By: Ben Freeberg

Benhamou Global Ventures (“BGV”) is an early-stage venture capital firm with deep Silicon Valley roots and an exclusive focus on enterprise information technology opportunities in global markets. BGV currently has 20 active investments across its fund II and fund III portfolios.  

With offices in Palo Alto, California and Tel Aviv, Israel, the BGV team has been able to successfully build and implement a successful, cross-border venture investing model. The fund was founded by Eric Benhamou, former chairman and CEO of 3Com, Palm and co-founder of Bridge Communications. BGV often comes in as the first institutional investor in a company, and their network of technical and functional experts actively engage with their portfolio companies.

BGV’s Investment Thesis:

They are investing in tech companies at the intersection of enterprise digital transformation, early stage and cross border innovation. Digital transformation is changing the way enterprises buy, rent, build, optimize and secure IT infrastructure and applications. This is creating a new generation of technology companies in cloud ($125B market), mobility/IIOT (expected to reach $10T within 15 years) and cyber security ($75B market).  

An increasing proportion of such technology innovation is occurring outside the U.S. (i.e., Israel, Europe, India, China etc) fueled by the emergence of regional technology hubs.  Many of these startups seek to build cross-border companies by establishing U.S. presence and headquarters that leverage their offshore R&D.   Reflecting this trend, VC investments outside the U.S. have grown from $1.3Bn to $57Bn from 2005 to 2015

BGV applies a value-disciplined and active approach to make seed and series A investments in enterprise startups at the intersection of the above trends.  They focus on companies that contribute to very critical business outcomes – business resiliency, productivity, agility and customer centricity.  

The team is seeking out startups that are capital efficient, deliver quick value to customers and are focused on unleashing enterprise productivity.  Post-investment BGV plays an active role in utilizing their 100+ years of collective operating experience in building enterprise IT companies and assists its portfolio companies as they “cross the chasm” and identify strategic partnership opportunities with larger industry players.  

A third of BGV’s portfolio is comprised of cross-border startups and they play an active role in helping them set up a US presence and connect to the Silicon Valley ecosystem.  

How Does BGV’s Portfolio Fit In?

BGV invests in 3 types of deals that leverage the above trends including highly disruptive new category creators, superior fast followers and special situations (i.e., spin outs, pivots and or recaps).     

Totango is an enterprise customer success management technology company with HQ in Silicon Valley and R&D in Israel.  The company addresses a white space within enterprises.  It focuses on the fast growing market opportunity of SaaS companies whose continued success depends heavily upon their ability to manage customer retention, churn, upsell and lifetime value.

The Customer Success function has become a large part of enterprise sales today. It aims to streamline the onboarding process, maximize user engagement, minimize churn and increase the upsell success rate of a subscription business.  BGV led and syndicated the most recent equity round, and also assisted in key hires and strengthening the board with industry experts.

Bayshore Networks is an IIOT cyber security startup addressing a key pain point in an old sector undergoing digital transformation.  The company enables the operational technology (OT) part of the industrial enterprises to connect to the internet securely while protecting their manufacturing assets from cyber-based threats.  

Bayshore enables asset intensive industries that are seeking operational efficiencies by bridging their IT and OT environments securely, collecting the big data and applying the analytics required to unlock the value of these assets. BGV participated in the Series A syndicate and has introduced the company to a number of scale-up strategic partners.

Blue Cedar Networks is a spinout from Mocana.  The company secures data at rest and data in motion being accessed by mobile devices.  In today’s era of perimeter-less organizations, the app has become the endpoint for establishing the security controls that protect critical organizational apps and data.  The company’s disruptive non-client centric architecture enables enterprises to protect their assets and empower their users across the Extended Enterprise—employees, partners, consumers, re-sellers, distributors and all other non-employees who need access to enterprise data.  

BGV led the spinout and Series A financing and subsequently played an active role in shaping the company’s strategy, introducing the company to several strategic partners and hiring key executives.  

Thank you to Eric Benhamou, Anik Bose and the BGV team for assisting us with this post.