boldstart in 2016, enterprise tech in 2017 year in review, outlook for enterprise tech in 2017

2016 was a banner year for boldstart, and we could not have achieved any of this without the amazing support of our boldstart family and the founders who have given us the opportunity to invest in and partner with them.

Before diving into the standard year-end predictions on the enterprise, I thought I would share some data on our firm and our founding teams from 2016:

  1. we welcomed 9 new enterprise founding teams to the portfolio including Workrails (started by venture partner Jeff Leventhal), BigID, Hypr,, and 5 stealth companies
  2. Thematically our new investments include 5 infrastructure/dev platforms, 3 security, and 2 SaaS; 4 are using some form of AI or machine learning; geographically 4 are in NYC, 3 Bay Area, 1 Canada, 1 Chicago
  3. 8 of our portfolio companies raised follow on Series A rounds with > $70mm raised and an average size of almost $9mm — announced rounds include Kustomer, Robin, Emissary, Replicated and Front — geographically 2 in NYC, 3 Bay Area, 1 Canada, 1 LA, 1 Chicago
  4. 4 of our portfolio companies raised Series B financings with close to $70mm raised and an average financing size greater than $17mm — announced rounds include security scorecard, handshake, and wevr — geographically 2 in NYC, 1 LA, 1 Canada
  5. fund iii had an oversubscribed closing of $47mm

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2017 will be big year for freelance economy Linkedin/Microsoft allowing users to hire freelancers in-app

When Microsoft announced the purchase of LinkedIn an overlooked element of the story was how they planned to give users the ability to find experts while inside of all office apps. Imagine being in powerpoint and having a sidebar to find expert designers who are connected to you for hire or sitting inside of Microsoft word and looking for some editing help from a contact of yours. This is going to be big and disruptive.

One of the key trends we have observed in our portfolio is that larger enterprises are looking to augment their teams using on-demand/freelance labor. We are seeing this across the board in companies like Wonder (on-demand research), Workrails (on-demand software consulting), Emissary (on-demand sales intelligence) and Crew (best freelance mobile designers and developers). We must all be wary of linkedin but I do believe there will be opportunities for incredibly focused startups to thrive in this space as LinkedIn and Microsoft make this more mainstream in the business world.