Josh Guttman has joined SoftBank Capital, a venture group affiliated with Japan’s SoftBank Corp, as a partner. He will focus on SoftBank Capital’s investments in early-stage technology startups based in New York State. Guttman joins from Outbrain, where he was a SVP of platform sales.
New York, NY – July 15, 2013 – SoftBank Capital, a venture group affiliated with Japan’s SoftBank Corp., today announced the hiring of Josh Guttman as a partner focused on SoftBank Capital’s investments in early-stage technology startups based in New York State. Guttman joins SoftBank Capital from Outbrain, the leading content discovery platform, where he acted as senior vice president of platform sales.
Guttman brings an entrepreneur’s perspective to SoftBank Capital. A 12-year veteran of the New York City tech ecosystem and frequent mentor/angel to local startups, Guttman was part of the early team at the content recommendation engine, Sphere, which was acquired by AOL in 2008. He served as the company’s CEO post-acquisition and led its divestiture from AOL and sale to Outbrain in early 2011 (then rebranded as Surphace). During his time at Outbrain, he supported the growth of the business from 50 to 250 global employees. Guttman began his career at Robertson Stephens & Co. in San Francisco, where he was actively involved in more than $350 million of private equity and venture capital transactions in U.S. and Europe.
“Josh knows what it takes to build and grow a successful business in key growth categories like digital media, SaaS and ad tech,” said Jordan Levy, managing partner at SoftBank Capital. “We feel his addition is highly complimentary to our investment team and will strengthen our ability to identify and partner with the next generation of leading New York State startups.”
Guttman will be working to invest the $51 million that SoftBank Capital recently raised for investments in New York State. The drop-down fund, announced last month, will focus on high-growth opportunities in social, e-commerce, digital media and software-as-a-service, and Guttman will be working alongside a veteran SoftBank Capital team.
“SoftBank Capital is a marquee brand with a no BS, founder-first philosophy that really resonates with me. I’m thrilled to be joining the super-talented team here in New York to help more company founders grow their businesses and make their dreams a reality,” Guttman explained.
The New York State investments are a key component of SoftBank Capital’s diverse array of investment activities. In 2013, the firm already announced a $250 million fund targeting growth-stage, sector-leading technology companies seeking to expand their Asian presence as well as a $20 million add-on investment from Yahoo! Japan earmarked for early-stage investments in U.S. startups looking to break into the Japanese market.
About SoftBank Capital
SoftBank Capital provides venture funding and strategic support to exceptional entrepreneurs building disruptive enduring businesses. The firm manages over $600 million and invests across a company’s lifecycle, from seed to expansion stages. Through its close ties to a number of Asia’s leading mobile, internet and technology companies – including strategic partners SoftBank Corp, Yahoo! Japan and Alibaba Group – SoftBank Capital offers unique expertise to businesses seeking to address the Asian market. Since 1995, SoftBank Capital has worked with industry leaders such as Criteo, Gilt Groupe, OMGPOP (Zynga), betaworks, BuzzFeed, Buddy Media (Salesforce.com), Huffington Post (AOL), Associated Content (Yahoo!), Danger (Microsoft), Geocities (Yahoo!), E*Trade and Yahoo!. To learn more about SoftBank Capital, visit www.softbank.com.