Introducing OpenView’s Next Generation Of Investors
It would be an understatement to say that the past few years of software have been unpredictable. Building an expansion stage software company is no easy feat in the best of times—and these have not always been the best of times.
Since 2006, OpenView has helped the best expansion stage software founders confidently realize their ambitions by connecting them to the right resources: people, ideas, and capital. While markets have been up and down, one thing has remained consistent over this period: software buying markets have been resilient. Software increasingly powers our working lives—and businesses depend on software as the connective tissue of their operations. With the rise of product-led growth (PLG), AI/ML, and industry vertical-specific software, we remain as excited as ever about the future of software.
We’re doubling down on our commitment to software founders by welcoming an incredible class of investment vice presidents, four of whom joined OpenView in the past few months. These leaders have a diverse set of backgrounds, experiences, and areas of software domain expertise. It’s my pleasure to introduce you to OpenView’s next generation of investors.
Location: Boston, MA (formerly: Seattle, WA)
Originally from Seattle, Kaitlyn traded her rain jacket for snow boots in 2018, when she moved to Boston to join OpenView. She focuses on investments in infrastructure, developer tools, data/AI, and security and has led five investments at OpenView in these domains: Comet (MLOps), Cypress.io (software testing), Kintent (trust and compliance automation), Kolide (mobile device management), and balena (developer tools for IoT). She’s passionate about working with technical people and products and believes that great investors can come from anywhere—not just banking and consulting.
When asked “Why choose OpenView?” Kaitlyn responded:
“I believe in doing everything you can to empower people who want to change the world for the better. The OpenView expansion model puts real, measurable energy into helping founders build businesses that improve people’s working lives.”
Before OpenView, Kaitlyn worked at Amazon, where she ran the experimentation program for one of Amazon’s core pricing models. Before that, she tried her hand at starting an AgTech company, an experience she describes as “a massive failure for the company, but a great learning experience for me and my team.”
Outside of OpenView, Kaitlyn spends time on initiatives to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion in VC and early-stage startups. She’s a volunteer with Invest in Girls, a nonprofit that gives high-school-aged women the resources and confidence to enter the world of finance. On the weekends, you can find Kaitlyn at the CrossFit gym (she used to be a personal trainer and competitive Olympic weightlifter) or rock climbing in New Hampshire. Connect with Kaitlyn.
Location: Boston, MA (formerly: San Francisco, CA)
Before Chris joined OpenView in 2021, he had spent most of his life in the Bay Area. Having grown up in the heart of Silicon Valley, innovation was always top of mind, leading to him staying local to get his undergrad and master’s at Stanford and eventually pursuing a career in technology.
Coming out of school, Chris first started in tech banking at Credit Suisse before making the switch over to investing at GI Partners. He then moved to Omega Venture Partners, where he helped lead investments in early-growth stage B2B SaaS companies. At Omega, he focused primarily on AI-enabled software, as well as all things PLG and invested in companies such as Otter.ai, ZenBusiness, and DataRobot.
Prior to joining OpenView, Chris was at Productiv, a high-growth startup in the SaaS management space, where he worked in a mix of product and GTM roles. When asked “Why choose OpenView?” Chris responded:
“OpenView is about providing companies with not just capital, but more importantly, relevant and hyper-focused strategic resources at the critical expansion stage to accelerate growth and increase their likelihood of success. I’m excited to work with a group that prioritizes intellectual curiosity and entrepreneurial empathy.”
Now based in Boston, Chris spends as much time outdoors as possible, whether on the golf course, in the mountains, or at a sports game cheering for his hometown teams, the Warriors and 49ers. He understands the value and application of AI-enabled software in addition to opportunities around the future of work, more broadly. Paired with his experience leveraging PLG at scale, Chris is eager to team up with founders to build the next generation of SaaS technology.
Talk to Chris about the future of work, EdTech, and product-led growth—or ask him about the glory days of playing football at Stanford. Connect with Chris.
Location: Boston, MA
Sean has been Boston based his entire life, including through college where he was a member of the rowing team at Boston College. It was through rowing where Sean developed a deep appreciation for the fundamentals of a team of people—trust, commitment, and alignment—required to build an organization that achieves great outcomes.
Throughout his professional career, Sean has worn a lot of hats (not including the winter hat needed for rowing on the Charles River in the middle of winter). Since joining OpenView in 2018, Sean has led the firm’s Proactive Portfolio Management function and also acted as director of corporate development, supporting the portfolio on inorganic and balance-sheet-related initiatives. During that time, he released four versions of OpenView’s SaaS Benchmarks reports, supported on numerous follow-on equity investments, M&A transactions, and venture debt raises with OpenView’s portfolio. He also wrote a weekly blog that he promises will return (you can find him on Twitter in the meantime). Sean joined the Investment team at OpenView in 2021 to provide his experience and expertise as a trusted partner to founders from day one.
Sean began his career as an M&A advisor with Aeris Partners, a Boston-based firm serving market leading software businesses. Prior to OpenView, Sean led finance and strategy at Dispatch (acquired by Vista Equity Partners). When asked “Why choose OpenView?” Sean responded:
“People create the numbers on the page, not the other way around—OpenView brings focused experience at the expansion stage and forges deep partnerships with entrepreneurs to support scaling the people and teams that build category defining companies that improve people’s working lives.”
Sean is passionate about vertical software (particularly in blue collar industries), B2B marketplaces, and PLG (better yet, the combination of all three). Sean loves partnering with founders who want to shift the paradigm in their chosen product markets and who are using technology to improve their customers’ working lives. Maybe you’ll catch him on your next run by the Esplanade, as he has been an avid rower and coach for over 15 years. Or maybe he’ll zip by you on a mountain bike or skis. Connect with Sean.
