announcing my investment in apcera

in the headline-grabbing and tweet-filled world of consumer web and mobile startups that we live in today, it’s sometimes easy to forget about more traditional b2b companies that have been or are currently being built-in the valley. sure, it’s not as catchy as building software that will touch millions of hands, but the act of company-building in the enterprise is just as interesting — at least to me. and while my experience at twitter certainly opened my eyes to the potential of consumer-facing technologies, my entrepreneurial dna is made of up of many pieces of the b2b space, and now at kleiner, i fully anticipate being quite active in this space, as well.

months ago, i received an email from derek collison. i recognized the name and then googled, recalling that derek’s work at tibco, as well as how badly microsoft was trying to recruit him. as a long time angel investor and now vc, you just absolutely love to get those emails. derek had heard of me from composite software, a b2b company i founded back in 2002 and which is located in san mateo, and wanted to reach out because he was trying to decide which startup to join next.

after meeting derek a few times, i went into “persuasion-mode.” if i had anything to do with it, he was not going to join a company, he was going to found one — or so i told myself. derek and i spent more time together and it was clear that not only he was an outstanding technologist (and person), but he could also attract top technical talent from his deep experience in the valley. we met more frequently, and the idea for a new company — apcera – was born.  derek knows that the maturation of these platforms is hard work and needs heavy lifting. you can’t just build this next generation as a bunch of scripts. to that end, the company already has dna from the likes of Google, Twitter, and TIBCO..

apcera’s mission is to build and deliver the next generation of cloud platforms to the enterprise. people have been waiting for platform as a service (paas) to arrive as a core technology for future cloud platforms, and while it has done well out of the gate, apcera is trying to build platform technologies that all aspects of the enterprise can leverage. i’m so excited to work with derek and his team on this mission — it reminds me of the days sitting in my house a decade ago, trying to recruit engineers for composite software and building something entirely new that creates the foundation for a real, disruptive company.

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