Welcome to our Member Spotlight series where we give a profile overview of our many diverse members. For this deep dive, we spoke to Barry Eggers, Co-Founding Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners.
Tell us about your firm. What makes it different?
We started with an enterprise focus (where it takes longer to establish yourself with entrepreneurs through a body of work) and then built our consumer practice (where you can establish yourself pretty quickly with a single breakout deal). As a result, we now have good balance and diversification across the enterprise and consumer sectors. Most firms begin with a consumer focus and find it hard to later establish an enterprise practice.
Where did the firm’s name come from?
Lightspeed describes an important part of our culture: think big, move fast.
What defines your portfolio?
Our portfolio is defined by enterprise and consumer companies that are focused on becoming category leaders in large markets. We are also theme investors, so you will find clusters of companies addressing similar (or adjacent) high growth markets.
How is the firm different today than when you first started?
When we started the firm about two decades ago, we focused on early stage investing in the U.S. enterprise sector. Today, we have global reach (with investment partners on the ground in India, Israel and China), address early, growth, and late stage investment opportunities, and invest in both the enterprise and consumer sectors.
Why is Lightspeed a part of NVCA?
The impact of federal and state public policy on venture-funded companies has grown significantly over the last 10 years. As a leader in the venture ecosystem, Lightspeed believes it is important to influence lawmakers to make it easier for entrepreneurs to build great companies. I wrote down my thoughts on this topic in a blogpost about my visit to Capitol Hill last year. If you’re interested, you can read it here.
Tell us about the current VC landscape in your geography/region.
We are now in an era of Venture Capital where many investors have chosen to specialize on a particular stage or sector for differentiation. Other firms have chosen to invest broadly across geographies, stages, and sectors, and rapidly expanded their scale – the driving factor is a belief that we are in an unusual time where demographics, technology, and markets are creating massive opportunities for new entrants. We are in the latter group.
What’s ahead for your firm in 2019?
We will continue to focus on what we do best, early stage investing, while expanding our growth and late stage efforts on a global basis. We also hope to continue to deliver strong liquidity to our LPs. And when we’re not obsessing about investing, we’re obsessing about hiring. You can read more about some of our recent hires from my partner Jeremy Liew here.
Describe your firm’s culture in 5 words or less:
Craftsmen, Global, Opportunistic, Teamwork, Inclusive.