Bessemer Venture Partners announced Thursday that it has promoted Kent Bennett, Brian Feinstein, Ethan Kurzweil and Trevor Oelschig to partner, and added Bessermer alumnus Alex Ferrara as a partner, while Entrepreneur-in-Residence Jeff Epstein moves to an operating partner role. Ferrara joined Bessemer in 2005, and is rejoining as a partner in the New York office.
Bessemer Venture Partners, a top venture capital firm backing great entrepreneurs leading transformative startups and other high-growth companies, today announced several new partners joining its ranks. In addition to the promotions of Kent Bennett, Brian Feinstein, Ethan Kurzweil and Trevor Oelschig to partner, the firm is bringing BVP alum Alex Ferrara on board as partner, while Jeff Epstein moves to an operating partner role. With these promotions, BVP’s focus on identifying investment opportunities in start-ups in Bessemer Roadmaps is now driven by 15 investing partners.
Key Roadmaps include: Cloud Computing, Infrastructure 2.0, Mobile, Online Retail and Trusted Internet sectors.
Kent Bennett Based in Cambridge, MA, Kent Bennett joined the company in 2008. Kent focuses on investments in the big data, data-infrastructure and communications sectors. At BVP, Kent has been involved in investments in data-management companies such as Endeca (acquired by Oracle) Streambase, Vertica (acquired by HP), Hadapt and InsightSquared; mobile-communications companies BroadSoft (IPO), Millennial Media (IPO) and Enforta; as well as Goal.com (acquired by Perform Group), the world’s largest soccer portal. Kent began his career with Bain & Co., and later was a creative executive for an entertainment-production company. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar, and a B.S. degree, summa cum laude, in systems engineering from the University of Virginia, where he was a Jefferson Scholar. Find Kent on Twitter: @kentbennett
Brian Feinstein Brian Feinstein focuses on Internet, software and financial services opportunities and leads BVP’s investment practice in Brazil and Russia. Brian has been involved in the firm’s investments in Playdom (acquired by Disney), Zoosk, Mindbody, United Capital, Knewton and KupiVIP. Before joining BVP, he worked at Blackstone, where he focused on the TMT technology, financial services, and energy and was involved in the firm’s Emdeon and Geosouthern transactions sectors. Before that, he co-founded Opera New Media, an online advertising agency. Brian holds a B.A. in government from Harvard University. Follow Brian on Twitter: @brianfeinstein
Ethan Kurzweil Ethan Kurzweil joined BVP’s Menlo Park office four years ago where he focuses on investments in cloud computing, consumer web and mobile technologies and drives Bessemer’s roadmap on developer platforms. Ethan has co-led BVP’s investments in the consumer/social web (Playdom, Zoosk, Twitch, Piazza, Life360 and Reputation.com), developer and marketing platforms (Twilio, SendGrid, Simply Measured and Crowdflower), advertising technology (adap.tv), and Skybox Imaging and serves on the Board of Directors of Simply Measured, Twitch, Piazza, Crowdflower and Sweet Labs. Prior to BVP, Ethan worked at Linden Lab, the creators of Second Life, and at Dow Jones & Co. on new business ventures. Ethan graduated from Stanford University with distinction, where he co-founded SSB-Bart Group and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He earned an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School. Find Ethan on Twitter: @ethankurz
Trevor Oelschig Trevor Oelschig focuses primarily on investments in software and the consumer web. Trevor is involved with BVP’s investments in and serves on the boards of Shopify and Zopa. He co-leads BVP’s activities in online learning and its investments in 2U, Knewton and Clever. His historical investments include Hunch (acquired by eBay), Smilebox (acquired by Perion Network) and Pure Networks (acquired by Cisco). Prior to joining BVP, Trevor was with JPMorgan Partners, where he was involved with Tidal Software (acquired by Cisco), Sierra Logic (acquired by Emulex), Aristos Logic (acquired by Adaptec) and Vyatta (acquired by Brocade). Previously, he worked for Comcast Ventures and McKinsey & Co. in Asia. Trevor holds a B.S. in Industrial Engineering & Operations Research from Berkeley, an M.S. in Engineering-Economic Systems from Stanford and an M.B.A. from The Wharton School. Follow Trevor on Twitter: @toelschig
