Menlo Ventures announced in late May it has strengthened its services offering by launching a targeted program to address what it sees as the key needs of young portfolio companies.
The tightly focused initiative, given the name Fuel, contrasts with more expansive efforts of other firms. It also comes with the news of a new hire. Jordan Ormont is joining the firm as a talent partner from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
“We felt like a lot of the other services programs in the industry were broad,” said Matt Murphy, the Menlo managing director responsible for putting the program together. “They weren’t really put together in the form of a program.”
Portfolio services continue to be a big priority for venture firms teeing off efforts at Andreessen Horowitz and First Round Capital several years ago that brought new attention to the importance of attracting entrepreneurs with more than money. Some firms have taken a comprehensive approach to portfolio support while others picked specific areas to concentrate their efforts, such as recruiting or marketing.
At Menlo, Fuel is built around four key functions: developing sales strategies and teams; developing marketing strategies; assisting with partner and customer development; and aiding with recruitment. Running the different functions will be Operating Partner Jim Dawson; Director of Marketing Jenny Saling; Kayla Hinderscheid, who works with network development; and Ormont, who will build a network of industry executives and young entrepreneurs that Menlo might work with now or in the future.
The aim is to have the pieces of the program fit tightly together.
“I think it is something that hopefully attracts the right entrepreneurs to work with us,” said Murphy, who joined the firm from Kleiner Perkins last year. “I think it distinguishes us with entrepreneurs.”
Image of butler designed by Janet Yuen for VCJ using ©iStock