Battery Ventures raises $2 billion to go after enterprise companies
Battery Ventures raised two new funds totaling $2 billion, almost double its last total and highlighting investors’ growing interest in companies that cater to other businesses, rather than consumers.
The new funds, a $1.2 billion Battery Ventures XIII, along with an $800 million side fund to help back extra-large bets, will keep investing in sectors like business-to-business software, information infrastructure and cybersecurity.
“We have always thought of B2B as the sexy market,” said general partner Michael Brown, in a gentle dig at the venture firms better known for consumer investments that are now beefing up their enterprise portfolio. “For us, it’s more of the same.”
Battery’s successes include tax-compliance software maker Avalara Inc., which first received an investment in 2012. Its shares are now trading at around $90, almost four times the level of its June 2018 initial public offering. Several of Battery’s portfolio companies were also acquired by bigger companies or private equity firms, including WebPT, ClearCare and Glassdoor.
The transactions helped lift interest in enterprise overall, along with the performance of Battery’s funds. Fund IX, which dates from 2010 and held investments in some of the recently exited portfolio companies, has an annual internal rate of return of 26%, according to Bloomberg data.
Battery hasn’t entirely escaped the malaise hanging over some consumer companies. It is an investor in Wag Labs Inc., a troubled dog-walking company. Some of its other retail businesses appear to have more momentum, such as StockX, a sneaker-trading marketplace.
The firm last raised two funds totaling $1.25 billion in February 2018.