Bonfire Ventures Raises Over $230M For Two New Funds To Help B2B Software Startups Beat The Odds

Entrepreneurs / 8th June 2022

Bonfire Ventures — the firm helping seed-stage B2B software companies beat the odds — has announced the close of its third core seed fund at $168 million, and its second opportunity fund, at $63 million. Bonfire has now raised five funds since its founding in 2017 and, including predecessor funds, has over $1 billion under management. Bonfire’s first two core funds have performed in the top 10% of global venture capital (VC) funds for their respective vintage years. The firm’s third fund was considerably oversubscribed, but Bonfire capped the raise to maintain their proven model of success – providing curated, hands-on partnership to guide B2B software founders through the tumultuous journey from Seed to Series A and beyond. 

“Our tightly focused, bespoke approach continues to be a model of success for our founders, companies, and investors,” said Mark Mullen, Co-founder and Managing Director at Bonfire Ventures. “Across the board, our funds’ performance and our portfolio companies’ success are punching far above their weight.”

In any market, the odds of success are stacked against most founders. Any VC can provide funding, but too few act as supportive partners. Even fewer can say that they are explicitly focused on backing companies at the seed stage with tangible results.

“Not all capital is created equal. Any firm or individual with capital can write a check, but few provide the hands-on and empathetic support that seed-stage founders need to take their company through Series A and subsequent rounds,” said Jim Andelman, Co-founder and Managing Director at Bonfire Ventures. “We’re singularly focused on backing B2B software founders at the seed stage to help them beat the odds and transform the industries they serve.”

A founder’s choice of their lead investor at Seed is especially critical given the failure rate of startups at that stage – getting from Seed to Series A happens for less than 33% of companies. A mature, expert and trusted VC partner can materially help founders avoid the typical seed-stage landmines that befall founders with less experienced or less attentive investors. The VC firm behind SpekitFigmentCubeDISQOBoulevard, and many other companies that have raised Series A rounds and beyond, has a long history of excellence as a seed-stage specialist in B2B software that delivers results for their founders and investors:

  • Bonfire’s first fund is ranked as one of the top 5% of VC funds globally and their second fund is in the top 10% of their respective vintage years.
  • Over 85% of Bonfire companies have raised follow-on capital after Bonfire invests, collectively raising over $1.15 billion.
  • In approximately 80% of its investments, Bonfire is the lead seed-stage investor.
  • Often, a Bonfire partner is the first board member for the companies they back.

Choosing your seed-stage investor is one of the most important decisions a founder can make to maximize the chance of success for their business,” said Melanie Fellay, CEO of the female-led Spekit, who recently announced a $45M Series B. “There is no one better to help guide B2B founders than Bonfire. At Spekit, we are excelling because of their deep operating and investing experience, in addition to the true partnership they bring every day.”

Bonfire’s team brings over four decades of B2B software and seed-stage investment experience. Jim Andelman and Mark Mullen, co-founders and managing directors, joined forces to create Bonfire Ventures in 2017 after being each others’ most frequent co-investor at their own venture firms, Rincon Venture Partners and Double M Partners. Bonfire’s third managing director, Brett Queener, joined in 2018 and has over twenty years of direct B2B software experience as an operating executive for Salesforce.com, Siebel Systems, and more. The Bonfire team has subsequently expanded to seven full-time employees over the past two years.

Bonfire is intentionally selective and low volume, which enables the firm to deliver on its promise as a supportive, responsive, helpful VC, and not just a provider of capital. The firm only invests in a select number of companies, committing to no more than 25 to 30 investments per fund. Bonfire Ventures will use the new funding to invest in a select number of B2B software companies while providing specialized support for seed-stage B2B software founders in their most critical moments.

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