Former Salesforce Co-CEO Keith Block Launches Enterprise Software Investment Firm, Smith Point Capital, LLC
Strategy pairs strong investing acumen with deep operating expertise to build durable, industry-leading software businesses with accelerated and responsible growth.
Operating model supported by network of proven and highly respected executives from leading enterprise software businesses.
ServiceNow will serve as a strategic partner and an anchor investor in Smith Point Capital Fund I.
San Francisco and New York – Smith Point Capital, LLC (“Smith Point”), an operator-led enterprise software venture investment firm, today announced the launch of the firm and the first closing of its inaugural fund, Smith Point Capital Fund I. Smith Point Capital was founded by CEO Keith Block, former Co-CEO of Salesforce, together with Burke Norton and Chris Lytle, long-time software industry executives and investors. The Smith Point team’s decades of experience as highly successful enterprise software operators and investors forms the foundation of the firm’s differentiated strategy. The firm’s approach focuses on collaborating with, and investing in, the most innovative software businesses to implement proven, best-in-class revenue growth, innovation, and operational strategies to dramatically accelerate financial and market success. Smith Point has set a hard cap for investor commitments of $400 million for Fund I.
With the accelerating pace of digital transformation, the increasingly mission-critical nature of software across all industries and geographies, and the dramatic reset in valuations, the Smith Point team believes the firm’s launch could not come at a more promising moment to invest in, and help build, durable, industry-leading enterprise software businesses.
“Over the course of my career, I’ve seen the power of putting the right investment together with the right operational expertise to accelerate growth and build industry-leading businesses,” said Keith Block, Founder and CEO of Smith Point. “We founded Smith Point to meet the needs of growth-stage enterprise software entrepreneurs who need capital and real-world operational guidance from industry veterans in order to achieve the full potential of their businesses. Together with an incredible team of industry luminaries, we are bringing our operator-led investment approach to enterprise software investing.”
ServiceNow, a global leader in cloud‐based platform and solutions, is Smith Point’s strategic partner and an anchor investor in Smith Point Capital Fund I. The company’s cloud-based platform and solutions help digitize and unify organizations so that they can find smarter, faster, better ways to make work flow. So employees and customers can be more connected, more innovative, and more agile.
“Keith and the Smith Point team have an exceptional track record of success in the software industry,” said ServiceNow Chairman and CEO Bill McDermott. “Smith Point’s differentiated, operator-led investment strategy aligns with ServiceNow’s strategy, which is focused on fostering innovation in companies and markets at the leading edge of digital transformation. The strategic partnership between Smith Point and ServiceNow will drive a new wave of growth through the next generation of digital disruptors.”
Additional investors which participated in the first closing of Smith Point Capital Fund I include the advisory clients of the Hillman Company, Solamere Capital, and investor David A. Tepper among other institutions and individuals.
Differentiated Enterprise Software Investment Strategy
The Smith Point team has successfully executed on hundreds of software investments across multiple economic cycles. In addition, Smith Point’s Managing Directors each have decades of experience building enterprise software businesses, fuelling innovation, and implementing proven operational strategies to dramatically grow and scale some of the world’s leading enterprise software companies. The team’s expertise spans the most important attributes of enterprise software business success, including product innovation, go-to-market and ecosystem strategies, leadership and talent, customer success, and platform differentiation. The firm believes that the combination of software investing acumen and operating expertise makes Smith Point Capital uniquely qualified to address the needs of software companies operating in today’s challenging environment.
A critical element of the firm’s strategy includes the Smith Point Precision Advisory Network, which is comprised of industry-leading senior executives currently operating at many of the most innovative software companies in the world. Smith Point will extend its own operating expertise by leveraging the experience and professional networks of the members of its Precision Advisory Network to foster impactful relationships with the management teams of Smith Point portfolio companies in order to accelerate responsible growth.
Mr. Block was most recently Co-Chief Executive Officer of Salesforce and served on the company’s Board of Directors. Prior to Salesforce, he served as Executive Vice President of North America at Oracle. Mr. Norton was most recently Senior Managing Director at Vista Equity Partners, where he was co-head of Vista’s Perennial Capital Fund, and was previously a senior executive and a member of the Executive Committee at Salesforce. Mr. Norton was previously a technology industry securities lawyer and was a partner at Wilson Sonsini. Mr. Lytle has more than 25 years of experience in technology investing and management, last serving as President of Longfellow Capital. Prior to Longfellow, he served in various senior executive roles with enterprise software companies and as a Managing Director at Morgan Stanley leading RCL Capital.
About Smith Point Capital, Ltd.
Smith Point Capital was founded by leading enterprise technology operators and investors. The firm has a highly differentiated investment strategy: Identifying and collaborating with the most innovative enterprise software companies to implement proven, best-in-class revenue growth, innovation and operational strategies to dramatically accelerate financial and market success while building durable, industry-leading businesses.
Christina Stenson, Gladstone Place Partners
Katie Rodday, Smith Point Capital