Location: Boston, MA (formerly: Salt Lake City, UT)
Coming to Boston by way of Utah, when Erika is not investing, she can be found doing almost anything outdoors. This includes cruising on her motorcycle, hiking, or skiing.
Before graduate school, Erika managed product for a private equity-backed company and led strategic growth initiatives ahead of the company’s acquisition. From there, she began her career as an investor at Sorenson Capital, a growth-stage firm focused on infrastructure, cybersecurity, and analytics software.
When asked “Why choose OpenView?” Erika responded:
“People are at the heart of what we do. We care deeply about our founders and actively engage to help them navigate critical business decisions. From hiring to go-to-market strategy, OpenView is there every step of the way.”
Erika’s experience launching products and understanding of the landscape (both tech and terrain) allows her to be a powerful advocate for supply chain solutions that can revolutionize businesses.
Talk to Erika about cybersecurity, infrastructure, or vertical SaaS. Oh, and don’t forget to ask her about her career as a “mutton buster” from ages six to eight (she was one of those little kids who rode sheep in rodeos). Connect with Erika.
Location: New York City, NY
Andrew is wholly focused on partnering with the next generation of enterprise software entrepreneurs, leveraging his experience helping companies scale from initial product to repeatable GTM motions at scale. He partners with entrepreneurs at early-to-mid stages who are focused on new opportunities in applied AI, cybersecurity, infrastructure software, and vertical SaaS.
Andrew has invested across all stages, from seed to pre-IPO, starting his career in growth equity at General Atlantic with an investment in Box. Since then, Andrew has made over 15 investments in categories ranging from applied ML/AI (PathAI); cybersecurity (OPSWAT); infra software and vertical software in fintech; and more.
Andrew’s focus on more technically complex products comes from his engineering and computer science background, in addition to his deep love for learning about emerging new technologies. Andrew spends much of his time with founders, strategizing on GTM, product positioning, and other chess moves to accelerate growth.
When asked “Why choose OpenView?” Andrew responded:
“OV has a great group of people—ultimately that’s what you’re betting on in any institution, and it’s an easy bet to make here.”
In his free time, he’s a big skier and self-proclaimed mediocre tennis/squash player. Talk to Andrew about anything related to applied AI or vertical SaaS—or at least about the school he supports in the Caribbean. Connect with Andrew.
Location: Boston, MA
Steve grew up outside of Chicago and has always been fascinated by startups and entrepreneurship. While his computer assembly and repair business in high school didn’t entirely take off, he never let go of his love for technical hobbies. He’s an instrument-rated pilot with over 600 hours flight experience and has a (sometimes frustrating) love of DIY automotive repair.
Prior to joining OpenView, Steve was a vice president at Great Hill Partners, where he focused on investments in the digital commerce and software sectors, including companies such as Bombas, Storyblocks, Second Nature, and Momondo.
He began his career in consulting, where he advised corporate and private equity clients on growth strategy, M&A, and capital markets. Based in Boston after attending Duke University and Babson College, he is now a husband and proud father of two young kids.
When asked “Why choose OpenView?” Steve responded:
“Investing at OpenView is all about partnering with accomplished entrepreneurs and management teams guiding their companies through rapid growth. That partnership can take many forms beyond capital and we take the responsibility seriously.”
Ask Steve about vertical software, eCommerce technology, martech, prop tech, or talk to him about your old car. Late 90s/early 2000s cars are his favorite, especially needy cheap ones (with plenty of repair opportunities). Connect with Steve.
Location: New York City, NY
Based in New York, Alex seeks to partner with exceptional software entrepreneurs who view their work as a craft they want to master. Having attempted to build his own zero to one story, he has a deep sense of founder empathy and the reality behind the journey. Alex loves to work with founders at both the venture and growth stages across vertical SaaS, applied AI/ML, fintech, and PLG-motion SaaS.
Prior to joining OpenView, Alex was a vice president of strategy and operations at Alfred, a residential property technology startup. At Alfred, he launched new products that grew from zero to $40 million in annual revenue, raised over $150 million in debt/equity funding and led teams of up to 40 persons. Alex leverages this experience to help founders think through how to utilize capital markets, how to build cross-department connective tissue (e.g. product to sales feedback loops), and when to prioritize rapid iteration vs vision.
Alex began his career as an investment banker at Moelis & Company before making his way to Lindsay Goldberg as a private equity associate. At Lindsay Goldberg, Alex evaluated buyout opportunities across consumer, financial services, industrials, real estate and logistics. It’s through this experience that Alex came to understand the huge opportunity to digitize these same industries.
When asked “Why choose OpenView?” Alex responded:
“Accessing capital is easy; building an enduring, product-driven business is hard. With 15 years of software expertise, OV is a people-first partner to founders who are relentless in pursuit of their vision.”
Alex hails from Colorado and is a proud graduate of U.C. Berkeley where he still serves as an advisor to Berkeley SkyDeck, an accelerator for students, professors, and alumni. Talk to Alex about vertical SaaS, AI/ML, fintech, product-led growth, or anything that you are uniquely passionate about relative to other people. Bonus points if it’s in sketch comedy, live music, or extreme sports. Connect with Alex.
We know founding a business can sometimes be a long and lonely journey. But SaaS founders don’t have to go it alone. Join OpenView’s Mastermind Founder Community here for exclusive access to expert insights on PLG, GTM and vertical SaaS and so much more.
As summer winds down, the fall event season is kicking into high gear. But with so many conferences on offer, it can be hard to keep up with everything that’s happening and harder still to pick where to spend your time (and budget). Get the best of the best events to attend this fall here.