Boston go-to-market venture capital firm Stage 2 capital launches its second fund with the intention of investing $ 80 million in B2B software companies.
The firm’s approach combines venture capital expertise with a diverse community of over 250 sponsors and marketing experts who work with portfolio companies to accelerate revenue growth.
Firm co-founders Jay Po, former investor at Bessemer Venture Partners, and Mark Roberge, former chief revenue officer at HubSpot, launched Stage 2 Capital in 2018.
While at Bessemer, Po told TechCrunch that he met startup founders who were unsure of how to increase their income or build a sustainable sales machine. He saw how big the skills gap was in go-to-market (GtM), so evenings and weekends he took sales development classes to better understand what was going on.
At the same time, Roberge was a faculty member at Harvard Business School and advised startups. He, too, saw the founders struggling to develop their GtM feature, so much so that they gathered a bunch of data points and put them all together in a book, “The Sales Acceleration Formula: Using Data , technology and inbound sales to go from $ 0 to $ 100 million.
Po said the company “was virtual before it was cool” so it was able to invest in various geographies and set its own pace in terms of network management and presentations.
Their goal is to educate startups on the right time to evolve. While startups are expected to grow 100% or 200%, many startups scale prematurely because they see some companies experiencing massive growth all at once and assume that’s the way to do it, said Roberge. .
“We find that companies are getting into this set of goals prematurely and are not ready for it,” he added. “We help them understand when and how fast they can go. They often look at that past success, but don’t appreciate the context, like who the other company was selling to and the environment at the time.
Po and Roberge launched their first fund in 2018, raising $ 15 million, and ended up making 11 late-stage investments in Series A companies and built a network of 97 LPs from companies like Gong, Procore, Atlassian, Asana, and Drift. The company is keen to help businesses change the world, but Roberge said it will take some time and his peers have been impressed by the early signals from the investment thesis.
The first fund’s investments include companies from across the United States, including Sendoso, Ocrolus, Gosite and Reibus.
“Stage 2 Capital sets itself apart from all other VCs because of the expertise and partnership that Jay, Mark and LPs bring,” said Kris Rudeegraap, founder and CEO of Sendoso, in a written statement. “They have exceeded expectations by keeping their promises and we have increased our income almost 10 times in the short time since they invested.”
The company’s second fund represents a five-fold increase in investment capital, Po said. He expects to be able to invest in 20 more companies with an average check of $ 250,000. The duo have already made seven investments to date, including DeepScribe, Arcade, QuotaPath and Sales Impact Academy.