Venture Right with Menlo: Twelfth Fund Launches Today

In 1975, a young man passionate about science and technology decided to start a venture capital fund with some friends.  They had been consulting with high tech companies, but found the vagaries of a consulting income did not match well to the constant expenses young families have.

However, “venture capital” were sordid words in 1975.  The 1973 oil crisis had plunged most of the western world in a deep recession and there was little interest in anything risky.  But like many entrepreneurs, this young man was determined to win.

H. DuBose Montgomery came from a hard working family who never quit. He had 81 meetings with an insurance company to be the lead investor in Menlo I.  Finally to avoid an 82nd meeting, the insurance company agreed to be the anchor limited partner in Menlo I.

Menlo Ventures was born.

Menlo circa 1985. Bottom row (left to right): Doug Carlisle, DuBose Montgomery, Ken Joy, Tom Bredt. Top: Rick Magnuson, John Jarve, Denise O’Leary.

In a journey that’s spanned 39 years (1976 – 2015), Menlo has raised 11 funds (now 12), invested in 420+ portfolio companies whose total market capitalization currently exceeds $200 Billion. Menlo has been fortunate enough to partner with amazing entrepreneurs building companies including 3Par (acquired by HP), Cavium Networks (“CAVM”), Dropcam (acquired by Google), F5 Networks (“FFIV”), Gilead Sciences (“GILD”), Hotmail (acquired by Microsoft), Ironport (acquired by Cisco), Siri (acquired by Apple), and Uber (private).   Despite the decades of business volatility, Menlo invested in markets ranging from food to semiconductor and mobile, successfully navigating three generations of partner succession.

Closing Menlo XII: $400M Multi-Stage Fund For Consumer and Enterprise

The next generation of Menlo Managing Directors, From Left: Mark Siegel, Venky Ganesan, Pravin Vazirani, Shawn Carolan

Today we are announcing the launch of Menlo XII – a $400 Million multi-stage venture capital fund.  Too often as VCs we focus on what’s changed, but today it is important to focus on what’s NOT going to change.  Our consistent investment strategy of seed to growth multistage investing is not going to change.  Our research driven, thesis-oriented selection process is not going to change.  Our pledge to invest in the market leader is not going to change.   Our commitment to venturing right – –focusing on excellence, winning as a team, honoring intellectual honesty, treating everyone with respect and empathy – is not going to change.   Being the preferred investment partner for entrepreneurs who want to build world-changing companies is not going to change.

We are grateful to the countless entrepreneurs and limited partners who have made our journey possible.  The last 39 years have been terrific, but Menlo’s best days are ahead of us.

We are excited for what the future beholds and cannot wait to partner with entrepreneurs to create it.

PS. Thankfully we never had to meet anyone 81 times to raise Menlo XII.