Benchmark Adds General Partner Puttagunta

A storied Silicon Valley Venture Capital firm has just added a new partner. Benchmark Capital has announced that they will hire Chetan Puttagunta as a new partner to the seven partner firm.

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Puttagunta was previously a general partner at New Enterprises Associates and led several SaaS investment initiatives, including investments in MuleSoft, Elastic, MongoDB, and others. MuleSoft was acquired by SalesForce in early 2018 for $6.5 Billion.

According to Benchmark’s announcement, Puttagunta was recruited after an impressive performance on the board of Elastic, a SaaS platform that builds software to make real time data usable at scale for search, logging, security, and analytics. The current Benchmark partners also cited the 32-year-old Puttagunta’s successful string of investments in the software ecosystem, as well as his “infectious curiosity, analytical rigor and boundless enthusiasm to serve entrepreneurs.”

The hiring of Puttagunta is particularly notable because of the management structure of the firm. Benchmark Capital was the first to pioneer a flat hierarchy, where partners share profits equally. With no CEO position held, all members are considered equals regardless of seniority.

Benchmark has focused its investment efforts on early-stage venture investing in mobile, marketplaces, social, and infrastructure and enterprise software and has racked up 140 exits since its inception. The firm also touts 14 IPOs and 23 M&As representing a total market value of more than $60 billion in its 23 year history.

The firm made its names with a $6.7 million investment in eBay in 1997, which ballooned into a $5 billion valuation by 1999. The company currently oversees a portfolio of investments which includes early stage investments in notable social media companies including Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.

Benchmark currently manages a diverse portfolio of early-stage venture investments. The firm has holdings in private market leaders like Stitch Fix and Tinder, recent IPOs and acquisitions such as OpenTable and Zendesk, and franchise companies like eBay and Red Hat. Benchmark has also invested stakes in SaaS leaders including Dropbox, MySQL, OpenTable, Juniper Networks and Zillow.

Benchmark Capital was founded in 1995 by Bob Kagle, Bruce Dunlevie, Andy Rachleff and Kevin Harvey. The firm currently has offices in Woodside, California and San Francisco.