Almost every new enterprise software company today is a SaaS company, so when we started our search for a new general partner to join our enterprise team, we knew it had to be someone who would bring tremendous expertise and enhance our ability to invest in and support great SaaS businesses. People who know the SaaS startup world know Kristina Shen. We’ve long followed Kristina’s career as part of the notable team at Bessemer, where she also served as board member/observer of companies like Glint (sold to LinkedIn), Adaptive Insights (sold to Workday), Instructure (IPO), and, most recently, hot new deals such as ServiceTitan, Pana, and Gainsight.
Therefore, today we are absolutely thrilled to announce that Kristina will be joining a16z as our newest GP where she will be investing in enterprise SaaS.
SaaS has become the predominant model for delivering software, whether it’s core infrastructure, horizontal middleware layers, or applications. Yet, we know we’re still in the very early innings of SaaS in terms of overall IT spend. We are seeing a number of shifts that we believe are enduring as a result of SaaS: budget authority is being pushed further and further down in organizations, professional services dollars are being shifted to SaaS spend, and more. As a result, it’s an area we track closely, along with other top investors in the space.
We believe Kristina is one of the top analytical minds in the industry, as reflected in her phenomenal analysis of SaaS metrics and cloud computing in Bessemer’s State of the Cloud Report and Cloud Index, which she co-wrote. She has an enormous range, from developer tooling (Twilio) to non-traditional SaaS verticals (ServiceTitan). As important as her industry expertise and ability to think through the market is Kristina’s commitment to entrepreneurs. We strive to be the best enterprise team in the industry and our north star is the entrepreneur. The industry feedback we’ve gotten over the years about Kristina is beyond exceptional.
As a team, we run as a pack. When we look for new members, we look for the best talent in the industry who will make us better. When we first started speaking with Kristina, we had the belief she was the best person for this job. But now, having spent months with her, we know she is and we feel so lucky to be able to work with her going forward.
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