WELLESLEY HILLS, Mass. – Bessemer Venture Partners announced the promotion of Principal Gautam Prakash to general partner in May, bringing the group of top investment professionals to seven, he said.
“[Prakash] is a proven company builder,” said David Cowan, a general partner at the firm. “He not only invests in the right teams and markets, but he is an active contributor to the boards.”
Since joining the firm in 1993, Prakash has focused on e-health and business-to-business e-commerce investments. Although he invests mainly in industrial e-commerce companies, he brings a set of disciplines and an appreciation for profitability, from years of investing in lucrative offline companies, Cowan said.
“[Prakash] pays more attention to the long-term sustainability of business models and a company’s ability to execute than most of the Internet investors who think more conceptually about their investments,” Cowan said.
Since joining the firm, Prakash has led deals with SciQuest.com Inc., an online seller of lab equipment, which went public in November 1999, eSprocket Corp., an online marketplace for used industrial equipment, and DentalXChange Inc., an online provider of equipment and supplies for the dental industry, among others.
Prakash’s responsibilities as an investor – sourcing deals, conducting due diligence, negotiating deals and sitting on boards – will remain the same with his new position as general partner. As a general partner, he will however, acquire such additional roles as contributing to the firm’s investment strategy and personnel decisions, he said.
Prior to joining the firm, Prakash was a management consultant for McKinsey & Co., working primarily with companies in the medical and pharmaceutical fields.
With offices in California, Massachusetts and New York, Bessemer invests in early-stage communications technology and Internet infrastructure and business-to-business e-commerce companies, specifically in entities that help to make e-businesses work, Prakash said.
The firm has more than $1 billion under management, but it does not raise traditional venture funds. Rather, the firm draws capital on a quarterly basis from Bessemer Securities Corp., investing about $300 million to $400 million a year, Cowan said.
Prakash joins a group of five other general partners, Robert Goodman, G. Felda Hardymon, Rob Soni, Joanna Strober, and Cowen, and Robert Buescher, the administrative general partner.