Experienced venture capitalist turned venture entrepreneur Greg Sands formally launches Costanoa Venture Capital. Costanoa is a new $100m venture capital fund focused on the early stage of big data and emerging disruptive startups focused on the new modern infrastructure and services.
Greg Sands has been building this out for the past year stepping out of a very successful career at Sutter Hill fund where he was one of the key partners. Since stepping out on his own Sands has raised $100 million and has been active doing deals with 10 initial investments that have been announced. According to sources in the valley, Costanoa has a solid pipeline of more hot deals.
Costanoa is positioned an early stage investor in cloud-‐based services for businesses and consumers leveraging data and analytics. The firm will focus on providing Series A and seed investments from $500,000-‐$3 million. I spoke with Greg and he amplified that Costanoa is not a “super angel” or “microVC” firm – it’s a venture capital firm.
According to Costanoa their mission is to be a hands-‐on, value-‐added partner to early stage entrepreneurs in its core sectors. Costanoa is providing entrepreneurs with a combination of “right-‐sized” investments and hands on support from a high-‐quality institutional partner.
I’ve been following Greg Sands career and this is win for entrepreneurs and the venture ecosystem. Greg’s experience, professionalism, and network of colleagues in the venture business allow him to really add value. With the looming tough economic environment and the high noise level it’s harder than ever to go to market and build a company. Having an experienced venture partner who can deliver value add is critical for entrepreneurs especially when they are picking their early stage investor partner.
Costanoa is clearly positioning themselves to be a partner with entrepreneurs on the value creation side of the table. Unlike some firms who grade themselves on the number of investments, the marketplace needs firms who can be measured by the value that they create. Costanoa and Greg Sands are on the value creation side. I’ve heard from a number of big venture capitalists that they are avoiding doing deals with inexperienced “super angels” because of the lack of history and they have “baggage”.
Greg is a seasoned pro in the tech business with success in one of the biggest startups that shaped our industry – Netscape. Greg was the first product manager at Netscape partnering with Marc Andreessen to go on to establish the legend of the Internet in launching the web browser. Post Netscape, Greg was a company builder as a venture partner at Sutter Hill. With the success of the big firms like Andreessen Horowitz dominating the venture business it’s clear a “new school” of VCs are emerging. Filling the early stage underneath the Andreessen Horowitz’s of the world, Costanoa is establishing a valuable and important position.
Having real professionals in the early stage process is a win win for entrepreneurs. For entreprenuers they get the expertise of professionals who can build durable companies. For upstream venture firms they have a solid “feeder” of trusted good deals. The number one thing upstream big venture firms want is startups with “no baggage” and a prospect for rapid growth (and return).
In my opinion Costanoa brings that fresh early focus with experience, integrity, professionalism, and an upstream network. We’ll be watching Greg as he builds his new firm.
- Applied Big Data – finding ways to aggregate, curate and originate proprietary data and use it to create high value applications;
- Leveraging the interplay between consumer and business, including consumer-‐ driven interfaces and distributions strategies for enterprise products and Social/Mobile opportunities in the enterprise;
- Cloud-‐based applications and infrastructure to support consumers and Mobile Internet, including marketing and monetization tools;
- High-‐value consumer services with clear monetization strategies.
Resources on Two Mega Trends in the Enterprise, Cloud, Mobile, and Social Market
SiliconANGLE has been leading the market in terms of research on Big Data and what we call Software-led Infrastructure. Enjoy the free research on our Wiki at Wikibon.org.