Investment Team Addition and SoMa Office Opening Build on Norwest’s $1.2 Billion Fund Raise and Liquidity Success in 2014.
PALO ALTO, Calif. – October 23, 2014 – Norwest Venture Partners, a global, multi-stage venture and growth equity investment firm, today announced that Sean Jacobsohn has joined the firm as Principal. A venture investor and former SaaS executive with broad technology, sales and business development expertise, Mr. Jacobsohn will work from Norwest’s Palo Alto and San Francisco offices with a focus on early to late stage investment opportunities in business cloud, including SaaS, industry cloud, healthcare IT, mobile business applications, and B2B marketplaces.
Norwest also announced today the opening of its new office in San Francisco’s South of Market District, “SoMa”. The new location enables the firm to work more closely with entrepreneurs based in San Francisco and to better serve Norwest’s existing portfolio companies headquartered in the city, including Lending Club, Bluenose Analytics, Extole, IFTTT, Lumosity, Madison Reed, Modcloth, Threadflip, Udemy, Zirx and others. The firm’s new office is located at 123 South Park Street in the city’s South Park neighborhood.
Investment Team Growth and Geographic Expansion
On the heels of the firm’s latest $1.2 B fund raised in May, Norwest will continue to expand across stages, sectors, and geographies. Mr. Jacobsohn is the first of several new investment team hires the firm expects to make in the coming year.
“We are very pleased to welcome Sean to our firm,” said Matthew Howard, managing partner, Norwest. “Our commitment to serving as a value added business partner to our entrepreneurs has always been an important part of our firm’s culture, and Sean will be a valuable contributor in this area. His operational experience, hustle and passion for technology and entrepreneurship make him a natural fit for Norwest. We look forward to the value Sean will bring to our enterprise practice and our portfolio companies.”
Mr. Jacobsohn was previously a venture partner at Emergence Capital Partners where he focused on business cloud investments. Prior to Emergence he was VP of Worldwide Alliances at Hightail, a cloud collaboration company, and VP of Channel Management at Cornerstone OnDemand (NASDAQ: CSOD), a human capital management software-as-a-service provider. While at Cornerstone, he helped grow the company from $7 million to $75 million in revenue and 300,000 subscribers to over 7.5 million. Mr. Jacobsohn also served as VP Sales and Partner Development at WageWorks (NYSE: WAGE), a leading provider of consumer-directed spending solutions, which grew from $3 million to $82 million in revenue during his tenure. Prior to WageWorks, he was at Elance, the world’s largest marketplace of contractors.
“In addition to welcoming Sean to Norwest and continuing to grow our investment team, we are excited to expand our presence in San Francisco. Many of our investments over the last 12 months were made in companies based in San Francisco, and we have a lot of momentum with our activity in the city,” said Jeff Crowe, managing partner, Norwest. “The San Francisco entrepreneurial ecosystem is thriving, and we see an ongoing proliferation of exciting companies in the city. Our San Francisco office is a natural extension of these trends.”
“Norwest knows what it takes to build businesses and the team possesses a true passion for helping founders create great companies, even during the toughest of times,” said Sean Jacobsohn, principal at Norwest Venture Partners. “With more than 50 years of investment success, Norwest continues to prove its ongoing leadership and versatility. I’m excited to leverage the firm’s diverse platform to help maintain Norwest’s strong track record and add to its investments in top quality entrepreneurs and companies.”
New Fund and Liquidity Momentum
In May of this year, the firm announced the formation of its latest fund, Norwest Venture Partners XII, LP, bringing Norwest’s total capital and commitments to approximately $5 billion. The new fund closed on the heels of a record exit year for Norwest in 2013.
The firm’s liquidity momentum has continued in 2014 as more than 10 of Norwest’s portfolio companies have achieved liquidity success to date, including four IPOs in the past six months – Sabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR);MobileIron (NASDAQ: MOBL); Intersect ENT (NASDAQ:XENT) and Snowman Logistics (NSE: SNOWMAN). These initial public offerings, in addition to the acquisition of high definition satellite imagery company Skybox Imaging by Google, the sale of music intelligence platform company The Echo Nest to Spotify, the acquisition of wearable device technologies company Basis by Intel, the sale of personalized entertainment discovery solutions company Veveo to Rovi and the acquisition of Hadoop-based adaptive analytical platform company Hadapt by Teradata, have resulted in a combined transaction value of more than $6 billion.