Welcome to our Member Spotlight series where we give a profile overview of our many diverse members. For this deep dive, we spoke to Alberto Yepez, Managing Director of ForgePoint Capital, and a former board member of NVCA.
Tell us about your firm. What makes it different?
At ForgePoint Capital, we work with entrepreneurs to scale companies building innovative solutions that protect our digital world. While some venture firms include cybersecurity as an investment theme, our team has a singular focus on the industry, driving unparalleled domain expertise across emerging industry trends. Our team has over eight decades of experience investing and operating in security. As one of the first and largest venture firms to focus entirely on cybersecurity, we have also become one of the most prolific investors across early and growth-stage cybersecurity companies. ForgePoint currently has over twenty active portfolio companies and $750 million in assets under management.
Where did your firm’s name come from?
After raising our inaugural fund, we changed our name to ForgePoint to reflect our mission: helping entrepreneurs forge the next generation of cybersecurity companies that protect the digital world. With our focus on security, we’re able to leverage our extended ecosystem of trusted advisors to drive value across the portfolio. As long-term, value-add investors, we understand the point at which these multiple relationships converge to forge innovation.
What defines your portfolio?
Cybersecurity has become a key enabler of digital transformation across industries. More broadly, we believe security underpins trust across the information economy. At ForgePoint, we define cybersecurity broadly, to capture our focus on enabling and protecting the benefits of the digital world. Due to the rapidly evolving nature of technology and the increasing sophistication of cyber adversaries, cybersecurity innovation is more important than ever. At its core, our portfolio consists of global, early- and growth-stage cybersecurity companies addressing the most pressing challenges facing individuals, businesses and governments. Over 80 percent of our portfolio companies are headquartered outside Silicon Valley, representing the diverse talents found across the United States, Europe and Australia.
How is the firm different today than when you first started?
Our investment team has continued to grow, and so has our extended network of advisors. We now have seven investment professionals and three venture consultants focused on cybersecurity (more than any other firm), and our industry Advisory Council has over sixty active members, providing a diverse perspective on emerging industry trends. Our portfolio has grown, too. We now have over twenty active companies across the security space. While we continue to remain focused on allocating most of our capital toward early-stage cybersecurity ventures, we have also become more deliberate about investing in growth-stage companies as well.
Why is your firm a part of the NVCA?
The NVCA not only brings together – and advocates for – the venture ecosystem as an authoritative voice, but also does a tremendous service keeping us educated on best practices and public policy developments that impact our industry.
What’s ahead for your firm in 2020?
We started the year off strong, announcing our latest $450 million fund in February. We have already closed seven new investments in the past three months, and our investment pace is unlikely to change despite macroeconomic tailwinds reversing as we see new opportunities to build great businesses, even during an economic downturn. We will also continue to leverage our extensive network of cybersecurity experts to focus on innovative solutions that address the growing security needs of businesses as well as government organizations. We anticipate focusing on emerging areas such as cyber intelligence, privacy engineering, managed security services, and infrastructure visibility and protection, among others.
Describe your firm’s culture in 5 words or less.
Mission-driven company builders.
After-all, ForgePoint Capital believes that investing in greater cybersecurity will ensure economic prosperity and protect individual privacy for the betterment of society.