Shasta Focuses on Smart Software for the Enterprise

Posted August 13, 2019 by Shasta Ventures

Strengthens Bench with Serial Entrepreneurs and Enterprise Software Executives from Salesforce Einstein, Google Cloud, InVision and Ephiphany

Shasta is excited to announce the growth of our team that focuses on smart software for the enterprise.

Over the years, we’ve watched the enterprise software market evolve and expand in powerful and exciting ways. According to Gartner, this category is growing at $35 billion a year and accelerating. “IT is no longer just a platform for organizations to run their business on. It is becoming the engine that moves the business,” said John-David Lovelock, Gartner’s VP Research and Chief Forecaster.

As we define it, smart software for the enterprise is B2B software that uses unique sources of internal and external data to deliver business outcomes through data-driven insights. The emergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the availability of cloud service providers have made it easier than ever to create smart software. The technology delivers insights, such as recommendations and estimates, in relevant context that empower users to more efficiently complete a desired task and/or take the next step or action. Smart software creates opportunities across many different business applications—marketing and sales, cybersecurity, IT/System Management—and industry-specific software, such as manufacturing and financial services.

To that end, Shasta has already made a number of recent investments in promising smart software companies including AppSheet, Cequence, Highspot, and Scalyr.

Adding Extensive Industry Expertise in Smart Software

As part of our refined focus, we’ve also added four new team members with extensive industry expertise in smart software for the enterprise including Google Cloud executive Michael Lock, enterprise SaaS, founder and consumer marketing executive Mike Trigg, product management expert Brent Tworetzky, and serial entrepreneur and Salesforce Einstein product leader, Simon Chan, to truly differentiate Shasta and support our portfolio companies as we move forward around smart software. Specifically,

  • Shasta Advisor Michael Lock is a passionate advocate for the use of technology in the Business Cloud with a proven track record of building B2B SaaS companies. He was a founding executive of Google Cloud building that business from its infancy to its first $1B in ARR and making it the fourth-largest SaaS company in the world. Michael has run large sales organizations at IBM, Oracle, Google and smaller startups at Virage, Hearsay Systems and Aviso. He has broad and deep experience in all go-to-market functions and serves as a coach and advisor to founders and executive teams of companies seeking rapid growth. He has delivered hundreds of industry presentations,  speeches, and keynotes on the topics of the business cloud, mobile computing, and artificial intelligence.
  • Mike Trigg has held roles at two Shasta Ventures portfolio companies, including Chief Marketing Officer and GM at Entelo, a recruiting automation solution, and interim CMO at Brandcast, a code-free website platform. Mike will serve as an Advisor to Shasta portfolio companies. Previously, he was COO at cloud file sharing vendor, Hightail (formerly YouSendIt, acquired by OpenText), running sales, marketing, customer success, and business development. Earlier in his career, Mike co-founded real-time analytics provider, Truviso (acquired by Cisco), and was vice president of product and corporate marketing at CRM solution, Epiphany. In addition to enterprise SaaS, Mike also has consumer experience as vice president of marketing at the social network, hi5, and founder of the social gaming startup, Spitball Entertainment. Mike holds an M.B.A from UC Berkeley and a B.A. from Northwestern University.
  • Shasta Advisor Brent Tworetzky is the senior vice president of Product Management at InVision, a design and collaboration software, and is joining the Shasta team as an advisor for our GTM Trek forum and our portfolio founders. Brent has a strong track record of delivering products users love and scaling businesses and revenue across the enterprise. He believes strongly in coaching and mentoring entrepreneurs on leading high-performing, sophisticated cross-functional teams in complex and ambiguous environments, especially in high-stakes moments, such as product launches, when it’s all about "getting things done."
  • Venture partner Simon Chan is a serial entrepreneur, product innovator, and investor. His latest startup, PredictionIO, is an open source Machine Learning Server that empowers engineers to build smart software. After the acquisition of PredictionIO, Simon joined Salesforce as a Senior Director, Product Management to build up the new Einstein product team and to launch AI-related platform products. He has deep expertise and a sterling reputation and will focus on our smart software initiative across subscription commerce and enterprise software.

“AI is revolutionizing the way companies conduct business and the way they interact with customers,” said Simon Chan. “Entrepreneurs are creating data-driven solutions to transform every business unit. Sales, marketing, customer service, product development, HR, finance and all these will be operated in a much smarter way. What we see today is just the tip of the iceberg. Shasta has a great track record in backing startups that have created some of the best smart software companies in the world and I look forward to working with them.”

Other enterprise software experts at Shasta include:

"I've had a long relationship with several of Shasta's partners and portfolio companies.  The common thread is a deep understanding of how markets will be transformed by technology, and their Smart Software initiative is the latest example.  Every business function across every industry sector is being disrupted by AI, machine learning and other smart technologies, and I'm very excited to work with the Shasta team and portfolio companies on these initiatives," explained Mike Trigg.

“The B2B Saas Cloud is almost 20 years old. Selling and marketing SaaS products is a craft, but a progressively maturing craft. There are increasingly well-understood processes that structure the problem allowing faster speeds, better consistency, and higher repeatability. I look forward to using my experience to help Shasta companies master the go-to-market craft for their unique businesses,” said Michael Lock.