Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Venture Capital profile -- Alan Schoenbaum of BuildGroup

BuildGroup is a growth-stage technology investor focused on specific emerging B2B software sectors.  BuildGroup was founded by a team of proven operators and includes former Rackspace executives Lanham Napier, Jim Curry, Alan Schoenbaum, and former General Catalyst Partners Principal Pete Freeland. With a strong operational background from working at Rackspace and Pete’s professional venture capital and private equity background, they help build and grow extraordinary companies.  They believe that the best companies in the world are built not bought.
BuildGroup is attracted to founders who seek investors with relevant business-building experience, not just capital, to focus on the long-haul.  Their market/sector preference includes infrastructure software, big data analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning open source platforms, vertical SaaS, and marketing technology.

BuildGroup invests in post-seed, growth companies that have product/market-fit, and have the opportunity to become large businesses.  They engage with companies that have bootstrapped their way to revenue, or had a seed or Series A already, and are now ready to grow. Because their background is as business operators they jump in at any kind of problem solving opportunity including recruiting, helping think through a business model issue, legal challenges, budget, culture, HR, go-to-market issues and more.

They look for companies with at least $3M-$5M in revenue and up to $$150M in pre-money valuation.  They invest broader than Series B and have also done Series A investments. 

For larger deals BuildGroup will syndicate with one or two other funds.  Their first investment was in Continuum Analytics, in which they co-invested with General Catalyst Partners.  Lanham Napier is chairman of the Continuum Analytics board, and the other BuildGroup partners dive in with the management team on a regular basis.

BuildGroup attended in the Texas Venture Growth Forum last fall and came away impressed with the companies that participated.

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