Scale raises $400 mln sixth fund, unveils Scale Studio benchmark site

Scale Venture Partners said it raised a larger $400 million sixth fund with the goal of accommodating a couple more deals this fund cycle as well as today’s larger rounds.

The Foster City, California-based firm also unveiled Scale Studio, a metrics-based website designed to let private cloud companies benchmark themselves against competitors.

Scale emphasized the oversubscribed fund will not depart from the investment strategy that guided its $335 million, vintage 2016 fifth fund.

“This just gives us more flexibility,” said Partner Ariel Tseitlin. “We’re not changing the fund strategy for the firm.”

What this means is Scale’s thematic focus for more than a decade on cloud and SaaS will continue. However, with both cloud and SaaS showing maturity as investment sectors, the new fund will look for deals as well in areas such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, security and frontier tech, including robotics.

It also will enable Scale, traditionally focused on Series B round companies with developed products, customers and early revenue, to look more actively at Series A deals, as it did with its fifth fund.

Five partners will manage the new fund: Stacey Bishop, Rory O’Driscoll, Andy Vitus, Alex Niehenke and Tseitlin. Firm co-founder Kate Mitchell, who didn’t make new investments from the fifth fund, will not make new investments with the new fund.

The firm, known for such exits as Box, DocuSign and ExactTarget, anticipates it will make its Scale Studio available broadly to entrepreneurs and startups at the end of the summer. The platform was developed over the past several years, and select portfolio companies were given access last year as a beta test.

Its goal is to assist companies making business decisions and developing operational plans by enabling them to compare their performance with companies at similar stages of growth. Startups submit financial data to the site and then benchmark themselves against the data Scale has collected from other companies. The data is aggregate and anonymous.

“We wanted to make this kind of asset available to help companies grow,” Tseitlin said. “There is no definitive place entrepreneurs can go.”

The firm said the site will begin with metrics and benchmarks and expand into other areas.

“We expect this to be an investment we are making over many years to come,” Tseitlin said.