Our Thoughts on Fund VIII

We are excited to announce Spectrum’s newest fund, Spectrum Equity VIII, with $1.25 billion in capital commitments and are tremendously honored by the support from our limited partners.  The significant majority of this capital came from investors who have participated in our prior funds, several of whom have been our partners for over 20 years.  We’re also thrilled to welcome a small group of new institutional investors who will bring additive perspective and reach to our firm.  Over 60 individuals also joined us as investors in Fund VIII, most of whom are founders, executives, or board members of our current and past portfolio companies.


In some ways, the closing of a fund doesn’t change much for Spectrum.  Yet, each fundraising cycle is significant in that it catalyzes our thinking about our goals for the firm and focuses us on how we want to spend our time in the coming years.  Fund VIII is incrementally larger than our prior $1.0 billion fund, but we see it as a reaffirmation of our existing strategy and a commitment to maintain the focus and discipline which has been critical to our success. 


Spectrum now has 36 investment professionals across a portfolio of just 24 active portfolio companies. Rather than making a broadly diversified portfolio of “bets”, our focus has enabled us to spend extensive time with each of our management teams and to make a meaningful contribution to our companies’ success.  We seek out management teams who want our advice and support, and are eager to leverage our industry depth and the reach of our platform. We don’t intend to scale our business by making significantly more investments each year or spreading ourselves too thin.


 We have also consciously designed the new fund to maintain our existing investment size parameters.  Over the last decade, Spectrum has made investments which range from ~$25 million to well over $100 million.  We have seen similar success across this full range of transactions and have no desire to limit our opportunity set by increasing our minimum investment size.  However, we do occasionally make new investments or follow-ons which scale above our fund’s capacity.  Instead of raising a much larger fund to address this, we’ve decided to develop a flexible overage program for the first time in Spectrum’s history.  With an additional $125 million of committed capital which can be invested in a more concentrated fashion, we can now opportunistically pursue larger transactions or follow-on opportunities with our existing companies.  After building relationships with management teams over years, our transactions often materialize very quickly.  We believe this overage program will make us more nimble.


Our founders formed Spectrum almost 25 years ago with the strategy of building a growth equity firm with deep industry specialization.  Specific domain expertise continues to underpin our strategy, as the Internet has evolved into a strong tailwind for the business attributes we have always valued most highly — recurring revenue, sustainable structural advantages, lack of customer concentration, proprietary content, demonstrable brand loyalty, network effects, and operating leverage with scale.  As we grow our investment team and learn from our relationships with innovative management teams, we feel fortunate to apply our specialized approach to growth equity to a steadily expanding set of industry verticals.


Spectrum’s industry experience is a big reason why management teams choose to partner with us, and we have worked to build a team of professionals who bring this expertise to our portfolio companies. In that vein, we’re particularly excited to announce that we have promoted Adam Margolin to Managing Director and Leah Palmer to General Counsel.  Adam joined Spectrum in 2005 as a Senior Associate and has had tremendous success at each level of seniority at the firm.  Like most of our team, he has grown up professionally at the firm and developed incredible experience and domain knowledge along the way.  We are sure he will enjoy similar success in his new role as one of our MDs. 


Leah joined us in 2015, but she had worked with us for many years prior as a partner at Kirkland & Ellis.  She was our first in-house attorney and has quickly become a trusted advisor internally and with our portfolio companies.  Alongside Brian Regan, our CFO, and Carolina Picazo, our Chief Compliance Officer and Head of Tax, Leah has significantly bolstered the platform of resources that our companies benefit as part of the Spectrum family.


Evolution is a necessity in our business, but so is strategic focus. As we approach our 25th anniversary, we remain as passionate about what we do as ever and are privileged to work with an amazing group of colleagues, entrepreneurs and companies.