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Benchmark Capital  CERTIFIED

Firm Rating:

Rated 2.7 / 5.0 by 41
Track
Record
3.4
Operating
Competence
2.4
Pitching
Efficiency
2.6
Favorable
Deal Terms
2.8
Execution
Assistance
2.2

Firm Homepage:

FIRM OVERVIEW: Large Private VC founded in 1995 based out of Menlo Park, USA (US West)

FIRM DESCRIPTION: Benchmark Capital, a leading venture capital firm, was founded in 1995 to help talented entrepreneurs with original ideas build successful technology companies. Benchmark's general partners take a team-oriented, labor-intensive approach to venture investing to deliver a superior level of service to the firm's portfolio companies. Benchmark's portfolio includes high-profile start-ups like Infinera, MySQL, OpenTable, Second Life, Tellme, Yelp, and Zillow, and franchise companies such as eBay, Juniper Networks and Red Hat. The firm manages more than USD 2.4 billion in committed venture capital.

TEAM MEMBERS: Alex Balkanski, Andy Rachleff, Bill Gurley, Bob Kagle, Bruce Dunlevie, David Beirne, Kevin Harvey, Matt Cohler, Mitch Lasky, Peter Fenton, Rich Barton, Steve Spurlock,

18
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1
Disagree

Highly Opinionated, Love Big Names

Fund: Benchmark Capital

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-05-04

PUBLIC:

I've pitched Benchmark three times, and took their money once. Here's something you will likely hear - "that's not the way the future will unfold". They have strong opinions about what might happen, so you'll find out soon if you're in or not.

PRIVATE: Members Only (108 Characters)

17
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4
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Don't Play with Women

Fund: Benchmark Capital

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-05-11

PUBLIC:

Benchmark has said publicly that they will never fund a woman-founded company. They've never had a woman partner. And the mood seems to be like a frat party (a real turnoff to women).

Is there any point to woman founders going to pitch" Has anyone had contrary experience"

PRIVATE: Members Only

11
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3
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Benchmark Pitch Today

Fund: Benchmark Capital

Posted by Anonymous on 2008-10-17

PUBLIC:

probably the most disrespectful experience ever on so many levels - WOW!

PRIVATE: Members Only (710 Characters)

7
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2
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Regarded as One of the Best but Have Had Fair Share of Failures

Fund: Benchmark Capital

Posted by Y2K on 2007-03-16

PUBLIC:

They've made some huge mistakes - Webvan, Tristrata etc but at the same time made some big hits namely Ebay.

PRIVATE: Members Only (371 Characters)

6
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1
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Arrogant and Unprofessional

Fund: Benchmark Capital

Posted by RyanTech8711 on 2011-04-25

PUBLIC:

When I first heard about Benchmark Capital, I thought they would be a great venture firm to work with. They seemed to meet all of our criteria, and I had heard good things about them in the past. I first spoke to an associate about our company and product, tho which I was promised an phone interview shortly later. After having the meeting time switched on me 3 times - all at the last minute mind you. It became VERY frustrating, but I was determined to talk to somebody about our companies goals. After all as entrepreneurs we must say defiant and work to overcome these obstacles.

Finally, after months of waiting we finally were able to pitch our idea to Benchmark Capital. Even though they turned us down, I was glad to actually get our idea to them and see what their prospective was.

Of course, when they said no - they didn't really give a reason or provide any detail.. just a simple .. No - we are not interested, and than hung up.

I realize that these are big firms and they probably get calls from tons of people a day, but I just felt like they could be a little more professional in dealing with a potential client.. who took the time to check them out and reach out.

PRIVATE: Members Only (403 Characters)

6
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0
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Bill Gurley Not to Be Trusted

Fund: Benchmark Capital

Posted by Top CEO on 2010-10-30

PUBLIC:

I have past experience working with Bill Gurley on the board in one of their most successful companies and saw his performance as a director and representative of Benchmark Capital. I worked with the founding team who always had somewhat of a gut feel that he is somehow "false". I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt. Today I am clear that I would never work with him again and do second several private reviews' feedback of "reading your terms carefully" or he will screw you. He may talk the talk on all sorts of things but does not walk the walk. Do not trust him.

