2018 was a successful year for Sierra Ventures. Sierra X had two significant exits in addition to the prior nine acquisitions, allowing us to more than return capital for that fund. We made 10 exciting new investments in Sierra XI, and our existing portfolio companies in both funds raised substantial rounds of financing from top-notch investors. Finally, our investment team continues to expand and our CXO Board had some prominent new additions.
We had two very successful acquisitions from our Sierra X portfolio, each in strong focus areas for us – Data & Analytics and Security. In July, Treasure Data was acquired by ARM for $600M. We led the Series A investment in 2013. The company was the leader in live streaming data management with a big focus on the Internet of Things. One of our seed investments, RedLock, was a pioneer in the public cloud security space. In less than 3 years from our initial investment, and with only $14M raised in total, RedLock was acquired by Palo Alto Networks.
We continue to find exciting new opportunities in both our core sectors like enterprise applications and analytics and emerging areas like healthcare IT and blockchain.
Sierra XI led deals included 1) Appcues which is Boston-based and company focused on Application Experience Management for over 1,000 enterprises; 2) Yalo which is a messaging-centric conversational intelligence platform for enterprises to engage with and support their consumer customers in Latin America, and 3) Coretigo which provides the first wireless technology capable of handling mission critical applications in harsh environments, a key missing piece for smart manufacturing.
Additionally, Sierra made several seed investments in AI-centric technologies including Deep Lens (digital pathology) and SupportLogic (enterprise CRM). We are also excited about our involvement in two of the leading university incubators, E14 from MIT Media Labs and Skydeck from UC Berkeley.
A number of our companies raised significant financing rounds from strong investors. We would like to highlight a few examples.
CNEX Labs, the leader in storage controllers for the leading Internet companies’ data centers, attracted a $23M round led by Dell Technologies Capital. HIRED, an innovator in bringing curated talent to tech companies, raised $30M with IMCO (Canada) leading the round. Applitools, a pioneer in the UX testing market with ML technology raised a $31M financing with OpenView. Phenom People, which is creating the talent relationship management category, raised $22M led by AXA Ventures. Drop Technologies, a Toronto-based consumer fintech company, continued its growth powered by an $18M round with NEA.
New Team members were Adam Dawkins and Jing Liong joining the investment team and Allie Klun joining the operations team to lead Marketing and Platform. Our CXO Advisory Board also grew with new additions from Merck, GAP, Petco, SVB, USAA, Vice Media and more.
Our 13th annual CXO Summit was extremely well attended with speakers from industry (US DOD, Kaiser, Google, Prudential) and academia (Princeton, Wharton) and we announced that the 2019 Summit will be on October 17, 2019.
We are looking forward to another exciting year in 2019 and the opportunity to work closely with our entrepreneurs, investors and partners.
Jim Doehrman joined Sierra Ventures in 2015 to lead the firm’s CXO Network, Finance, HR, Investor Relations, Legal, and Marketing initiatives, as well as assist portfolio companies with back office infrastructure. Jim has a background as a COO, CAO, and CFO at public and private technology companies including Automotive SaaS company Xtime (M&A – Cox (AutoTrader) $325M) and digital media pioneer Gracenote (M&A – Sony $265M) just prior to joining Sierra. He was CFO for Managing Director Tim Guleri at Octane Software and helped engineer what was then the largest sale of a private software company ($3.2B). Prior to joining Octane, Jim had his operational and finance training in the public accounting, retail and media industries, including International assignments in London and Mexico City and led the initial IPO of the publisher of “the Dummies” books (eg. “DOS For Dummies”). During his career, Jim has led scores of M&A, debt and equity financing deals valued at over $4B. Jim is a CPA and holds a BA in Accounting and Finance from Southern Methodist University. Jim’s passion outside of work is wine. Ask him about the Sierra Ventures wine label!