Alex Ferrara Alex Ferrara joined Bessemer in 2005 and rejoined the firm in 2013 as a partner in its New York office. He specializes in software and Internet companies and the intersection of financial services and technology. Alex has been involved with a wide variety of innovative companies over the last decade, including board service with Yodle, Shopify, OMGPop (acquired by Zynga), SelectMinds (acquired by Oracle), Wix, Quadriserv and Access 360 Media. Alex was also involved in BVP’s investments in Pure Networks (acquired by Cisco), Skype (acquired by Ebay), SiteAdvisor (acquired by McAfee), Goal.com (acquired by Perform Group), Activ Financial, TeamViewer, Gerson Lehrman Group, HootSuite and Alibaba Group. Earlier in his career, Alex worked at Goldman Sachs in technology investment banking. Alex started his career as a software engineer at Salomon Brothers and later worked as a derivatives trader on the New York Board of Trade. Alex holds an MBA from Columbia Business School, and a B.S. in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. Find Alex on Twitter: @alexferrara
Jeff Epstein BVP also announced that Entrepreneur-in-Residence Jeff Epstein will move into an operating partner role. In his expanded role, Jeff will advise Bessemer companies in his areas of expertise: cloud computing and enterprise software, advertising technology, consumer Internet and marketplaces. Jeff is the former Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Oracle. Prior to Oracle, Epstein served as CFO of several public and private companies, including DoubleClick (sold to Google), King World Productions (sold to CBS) and Nielsen’s Media Measurement and Information Group. Earlier, he was an investment banker at The First Boston Corporation. He serves on the Boards of Directors of publicly held Priceline.com and Shutterstock, the Board of the Bessemer portfolio company Zoosk, the Audit and Compliance Committee of the Stanford University Hospital, and the Management Board of the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. Jeff will continue in his role as a Senior Advisor at Oak Hill Capital’s technology group. Jeff holds an MBA from the Stanford University, where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar, and a BA from Yale College, where he graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa. Follow Jeff on Twitter: @JeffEpstein
BVP also announced that marketing veteran Tiffany Spencer has joined as VP of Marketing and Communications. In this role, Tiffany will serve as a resource to BVP’s portfolio companies, drawing on nearly twenty years of brand building experience and her passion for early stage companies. Find Tiffany on Twitter: @TiffanyLSpencer
BVP’s track record is exceptional for its longevity, success and breadth across multiple partners in a mix of sectors, stages and geographies. BVP’s investments range from $100K angel investments to $50 million hyper-growth deals, across 15 countries from six global offices. 2012 was an exceptional year for the firm, with more than 20 exits for the year. The tally includes five IPOS — earning BVP a spot among the top three VCs for total IPOs in 2012 (according to the National Venture Capital Association) and several major M&A exits including OMGPop, Traffix Systems and Stromedix. Known for investing early in innovators such as Yelp, LinkedIn and Pinterest, the partnership also made 17 new investments. In 2012, industry recognition of the firm included five partners named to Forbes Magazine’s prestigious Midas List of Top 100 Tech Investors.
About Bessemer Venture Partners With $4.0 billion under management, Bessemer Venture Partners (BVP) is a global venture capital firm with offices in Silicon Valley, Cambridge, Mass., New York, Mumbai, Bangalore and Herzliya, Israel. BVP delivers a broad platform in venture capital spanning industries, geographies, and stages of company growth. From Staples to Skype, VeriSign to Yelp, LinkedIn to Pinterest, BVP has helped incubate and support companies that have anchored significant shifts in the economy. More than 100 BVP-funded companies have gone public on exchanges in North America, Europe and Asia.