Bill Gurley has zero operational experience, which shows in key judgment calls. He has weak knees easily, in part as a result of that. Bill Gurley may have been great as an analyst on Wall Street and he is a prolific blogger too -- but building companies of real value is something else. Work with the guys at Adreessen Horowitz (at least read their blogs because these blog items speak volumes about the shortcomings of Benchmark Capital) or Sequoia or KPCB (at least they behave honestly there). The mindset at Benchmark is still very much Ariba -- hype up and sell before crash. Life's too short for that for any serious entrepreneur.

PRIVATE: Members Only

6
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0
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Built to Last or Built to Hype

Fund: Benchmark Capital

Posted by Anonymous on 2008-07-19

PUBLIC:

Ariba, Kana, Broadbase, Friendster.

This VC has tried to build many companies like Friendster, WebVan, Living.com and MVP.com by hiring rock-star, big-company talent. Then hyping the company to unsustainable stock-market success.

Even when Benchmark has taken companies public and recognized significant returns off them, in many cases the management team they put in place, the race to go public, or the race to sell the company has caused the company to collapse or have long term problems.

PRIVATE: Members Only (1218 Characters)

6
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3
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Bill Gurley Slept Through My Pitch

Fund: Benchmark Capital

Posted by toroid on 2008-03-26

PUBLIC:

ok, so i pitched Gurley recently. referred by a good friend, although with a pinch of salt. I left in a half hour since gurley fell asleep.

I will never pitch benchmark again. These guys are amateurs compared to the big boys like Sequoia and NEA.

PRIVATE: Members Only

5
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1
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Pitched Benchmark in 2002

Fund: Benchmark Capital

Posted by Anonymous on 2008-07-08

PUBLIC:

I pitched benchmark in 2002 and found them very engaging and charming. I had limited time because of travel and I met with partners over a two day period in four different meetings.

At that time their front office staff was very attractive and very attractively dressed. I kept waiting to be told there was a two drink minimum.

PRIVATE: Members Only (211 Characters)

3
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1
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Do Your Homework Before Pitching

Fund: Benchmark Capital

Posted by Anonymous on 2008-07-22

PUBLIC:

Here are some articles to help you in your Benchamrk evaluation...

http://www.siliconbeat.com/entries/Ep...

http://www.thealarmclock.com/mt/archi...

http://venturebeat.com/2005/01/25/epi...

PRIVATE: Members Only

3
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0
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Jon Teo, Horrible Experience

Fund: Benchmark Capital

Posted by jjb9e on 2008-07-04

PUBLIC:

Beware of their non-partners. Jon Teo was assigned to review us, and he obviously wasnt being paid extra to do this work since he canceled meetings at the last minute, didnt reply to emails or voice mails, and did his work only when he received direct orders from partners.

PRIVATE: Members Only (436 Characters)

2
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1
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Good (Non Funding) Experience Working with Them

Fund: Benchmark Capital

Posted by randfish on 2009-07-01

PUBLIC:

I've worked professionally (in a consulting and partnership role) with lots of folks from Benchmark - Rich Barton, Bill Gurley, Michael Eisenberg & Nirav Tolia, and always been impressed with their intelligence, professionalism and respectfulness. I think they're smart folks with a good brand name (and they do leverage that, though not in an insulting fashion).

I have not pitched to them formally nor have I taken funding from them, but have done work on several projects with Benchmark and would count them among the better relationships I've had in the professional VC world.

PRIVATE: Members Only

2
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0
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Benchmark Iv, a $1 Billion Failure" Possibly.

Fund: Benchmark Capital

Posted by Anonymous on 2008-08-09

PRIVATE: Members Only (2272 Characters)

1
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0
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Have They Changed Since E Boys!?

Fund: Benchmark Capital

Posted by $B start-up on 2008-07-16

PRIVATE: Members Only (754 Characters)

1
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0
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Epinions Founder Lawsuit +

Fund: Benchmark Capital

Posted by Anonymous on 2008-06-08

PRIVATE: Members Only (109 Characters)

0
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0
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Don't Bother with Mitch Lasky

Fund: Benchmark Capital

Posted by Serial Entrepreneur on 2013-12-02

PUBLIC:

Mitch gives a first impression of being a polished and informed professional. He's really a quick flip guy who's constantly meddling in operations.

He's rumored to be transferring his work to Bill Gurley.

PRIVATE: Members Only (111 Characters)

0
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0
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Any More Recent Input on Benchmark?

Fund: Benchmark Capital

Posted by Anonymous on 2010-07-06

PRIVATE: Members Only (119 Characters)