GC IX: We’re Just Getting Started
It was just under 20 years ago that a few of us came together to start General Catalyst. For us the goal was to create a firm that we, as entrepreneurs, would want to work with — one with deep empathy for both the struggles and elations of a founder’s journey and one that would withstand the test of time. Today we announce the close of General Catalyst Group IX, L.P. with $1.375 billion in commitments, bringing our total capital raised to just over $5 billion. Nearly two decades on, we stand in awe of how much the founders we work with have accomplished and in eager anticipation of all they will set out to do. Of course, none of this would be possible without the world-class investors who have allowed us to do our best work with the trust that we are just getting started.
As we reflect on some of our most recent investments and exits, and continue our uncompromising quest for true excellence, it’s obvious that there’s opportunity everywhere. We continue to seek out the most passionate, tenacious founders, solving the difficult problems of today, as well as those that have dogged staid industries for decades. Without a doubt, our firm is growing to ensure we capture every opportunity to identify and support these visionaries.
In turn, we are evolving the GC platform to build and support companies of mass scale, including category-creating and transformational businesses in our portfolio today, like Airbnb, Snap, Stripe, Oscar and Warby Parker. Our team partners with founders at the various inflection points in a company’s lifecycle — from the earliest of stages, “hatching” companies from the ground up in collaboration with fearless visionary entrepreneurs, to supporting companies a little later on the continuum that are experiencing significant growth and momentum.
Finally, our growth stage/XIR platform continues to be a point of differentiation for us. We’re thrilled to announce that Paul Sagan has joined us as a managing director and will work with our team to identify and back companies seeking both capital and guidance to scale their businesses quickly. Paul certainly has the experience building meaningful businesses as demonstrated by his work as CEO of Akamai (NASDAQ: AKAM, where he remains a board member), and serving on the boards of VMWare (NYSE: VMW, where he is lead director) and until recently, EMC, among others. He will work closely with our XIRs (Executives-in-Residence) to help scale and drive the growth of existing founder-owned businesses.
Last, but definitely not least, Ken Chenault, former chairman and CEO of American Express (NYSE: AXP), joined the firm in February as our chairman and a managing director. Ken’s integrity and reputation as a trusted advisor make him one of the most sought-after mentors to emerging leaders, particularly those seeking to build powerful brands and compete on a global scale. As a managing director, Ken is focused on investing in fast-growing companies that have the potential to become large, fundamental institutions. As chairman, Ken is using his renowned leadership skills and experience to continue to evolve GC into a formidable and enduring firm.
We are building out GC for the long-term from coast to coast. That means ensuring that we are in close proximity to hubs of innovation, growing our team thoughtfully, and keeping the bar high and staying true to the business we’re in: beating the odds and keeping in mind that there’s always more to prove. All are central to continuing to transform GC into the indelible firm we envisioned as founders back at the beginning of this crazy, amazing journey.
The best is yet to come.