Today, venture capital firm Santa Barbara Venture Partners (SBVP) announced the final close of its $11 million inaugural Fund I focused primarily on investing in tech and tech-enabled firms. SBVP offers a unique value-add – the firm and its 70+ investor roster, made up largely of global marketing executives, helps its portfolio companies with customer acquisition and marketing.
Dan Engel, Founder of SBVP asks, “What’s more important to companies than profitably acquiring customers at an increased rate? That’s our firm’s deep expertise. The hands-on help we provide our portfolio companies to improve their go-to-market capabilities and further accelerate their revenue growth is a huge differentiator that private tech companies have until now been unable to access through their VC investors, as VC firms simply don’t have this experience or focus.”
SBVP-funded companies work with the firm’s investors and advisors who are seasoned marketing veterans with decades of experience in over 20 different B2B & B2C marketing channels and strategies, including on/offline advertising, content marketing, TV & radio advertising, PR, conversion rate optimization, branding, email, affiliate, strategic alliances, B2B lead gen, B2B sales enablement, PPC search & SEO, etc. plus overall marketing strategy.
To date, SBVP has made nine investments including Bark Technologies, Voltaiq, Specright, Classy, Nice Healthcare, Hydrosat, Jackpocket, Rad AI, and Curri. SBVP has been fortunate to have already experienced its first exit, as non-profit SaaS leader Classy was acquired this year by GoFundMe.
SBVP’s first fund aims to invest in software companies after a product-market fit has clearly been established/validated. SBVP’s average check size is ~$1 million into companies that have $3-100 million in (preferably recurring) revenue, are generally growing 75-300%+ per year, and have extremely strong customer retention and satisfaction metrics. SBVP makes both primary and secondary share investments into companies typically at seed through Series D stage.
SBVP’s investor/advisor roster includes the former Chief Marketing Officer at CBS, at Papa John’s, at (SaaS conglomerate) J2 Global, executives and leaders of demand generation and marketing at firms including Pinterest, Citrix, Procore, AppFolio, RingCentral, Apeel Sciences, Lynda.com, the former head of strategic alliances/partnerships at Google, SailPoint and Dynatrace, plus dozens of others expert in customer acquisition and marketing.
Prior to being a Venture Partner for various VC firms and now launching his own firm, Managing Partner and serial software entrepreneur Dan Engel led customer acquisition and/or marketing at Google, GoToMeeting, Picasa, and FastSpring. He co-founded fintech software company FastSpring, and as CEO, led it to become the 13th fastest-growing company in North America from 2006-2010, with an eventual acquisition by Accel-KKR for over $100 million. Dan has over 20 years of experience building software companies and over 11 years of experience investing into private software companies.