General Catalyst

Supporting Founders on their Journey
December 23, 2013
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From University Road in Harvard Square to University Avenue in Palo Alto

This week, we closed General Catalyst VII with $675 million in commitments bringing the total capital raised for our fund to approximately $3 billion. For us, raising a new fund is a time of reflection, a chance to absorb the journey we have been on and consider our firm’s next decade.

Our focus has always been on supporting formidable founders building great businesses. When we founded General Catalyst in Boston back in 2000, the tech world was falling apart from the collapse of the dot-com bubble. Yet, we fervently believed, then and now, in the power of software to transform our lives and make the world a better place. We partnered with founders like Paul English and Steve Hafner of Kayak and Stephan Schambach of Demandware to build sustainable, strong businesses. The results are self-evident: just in the past three years, our founders have created over $8 billion of value.

Three years ago, several members of our team began a new life in Silicon Valley. We came with a singular mission — to grow General Catalyst into a unique bicoastal firm with a nationwide presence that founders could trust to be there at every stage of their journey.

That focus remains resolute, despite blistering change. In Boston and New York, we have welcomed a couple of new investors to our team: Adam Valkin on internet and mobile services and Spencer Lazar on marketplaces and mobile applications. We are looking forward to the next wave of great founders and rapidly-scaling companies like HubSpot, Warby Parker, BigCommerce, and Datalogix.

On the West Coast, we have partnered with incredible founders like Patrick and John Collison at Stripe, Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia, and Nathan Blecharczyk at Airbnb, Jessica Alba and Brian Lee at The Honest Company, Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy at Snapchat, John Thompson at Virtual Instruments and Roman Stanek at GoodData to build some of the most recognizable businesses on the West Coast. We have also been fortunate to help hatch new businesses like NatureBox, Altiscale, and Highfive in our offices. We have also welcomed a new partner to our team, Dr. Steve Herrod, who built one of the best and largest engineering teams in the Valley as CTO of VMware.

Soon, our Silicon Valley team will move into its permanent location, a historical Victorian home on University Avenue in Palo Alto.

We are all very excited about the next decade of our journey.

There are tremendous changes coming to the world. Consumer behavior is relentlessly shifting to mobile, and consumers’ usage of software is increasingly around highly-engaged experiences. Behind the scenes, the needs of enterprises have been completely altered, requiring us to rewrite the fundamental infrastructure that runs the world’s services. There has never been a better time to build a technology business, from next generation commerce, marketplaces, and mobile apps to software-defined infrastructure, security, and enterprise software-as-a-service. And of course, there remain entire new categories of businesses that are just waiting to be invented.

We are experiencing an era of unbridled technological possibility, and we remain as committed as ever to engaging founders at inception or inflection to change the world. So no matter if you are in Harvard Square, Palo Alto, or SoHo, stop by General Catalyst and talk to us, and tell us about your journey.