Greg Sands sees a lack of good funding sources for very young enterprise-focused cloud and “applied big data” companies. That why Sands, a former partner with Sutter Hill Ventures, founded Costanoa Venture Capital with $100 million to provide seed and Series A funding for such startups.
There weren’t enough VCs that could write “relatively good sized checks” of $500,000 to $3 million and then could continue to be good partners with these startups, Sands told me recently. “That means having reserves to help companies over time and being able to help them recruit, do business development and get distribution.”
To date, Costanoa — which has Sutter Hill backing and is just coming out of stealth mode — has funded ten companies including Datalogix, DemandBase, Guardian Analytics, Intacct and Risk I/O.
When it comes to “big data” investments, he is looking not so much for platform companies — they don’t seem to have a problem finding funding (Cloudera just netted another $65 million). He’s more interested in those building applications that apply proprietary aggregated data to a problem set. DemandBase, which captures business identity information from IP addresses to better target marketing pitches, as an example of this category.