate their business without losing control.” – Steve Wolfe, Nate Grossman, Growth Street Partners

JULIAN STEINBERG

Firm:  Alliance Consumer Growth

Title:  Co-Founder

27. Julian Steinberg

Julian has an entrepreneurial background in investing, having founded and led the merchant banking effort at Atlas Advisors prior to co-founding Alliance Consumer Growth in 2011. With a strict focus on high growth consumer brands, Julian has completed 25 growth equity deals throughout his career representing roughly $400 million of invested capital. Julian has enjoyed notable recent success with 5 deals and $100 million of invested capital in the last 12 months and the sale of Babyganics to SC Johnson last year. Julian currently sits on the boards of the Honest Kitchen, Kriser’s Natural Pet, Tata Harper, NUDESTIX, and Pacifica.

“My partners and I founded Alliance Consumer Growth because we saw a white space in the consumer landscape to provide growth equity and specialized support to best in class consumer brands.  The consumer sector is undergoing a massive generational shift across virtually every category where consumers are demanding better, authentic brands and products.  The breakdown of traditional marketing and the rise of capital efficient contract manufacturing enables entrepreneurs to compete on a scale they never could before.  It has never been a better time to be a consumer entrepreneur and therefore a growth investor in the branded space consumer.” – Julian Steinberg, Alliance Consumer Growth

 

THE STARS

This year’s Stars might not yet hold the title of Partner, but they consistently punch above their weight.  The Stars have differentiated themselves as true standouts within the industry, combining the skills of a seasoned investor with sound investment judgement, deal execution capabilities, and fresh perspectives.  They consistently manage the full lifecycle of a deal–from sourcing to execution–and have demonstrated the ability to generate above market returns by delivering unparalleled advice to their portfolio companies.

DREW LOUCKS

Firm:  Great Hill Partners

Title:  Principal

28. Drew Loucks

Drew has 10 years of investing experience, beginning his career at Tudor Ventures prior to joining the Great Hill team. Throughout his investment career he has invested over $500 million across 10 companies. Drew differentiates himself through deep sector experience in internet infrastructure, managed services and communications, which he gained through his involvement with Latisys, a co-location and managed services company, which sold to Zayo in 2015. Drew currently sits on the board of Evolve IP, Symmetry Corporation, Ascenty, Reliam, Reflexis Systems, and Reward Gateway.

“I am passionate about partnering with entrepreneurs and management teams to help them execute upon the collective strategic initiatives to build long-lasting companies. The managers I have worked with know the attributes I admire most in an entrepreneur and executive — competitiveness, persistence, team building, strategic thinking, and smart risk taking. They can count on Great Hill to bring these same qualities to the table along with trying to have fun together on the journey.” – Drew Loucks, Great Hill Partners

MARC MUNFA

Firm:  Silversmith Capital Partners

Title:  Principal

29. Marc Munfa

Marc has 14 years of investing experience, 5 of which has been spent in growth equity. Prior to joining Silversmith in 2015, Marc worked as a Vice President at JMI and as an Associate at Morgan Stanley Private Equity. Marc has deployed greater than $200 million in capital across 5 deals throughout his time in growth equity. With deep expertise in SaaS & Information services, including human resources, financial, supplychain, and GRC technologies, Marc has differentiated himself among his peers. Given Silversmith’s focused approach, the firm has developed extensive resources and best practice expertise which helps drive successful outcomes. Marc currently sits on the boards of Digital Map Products, Absorb Software, and Transitional Services for New York, a non-profit that provides community-based services to individuals with mental disabilities.

“Specialization matters to us at Silversmith Capital Partners.  What we’re looking for is easy to articulate but difficult to find – founder-led companies, in our two core verticals of SaaS & Information Services and Healthcare IT & Services, that are of early scale, growing while maintaining profitability, and have never raised institutional capital.  Because these businesses definitionally don’t require outside capital to sustain their operations, we believe our specialization by stage and vertical gives us a perspective to best help our management teams.” – Marc Munfa, Silversmith Capital Partners

SHAMIT MEHTA

Firm:  Guidepost Growth Equity

Title:  Principal

30. Shamit Mehta

Shamit joined Guidepost in 2013 after having worked at both Great Hill Partners and Susquehanna Growth Equity. Shamit has invested over $450 million into 13 companies over the course of his career, with 8 successful exits representing an industry leading return on investment. In addition to his track record of above average returns, Shamit has differentiated himself as a successful advisor to portfolio companies, where he has developed unique relationships with CEOs and helped drive sustainable, long-term value. Shamit’s current investments include OutSystems, Jive Communications and Aeropost.

