Braze makes a software platform to help marketers better reach and engage customers, particularly on mobile devices.
We first identified Braze (then known as Appboy) and its founding team as part of a two-year, mobile-marketing research project focusing on how digital marketers could up their game through enhanced analytics and engagement. The company, at the time, was a bit of an underdog—the market was noisy, and they weren’t the clear market leader yet. And the macro environment was challenging. Despite all this uncertainty, we invested an initial $15 million in Braze in April 2016 largely because of our conviction in Braze’s visionary team, including co-founders Bill Magnuson and Jonathan Hyman, both whip-smart veterans of data-focused investment company Bridgewater Associates. We believed that their approach to equipping brands for this new mobile era was the most sophisticated in the market, and the feedback we heard from customers was excellent.
Looking back, our original investment thesis was a little myopic. We were focused then on mobile “crossing the chasm” to becoming a mainstream business channel; meanwhile, Bill and the Braze team realized that while mobile changes the marketing game–due to the new technical
Battery led Braze’s Series C investment round in 2016, when the company had less than $10 million in revenue, and subsequently became the company’s largest institutional shareholder. Along the way, we helped fuel the company’s growth and strengthen its leadership team in a number of ways, including:
- Leveraging Battery’s long history of investing in marketing technology to help Braze think through high-level product, market and sales issues.
- Introducing the company to new investors and board members, including Phil Fernandez, the former CEO of Battery portfolio company Marketo.*
- Connecting the company with a Japanese business partner to help build a joint venture in that country.
- Offering strategic and tactical help around the company’s initial-public offering process.
Braze went public in November 2021 (NASDAQ: BRZE).
Past performance is no guarantee of future performance and there can be no assurance that Battery or its portfolio companies will achieve comparable results.
*For a full list of all Battery investments and exits, click here
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