Responding to a popular request, we are now sharing transcripts of our investor podcast interviews in this new series. The following interview with Garrett Goldberg was recorded in April 2020.
Garrett Goldbert, Partner at Bee Partners, discusses his firm’s enterprise focused investment thesis, including some unique insights on SaaS-powered vertical marketplaces.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s get you acquainted with our community. Tell us a bit about your background as well as about Bee Partners.
Garrett Goldberg: There’s no one well-trodden path into venture capital. I started at the bottom at an angel fund when a friend pitched me her idea. I was making angel investments through a group, and the group taught me how to make the investments.
I eventually became the screening committee chair of a regional angel group. My wife moved back to San Francisco. I met a guy who was an angel. Bee Partners is a manifestation of his and my angel investing activity. We realized that at that early stage, it was more than $25,000. It was support. It was helping people get from zero to one.
Sramana Mitra: You and your partner, what kind of trajectory did you follow before coming to angel investing just to get a sense of where your center of gravity is.
Garrett Goldberg: This is my third career, I’d like to say. I started in professional sports after college here in the Bay Area and then went into real estate development. It was only through that happenstance of a friend that I got into venture. My partner was in private equity in New York and he had made a couple of angle investments himself. One of them hit and that was what enabled him to say, “I’m going to stop and form this firm.”
Sramana Mitra: What is the positioning of Bee Partners? There has been a tremendous expansion of the seed capital ecosystem. What are the vital statistics and positioning of Bee Partners?
Garrett Goldberg: In the last 10 years, there has been this bifurcation of the seed world. Before, you had seed and Series A and a group of angels before.
Since 2009, we’ve seen this atomization of the seed. You have pre-seed, seed, and post-seed. With that, pre-seed investing has become a legitimate investable asset class. Consistent with that productization of the angel world, pre-seed investing is where Bee Partners fits. We were doing it before it was called pre-seed.
We’re very focused on that stage. Not every company reaches Series A or B, but every company has that zero stage. We’re a team of four where the third and fourth partners work primarily on the portfolio and on marketing for the portfolio because that’s what is needed. We really think that that support at the early stage can make a huge difference. Once a company is on its way, it’s a big moving ship.
Sramana Mitra: How big is the fund?
Garrett Goldberg: The current fund is $40 million. We’re on our third fund right now. The first one was $7 million. Then we raised $30 million and then a little over $40 million.