“As a growth equity investor, my passion is assisting entrepreneurs to achieve their vision of accelerating growth and building long-term strategic value. I take pride in connecting CEOs with great executives and board members who share the same excitement. Successful management teams have a choice of capital partners. They chose our team because of the value-add we provide and because we enjoy the journey. I’m fortunate to have the support of Guidepost’s resources and am privileged to partner with remarkable executives.” – Shamit Mehta, Guidepost Growth Equity

JOHN CONNOLLY

Firm:  Spectrum Equity

Title:  Principal

31. John Connolly

John has worked in growth equity for 8 years, all of which have been with Spectrum Equity. Over the course of his career, John has completed 9 transactions representing approximately $430 million of invested capital. John has been most active with education technology, consumer internet, online marketplace and SMB software companies. Notably, John was involved in Spectrum’s investments in Grubhub, which went public in 2014, and Finalsite, which was sold in 2016. Currently John is involved in the firm’s investments in Headspace, GoodRx, Prezi and Ancestry.com and sits on the boards of Teachers Pay Teachers, Jimdo and ExamSoft.

“Spectrum’s singular focus on growth-stage, internet, software and information services companies with recurring revenue business models provides us with deeply relevant expertise and extensive networks. We are purpose built to help these types of companies accelerate grow and create lasting businesses that define the categories in which they operate. I feel lucky to be part of the Spectrum team and to be able to partner with the exceptional management teams we have supported.” – John Connolly, Spectrum Equity

MATTHEW HAMILTON

Firm:  Summit Partners

Title:  Principal

32. Matt Hamilton

Matt joined Summit Partners in 2005 as an Associate and currently serves as a Principal in the firm’s Boston office. Matt focuses primarily on consumer, retail, financial services and financial technology businesses, and within the last 18 months, he has invested nearly $300 million in capital in three companies across these sectors. Since 2005, Matt has invested nearly $650 million across seven companies. Matt was involved in Summit’s partnership with Progressive Finance, a provider of web-based, lease-to-own financing programs for retailers. Over the course of the investment, Matt worked closely with Progressive management to expand the executive team, augment sales and marketing efforts, enhance its credit analytics engine and position Progressive for its subsequent sale to Aaron’s (NYSE:AAN) in 2014.

“Summit has a long history of partnering with strong founders and entrepreneurs across a variety of high-growth sectors. Our industry teams have developed deep expertise in their sectors of focus – expertise that we leverage to identify great growth companies. As partners, we offer on-demand operational support, talent and recruiting resources, and other portfolio resources to help accelerate growth. I’m fortunate to have worked with some incredible business leaders throughout my time with Summit, and I’m proud of what we have achieved together.” – Matt Hamilton, Summit Partners

COLLEEN CUFFARO

Firm:  Canaan

Title:  Principal

33. Colleen Cuffaro

Colleen holds a Ph.D. in cellular and molecular physiology from Yale University and a B.A. in Chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining Canaan in 2014, Colleen worked as an analytical chemist at a contract pharmaceutical manufacturing organization. Given her rich scientific background, Colleen focuses on early stage biopharmaceutical companies and businesses that are developing transformative medical technologies. Colleen currently sits on the board of Arrakis and serves as the interim CEO for a business Canaan funded earlier this year.

“Canaan is a firm whose 30-year, 11-fund history is full of incredible people, entrepreneurs and companies.  We are fortunate to partner closely with scientists, entrepreneurs and executives who are building transformative biotech and tech companies. These days, I feel particularly lucky to be part of a team that values collaboration, transparency and diversity. As early-stage investors, we believe in the power of true risk capital – we like to get in early and roll up our sleeves for all of the ups and downs of early stage company building.” – Colleen Cuffaro, Canaan

PETER FRANCIS

Firm:  Summit Partners

Title:  Principal

34. Peter Francis

Prior to joining Summit Partners in 2011, Peter worked on the healthcare investment banking teams at Jefferies & Company and UBS, where he executed over 80 transactions in practice management, health insurance and healthcare real-estate. At Summit, Peter has continued to build this expertise in healthcare, focusing on identifying and executing investments exclusively in the healthcare sector. In particular, Peter has significant experience in navigating complex industry issues and identifying, negotiating, and structuring add-on acquisition opportunities. During his time at Summit, Peter has completed seven deals representing over $750 million in invested capital and has exited three deals.

