January 28, 2013 § Leave a comment
Today, we are pleased to congratulate Crashlytics, one of our wonderful seed-stage investments on their acquisition by Twitter (announcement here). The acquisition of this company started by Wayne Chang and Jeff Seibert, two brilliant and hard-working entrepreneurs, represents our second successful exit in the few years that Apricot Capital has been operating. We are so happy for the whole Crashlytics team and can’t think of a better partner to help fulfill the vision of the company. Crashlytics is a lightweight crash reporting solution that is used by some of the largest mobile and web companies in the world. We like to think of them as more of the director in a film than the lead actor.
When my partner and I (Jennifer Lum, Cofounder of Adelphic Mobile and Peter Wernau, CEO of Wernau Asset Management) started Apricot Capital in the summer of 2010, the world was far from certain. The global economy was just beginning to find its footing after the worst banking crisis in a generation and capital was scarce and scared.
So we decided to start a seed-stage investment company… not necessarily the logical conclusion you might draw. As committed value and vision investors, we thought we saw the opportunity to invest in the ideas of a few great entrepreneurs at reasonable prices. In a way, we saw it as a path to creating value in what some termed the “new normal”. Having had some of our own success, we also saw it as a bit of a responsibility.
Jennifer’s vision for identifying great new innovative ideas in technology with a path for scale and success was combined Peter’s financial analysis and value expertise to create an independent Angel investment company. To date, the firm has invested in 13 seed-stage companies many of which have raised substantial A rounds and two of which have now been acquired (Peekaboo Mobile by nSphere in 2011 and Crashlytics by Twitter in 2013).
As we move forward, we remain engaged and excited by the entrepreneurs who are our partners in developing the next generation of great companies. Crashlytics acquisition by Twitter shows that strategic partners continue to value a good idea that is integral to the technology ecosystem, whether it is in front of or behind the camera.
July 28, 2011 § Leave a comment
A significant pain point for SMB owners is the need to manage the complexities of human resources while juggling the demands of running an enterprise. The biggest challenge many small business owners face is keeping their company going and growing. To do that successfully, one needs to leverage a combination of technology and domain expertise to reduce costs and optimize cycle times.
Leveraging the cloud is a major component of the future of functional processing for small business. Leading providers of functional domain applications are migrating to the cloud for both storage and processing of critical SMB data. TribeHR, a recent investment of Apricot Capital, provides a logical migration path to the cloud with imbedded process management for Human Resources. The platform simplifies and automates the task nature of managing the HR process while empowering employees allowing the employer to focus on people rather than process.
When Apricot makes an investment we follow a simple methodology. Define the need, Define the speed.
Apricot saw the value in this investment as a gateway to a largely untapped market segment, small business. The power of the cloud is scale. Cloud eliminates internal technology headaches so management can focus on the real problems facing their business.
From a market sizing perspective, small business owners will hire and sadly fire an estimated 5 million employees over the next 3 years. Most small business owners have very little or no HR management process or best practices in place. Therefore, the need for a subject matter expert in the HR function with an integrated system and process made a lot of sense to us.
Small business needs to ramp up new processes quickly so they don’t interfere with the operations of the business. First, TribeHR helps companies quickly ramp their HR process. Next, management showed the ability to quickly adapt to emerging client feedback and integrate updates in a structured way into their product set. Finally, the company needed to be a first mover in a space that is largely unoccupied. Speed to market is essential for the company to succeed and we felt our investment would help lead them faster down that path.
On July 27, 2011, TribeHR announced that it had secured a $1 million round of seed financing from Matrix Partners. We are pleased to have helped TribeHr as an Angel and excited for the partnership that Matrix brings to the future of their business.