Thank you for dropping in. We suspect you are here to learn a bit about who we are, our investment philosophy, and whether we might be a good partner for you and your vision. We know it's imperative to have partners who are aligned with your mission. So we've penned the next few paragraphs to help you understand who we are and how we practice our craft.
Like you, we are company builders. We are a team of entrepreneurs, operators, and investors. Our experience can help you avoid the many land mines that can obstruct the path to success. We love big ideas that can scale into epic companies, and we will roll up our sleeves to help. We are pro-founder. We back founders who we believe have the desire and will to go the distance. We are growth investors, tending toward the early growth stages but willing to invest at any point during the scaling and hypergrowth stage of development. We are low maintenance. We participate in the journey by sharing our perspective, offering our counsel, and providing access to our network – but the decisions are yours to make. Our success is not defined by our own accomplishments but by the company we keep. So once we are in, we are all in.
DFJ has been backing extraordinary entrepreneurs for nearly four decades. Our family roots go back to William Henry Draper Jr., who co-founded the first Silicon Valley venture capital firm, Draper, Gaither and Andersen, in 1959. Since then, three generations of Drapers have been instrumental in creating the venture capital industry we know today. From this heritage emerged the modern DFJ, a firm co-founded by Tim Draper, John Fisher, and Steve Jurvetson. They developed a reputation for being innovative, forward-looking and fearless, embracing change and bold new ideas as they backed disruptive startups like Baidu, Hotmail, and Skype.
The new millennium brought change to the traditional venture capital landscape. Public markets became skeptical of the tech sector, harboring scars from the Dotcom Bust. New regulations made it virtually impossible for early-stage companies to raise growth capital via an IPO as was done traditionally. The tables were set for new innovation in the venture capital ecosystem. Enter DFJ Growth.
In 2005, seeing opportunity where others saw challenges, John Fisher brought together Mark Bailey, Randy Glein, and Barry Schuler to explore new approaches. They reasoned young tech companies could scale more efficiently if they stayed private longer, avoiding the short term motivations and scrutiny of the public markets. They believed more scale would be required to reach an IPO, thus creating a gap between the strategies of early-stage venture capital and the public markets. This situation presented a perfect opportunity to put capital and operational expertise to work. DFJ Growth was conceived to fill this emerging funding gap. Within a decade, the venture growth category exploded in size and significance, and DFJ Growth emerged as a leading growth investor and prominent backer of many disruptive leaders including Coinbase, SpaceX, Tesla, Twitter, and Unity.
Scaling companies is hard. We like to think of ourselves as guides on this journey, Sherpas who have travelled the path many times and faced the inevitable forks in the road and unknown peril at every turn. Our team of partners are successful entrepreneurs, operators and professional investors with more than 150 years of collective experience. We are expert navigators, at your side, seeking to leverage our knowledge and know-how to make the journey smoother, faster, and more direct.
Being an entrepreneur is invigorating, but it can be lonely too. We are partners and mentors, bringing our experience and relationships to help our entrepreneurs attract world-class talent, keep teams motivated and on-mission, build great cultures, execute efficient go-to-market strategies, develop differentiated and defensible product roadmaps, structure the business to measure and optimize performance, and institute public-grade governance. These are a few areas where our guidance can help entrepreneurs succeed. We are consumed by this role, to be a valued partner on the entrepreneurial journey. We listen. We support. We guide. We can't commit to climbing Everest with you as a team-building exercise (it's gotten pretty crowded up there), but helping you build an iconic company – that's our wheelhouse.
DFJ Growth is based in Silicon Valley, the home of a powerful ecosystem that has spawned so many visionary entrepreneurs, game-changing innovations, and iconic tech companies. Silicon Valley has an ethos that supports taking big risks, accepting failure as a learning experience, and seeking disruptive innovation as a path toward betterment. It is a state of mind, but it is in no way exclusive to the San Francisco Bay region.
We realized at the outset the Bay Area doesn't own the franchise on great ideas or have access to all the world's talent. As a result, we invest everywhere. In fact, a majority of our investments are located outside Silicon Valley. When an extraordinary entrepreneur emerges in some distant place, you will find us there ready to help light the path and navigate their journey.
We are often asked, "What do you look for in an entrepreneur?" The answer is simple: a burning ember poised to erupt. Someone with a bold idea, a solution to a problem, a better approach. They refuse to accept the status quo. They are creators. Building their idea into an iconic company is their very air. They cannot imagine a future without it. There is no other calling for them, they are compelled to see it through.
Genuine entrepreneurs are a rare breed. They see the future before others and make it so. We identify with them because we are cut from the same cloth. If you and your team identify with the words we've crafted here, we'd welcome the chance to add our fuel to your fire.