“At Summit, we are fortunate to partner with growth companies that are working to change the landscape of healthcare – how it is consumed, how it is delivered, and how it is paid for. These companies are helping to make people’s lives healthier, move the healthcare cost equation, provide access to underserved populations, and develop solutions that allow consumers to better navigate the complex healthcare system. We partner with mission-driven entrepreneurs who understand and believe that by building great businesses, they can truly impact individual lives. I’m fortunate to be a part of a team at Summit Partners that has been investing in innovative, growth-oriented, healthcare companies for over 30 years.” – Peter Francis, Summit Partners

SRI RAO

Firm:  Silversmith Capital Partners

Title:  Principal

35. Sri Rao

Prior to joining Silversmith in 2015, Sri worked at a growth stage software company called Buddy Media, which was acquired by Salesforce in 2012. At Salesforce, Sri was focused on building a new business unit called the marketing cloud. As part of this initiative, Sri worked in operational roles as well as on the business unit’s M&A roadmap, including the $2.5 billion acquisition of ExactTarget. Sri started his career in growth equity at TA Associates. This combination of operational and investment experience allows him to offer his portfolio companies a unique perspective on product, sales and marketing, customer service, partnership, and M&A strategies. Sri is currently involved with the boards of Impact Radius, ActiveCampaign, and RedAwning.com.

“At Silversmith, we have the privilege of working with founders and management teams of growing, profitable companies in support of their ambitions plans. The daily opportunity to learn as much as possible and help as much as possible is truly humbling. Silversmith’s dedicated focus on SaaS & Information Services and Healthcare IT & Services enables us to leverage prior experience and relevant networks to offer strategic guidance as well as customer, partnership, M&A and talent recruiting connections.” – Sri Rao, Silversmith Capital Partners

MATT GATTO

Firm:  Insight Venture Partners

Title:  Principal

36. Matt Gatto

Matt joined Insight Venture Partners after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania. Matt has consummated 14 global growth equity investments representing roughly $1 billion of deployed capital. With a strict focus on high-growth SaaS businesses, Matt has achieved returns that position him among the best performing in the asset class. Matt was involved in Insight’s investment in Shopify, an eCommerce platform company, which has achieved 500%+ appreciation since its 2015 IPO. Matt is currently on the board of Wealth-X, Checkmarx, Fenergo, Tenable Network Security, SmartRecruiters, and SonarSource.

“I am incredibly passionate about investing in and collaborating with entrepreneurs who are building the next generation of industry-changing, and potentially world-changing, technology companies. I was lucky enough to begin my career with Insight, and it has been tremendous to be part of such a driven and hard-working team. Our collective passion around creating opportunities for our founders and their employees is one of the most rewarding aspects of my job. Insight’s dedicated focus on high-growth technology companies and the resources we bring to help our partner entrepreneurs create world-class businesses truly make us unique in our space. It is a privilege to continue working with our investment portfolio to drive continued growth.” – Matt Gatto, Insight Venture Partners

LAUREN BRUEGGEN

Firm:  Spring Mountain Capital

Title:  Principal

37. Lauren Brueggen

Prior to joining Spring Mountain Capital (SMC) in 2011, Lauren worked at The Wicks Group. Over the course of her investing career, Lauren has deployed nearly $150 million in capital across 17 companies and 32 rounds of financing. Within the last 18 months, Lauren has completed 4 new portfolio company investments and 3 follow-on financings. One area of focus for Lauren—which led to her investment in Doctor.com—has been the consumerization of healthcare. She also recently led an investment in Maven, a company that through its digital network of healthcare professionals is fundamentally changing the way that women’s healthcare is delivered. Lauren currently sits on the boards of Maven and SimpleReach and is a board observer on Doctor.com. She also works closely on SMC’s investments in Activate Healthcare and IsoPlexis.

