General Catalyst Partners, which in December raised $675 million for its seventh fund, has added Paul Sagan as a partner and XIR. Sagan was an early employee at Akamai Technologies and served as its CEO from 2005 to 2013. Sagan’s previous association with General Catalyst came last fall when the firm led a $25 million growth funding round in Datto, a Norwalk, Conn.-based provider of backup data and recovery services. Sagan became non-executive chairman of Datto as part of the funding. Earlier this month, General Catalyst announced Donald Fisher as its venture partner.
Photo of Paul Sagan courtesy of General Catalyst Partners.
General Catalyst Partners Adds Paul Sagan to Investment Team
Venture Capital Firm Welcomes Technology and Media Entrepreneur to XIR Program
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – January 30, 2014 – General Catalyst Partners, a venture capital firm that makes early-stage and growth equity investments, today expanded its investment team by naming Internet technology and media business leader Paul Sagan as an XIR and partner. Paul brings a broad range of experience as an entrepreneur, having served in senior positions during the creation of several groundbreaking Internet ventures.
XIRs are proven founders, CEOs and visionaries with deep domain expertise who partner with General Catalyst to identify investments in profitable companies in which they can be a catalyst for value creation and hyper-growth via a chairman or CEO role.
Paul’s career encompasses the convergence of media and technology and the growth of global markets enabled by the Internet and hyper-connectivity. As an XIR and partner at General Catalyst, Paul will leverage his extensive experience and entrepreneurial leadership to focus on opportunities that capitalize on trends in big data, cloud computing, hyper-connectivity and mobility.
Most recently, Paul was CEO of Akamai Technologies from 2005 to 2013. He joined the company as employee #15 and chief operating officer in 1998, and helped to build Akamai into one of the world’s largest distributed-computing platforms. He continues to serve as vice chairman of the Akamai board of directors. Previously, Paul held several senior executive positions at Time Warner, including president and editor of new media at Time Inc. and senior vice president of cable programming at Time Warner Cable. He was a co-founder of Road Runner, the world’s first consumer broadband service, Pathfinder, one of the first Web portals, and NY1 News, the groundbreaking regional cable news service.
Paul is also a director of EMC Corp. and iRobot, Inc., and he is non-executive chairman of Datto, Inc., a General Catalyst portfolio company that is a leader in providing cloud-based data back-up and disaster recovery and business continuity services. In addition, Paul has experience with international business matters, having been a senior advisor to the World Economic Forum, and with cyber security, having been appointed by President Obama to the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee. Paul is a three-time Emmy Award winner for broadcast journalism and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
“The breadth of Paul’s business experience and network, and the industry leadership he’s demonstrated are extraordinary and invaluable to the entrepreneurs and founders he mentors,” said David Fialkow, a managing director at General Catalyst Partners. “We are extremely pleased that Paul is joining our team to focus on our XIR program, which we built to leverage the unique value that exceptional leadership can bring to partnerships with founders and entrepreneurs to build phenomenal businesses.”
“A core value of General Catalyst’s approach to investing is to support entrepreneurs and founders, and that philosophy was one of the most important factors that attracted me to join the firm and the XIR program for the next phase of my career,” said Sagan. “Their track record with companies such as Kayak, Demandware, Datalogix, Hubspot, CLEAResult, and Datto speaks to the success of the firm’s overall investment focus and its XIR program.”
Sagan continued, “I am very interested in capturing and leveraging the rapid growth of Internet-enabled businesses and see a tremendous opportunity to partner with emerging leaders in these sectors as they work through the challenges and opportunities that come with building successful enterprises.”
About the XIR Program
General Catalyst Partners’ XIR program pairs transformational executive/entrepreneurial leaders with founders of high-growth, founder-owned technology and technology-enabled businesses. XIRs are proven founders, CEOs and visionaries with deep domain expertise who partner with General Catalyst to identify investments in profitable companies in which they can be a catalyst for value creation and hyper-growth via a chairman or CEO role. Launched in 2009, the XIR program leverages the firm’s entrepreneurial and operational roots and its ability to attract transformational talent to create the infrastructure to fundamentally improve the outcome of a business.
About General Catalyst Partners
General Catalyst Partners is a venture capital firm that makes early-stage and growth equity investments. General Catalyst invests in exceptional entrepreneurs who are building the technology-based companies that will lead innovation and transform industries. Founded in 2000, General Catalyst leverages its principals’ extensive operational, business development and technological expertise to provide portfolio companies with a catalyst for success through business-building and partnership development assistance. General Catalyst has offices in Cambridge, MA, Palo Alto, CA and New York City. For more information, visit: www.generalcatalyst.com or https://twitter.com/gcvp