Today is a big day for Menlo Ventures as we’re adding our 9th partner, J.P. Sanday, who will focus on our Inflection Fund! In February of this year, we launched the $500 million fund to target breakout companies early in their growth, and with J.P., the team to pursue this opportunity is largely complete. J.P. joins recent additions to our investment team, Grace Ge and Nate Quinn.
Before joining Menlo, J.P. was a Vice President at Summit Partners, where his board and investment experience included Smartsheet (NYSE: SMAR), Ascentis, Teaching Strategies and Clearwater Analytics. J.P. actually served two stints at Summit, initially right out of college and then again after Stanford Business School and two experiences as an operator at VC-backed companies; first as VP Growth at mobile games company Kiwi and later as VP Growth at online education platform CreativeLive. He is Argentine and Peruvian by background, growing up in Argentina until he came to the US for a full scholarship at Boston College.
Adding a partner is a huge decision for the firm, and J.P. made it easy. His genuine and affable demeanor, combination of investing and operating skills, razor-sharp intellect, glowing founder references, and desire to focus on early growth (or inflection as we call it) investments, made him a terrific fit. Making it an even easier decision: Our partner Naomi Ionita and J.P. went to business school together and are good friends, so he was referred from within Menlo, much like I was referred by Mark Siegel four years ago. We love a group of people who purposefully want to work together and build something great as a team. J.P. fits right into that ethos, and I think you’ll feel that whenever you meet him individually or with a collection of Menlo partners.
For entrepreneurs, J.P.’s experience, twice as an investor at leading growth firm Summit Partners, and twice as head of growth in start-up operating roles is differentiated in the field. He will be incredibly valuable to entrepreneurs at the early-growth stage: He has walked in their shoes and, as a long-time investor who has seen companies evolve from early to late stage.
Since launching the Inflection Fund, Menlo has led three financings with an average investment of $20 million, in rounds that averaged $30 million. These new companies include Hover, Benchling, and one to be announced shortly. The fund is designed to invest in companies at their early breakout point between venture and late-stage growth, generally between $5 million and $15 million of ARR. Menlo will invest $20 – $40 million, in situations where a meaningful injection of capital, team building, introductions to early customers and partners, and a highly focused partnership will help accelerate them to scalable, hypergrowth. The firm also makes early-stage investments (Seed through Series A and early Series B) from our $450 million Venture Fund.
We’re excited about the early progress of our inflection strategy, and J.P. is the ideal candidate to help us take things to the next level.
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