“At Spring Mountain Capital, we invest in companies created by visionary founders and led by strong teams that are passionate about what they do.  We focus on healthcare and technology-enabled business that are leading the paradigm shifts occurring within their industry sectors and have demonstrated strong product fit in growing markets. We are often the first institutional investor and seek to form strong partnerships with our management teams, investing significant time and resources behind each of our portfolio companies to optimize strategic positioning and accelerate growth.” – Lauren Brueggen, Spring Mountain Capital

WON PARK

Firm:  Guidepost Growth Equity

Title:  Principal

38. Won Park

Won began his investing career at Guidepost Growth Equity, where he initially joined as an Associate and currently serves as a Principal after 7 years with the firm. During his time at Guidepost, Won has been responsible for deploying nearly $200 million of capital across a number of investments. His industry expertise includes HCIT, human capital management, education, and industrial technology. A few of his current and previous investments include Asurint, Clarity Software, Ingenious Med, Seniorlink, and Valence Health (acquired by Evolent Health).  Prior to Guidepost, Won was an Associate at Covington Associates and an Analyst at Piper Jaffray.

“As a growth equity investor, I am very fortunate to partner with highly successful owner-entrepreneurs who are looking to take their businesses to the next level.  At Guidepost, our singular focus is to provide strategic and operational guidance to navigate through the challenges that growth-stage companies often face.  By understanding the mindset of owner-entrepreneurs, we work hard alongside these companies to continue expanding and solidifying their position as industry leaders.” – Won Park, Guidepost Growth Equity

SENDIL RAJENDRAN

Firm:  GI Partners

Title:  Principal

40. Sendil Rajendran

Sendil joined GI Partners as a Principal in 2016.  He began his growth private equity career at TA Associates and worked as a Vice President at Court Square Capital Partners prior to joining GI Partners. Sendil has worked on eight investments over his career representing approximately $1 billion of capital invested. At GI, Sendil has worked on three transactions totaling several hundred million dollars of equity capital. The firm recently closed its fifth fund, which was oversubscribed at $2.7 billion. Sendil currently serves on the board of Daxko.

“We are focused on partnering with exceptional management teams to build market-leading software and technology businesses.  At GI Partners, we selectively target opportunities that have significant untapped growth potential along with strong downside protection.  We then work closely with portfolio companies to accelerate growth through high-impact organic levers, synergistic acquisitions and the addition of world-class talent.  Due to our deep domain knowledge and diverse networks we are often the partner of choice for management teams and business owners to help elevate their business to the next level.” – Sendil Rajendran, GI Partners

SCOTT SIEGEL

Firm:  Pinebridge

Title:  Vice President

39. Scott Siegel

Scott Siegel is a vice president at PineBridge Investments where he is responsible for originating, evaluating and executing structured capital investments primarily in the US middle market. Scott leads the team’s organization efforts and his investments include Spartan College of Aeronautics & Technology, MC Sports, Oskar Blues, and Empire Petroleum. Investment structures range from mezzanine debt to preferred equity. Prior to joining PineBridge in 2013, Scott served as a Director for Robert Pittman at Casa Dragones LLC. Scott has a BA from Duke University in Psychology and Sociology and an MBA from Columbia Business School where he was selected for the Applied Value Investing program.

“We are one of the most flexible capital providers in the middle market, offering a wide range of tailored credit and equity solutions. Our capital is used not only for growth financing and acquisitions, but also to stabilize companies and to alleviate burdensome capital structures. We are very fortunate to work alongside innovative partners in private equity as well as seasoned management teams and entrepreneurs.” – Scott Siegel, Pinebridge

THE RISING STAR

RAMSEY SAHYOUN

Firm:  Alpine Investors 

Title:  Associate

41. Ramsey SahyounRamsey is an Associate at Alpine Investors, where he focuses on originating, screening, and conducting diligence on potential investments in the business software, business services and consumer services sectors. Prior to joining Alpine, Ramsey worked at Revolution Capital Group, a private equity firm focused on control transactions across a variety of industry verticals. Ramsey graduated cum laude from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California and was a member of the varsity golf team.

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