Spectrum Equity
Leading growth equity firm
Boston MA

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Review

Overall Rank: 11
Category: Established Growth
Category Rank: 1

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Profile

Spectrum Equity is a leading growth equity firm providing capital and strategic support to innovative companies across the information economy. Since its founding in 1994, the firm has partnered with proven entrepreneurs and management teams to build long-term value in market-leading software and data services companies.


The firm’s focus, consistency and discipline have produced a unique franchise, built on deep sector and business model expertise. Companies who partner with Spectrum are welcomed by and become part of an entrepreneurial community of advisors, experienced executives, and operators who partner with founders and their teams. This community offers support and guidance across key growth areas such as finance, talent, technology, and marketing. The firm regularly gathers leaders from across its portfolio for bespoke events and programming to connect executives, share insights on complex growth challenges, and form lasting executive mentorships.


Awards

2023 Top Growth Equity Firms

2023 Top 40 Under 40 Growth Investors, Parag Khandelwal

2023 Top Software Investors, Ben Spero

2023 Top Women Leaders in Growth Investing, Emily Calkins

2023 Top 25 Healthcare Investors, Jeff Haywood, Steve LeSieur

2022 Top 40 Under 40 Growth Investors, John Connolly, Parag Khandelwal

2022 Top 25 Software Investors, Ben Spero

2021 Top 40 Under 40 Growth Investors, John Connolly, Parag Khandelwal

2021 Top 25 Healthcare Investors, Steve LeSieur, Jeff Haywood

2020 Top 25 Growth Equity Firms

2020 Top 40 Under 40 Growth Investors, John Connolly, Parag Khandelwal

2019 Top 40 Under 40 Growth Investors, John Connolly, Parag Khandelwal

2018 Top 40 Under 40 Growth Investors, Jeff Haywood, John Connolly

2017 Top 40 Under 40 Growth Investors, John Connolly

2016 Top 40 Under 40 Growth Investors, Michael Farrell

2015 Top 25 Growth Equity Firms

2014 Top 40 Under 40 Growth Investors, Peter Jensen

Key People

Spectrum is led by an experienced team of senior professionals who have spent their entire careers investing in tech-enabled companies. The 10 investment Managing Directors have worked at the firm on average for 18 years.

John Connolly

John joined in 2009 and focuses on investments in software and education technology. John’s representative investments include ExamSoft (acquired by Turnitin), Finalsite (acquired by Bridge Growth Partners), Grubhub (NYSE: GRUB), TPT (acquired by IXL Learning), Jimdo, Kajabi, Otter.ai, and WIN Reality. Prior to joining Spectrum, John worked in investment banking at Credit Suisse. He received a BA from Georgetown University.

Mike Farrell

Mike joined in 2009 and focuses on investments in software, data services, and risk and compliance technology. Representative investments include Bats (acquired by CBOE), Quantile (acquired by London Stock Exchange), RainKing (acquired by ZoomInfo), CINC Systems, Expert Institute, Litmus, and Origami Risk. Prior to joining Spectrum, Mike worked at Tudor Investment Corporation’s private equity arm. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and BA, cum laude, from Bowdoin College.

Jeff Haywood

Jeff joined in 2007 and focuses on investments in healthcare IT, software, and information services. Steve’s representative investments include Definitive Healthcare (NASDAQ: DH), Net Health (Acquired by Carlyle), PassportHealth (Acquired by Experian), PayerCompass (Acquired by Zelis), RxVantage, and VBA. Prior to joining Spectrum, Jeff worked at Thoma Cressey Equity Partners and Goldman Sachs. Jeff received a BA from Duke University.

Pete Jensen

Pete joined in 2007 and focuses on investments in software, information services, and consumer technology. Pete’s representative investments include Grubhub (NYSE: GRUB), Lynda.com (acquired by LinkedIn), PicMonkey (Acquired by Shutterstock), SurveyMonkey (NASDAQ: MNTV), Bitly, B-Stock, Customer.io, Goldbelly, Litmus, and Scribd. Prior to joining Spectrum, Pete worked in investment banking at JPMorgan, at a venture backed startup and in strategy consulting at Mercer Management Consulting. Pete received an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and BA from Stanford University.

Parag Khandelwal

Parag joined in 2012 and focuses on investments in software and information services. Parag’s representative investments include Quantile (acquired by London Stock Exchange), RainKing (acquired by ZoomInfo), Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, Bitly, Netcraft, OffSec, Origami Risk and OurFamilyWizard. Prior to joining Spectrum, he worked in the restructuring investment banking group at J.P. Morgan. He received a BA from Northwestern University.

Steve LeSieur

Steve joined in 2005 and focuses on investments in software and data services serving vertical end markets such as healthcare, education, and travel & hospitality. Steve’s representative investments include GoodRx (NASDAQ: GDRX), ExamSoft (acquired by Turnitin), Finalsite (acquired by Bridge Growth Partners), TPT (acquired by IXL Learning), Kajabi, and Lighthouse. Prior to joining Spectrum, Steve worked at Trident Capital. Steve currently serves as a Trustee at Episcopal Day School of St. Matthew and is a former Trustee and Board President of the California Historical Society. He holds an MBA from Dartmouth College and BA from Princeton University.

Adam Margolin

Adam joined in 2005 and focuses on investments in software, information services, and financial technology. Adam’s representative investments include Business Monitor International (Acquired by Fitch Ratings), Ethoca (Acquired by Mastercard), Verafin (Acquired by Nasdaq), World-Check (Acquired by Thomson Reuters), Empyrean Solutions, Netcraft, OffSec, SavvyMoney, Spreedly, and Zenwork. Prior to joining Spectrum, Adam worked in investment banking at Citigroup. Adam received an AB from Harvard University.

Chris Mitchell

Chris joined in 2021 and focuses on investments in software, data services, and financial technology. Chris’ representative investments include Bats (acquired by CBOE), Business Monitor International (acquired by Fitch Ratings), Definitive Healthcare (NASDAQ: DH), Risk Metrics (acquired by MSCI), RainKing (acquired by ZoomInfo), Verafin (acquired by Nasdaq), World-Check (acquired by Thomson Reuters), SponsorUnited, Tenstreet and Varicent. Prior to joining Spectrum, Chris worked at TA Associates and Monitor Clipper. He serves as a Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Massachusetts and is a Charter Trustee of The Roxbury Latin School. Chris received an AB in Classics, cum laude, from Princeton University.

Vic Parker

Vic joined in 1998 and focuses on investments in software and data services. Vic’s representative investments include Ancestry (Acquired by Blackstone), Lynda.com (acquired by LinkedIn), Leaf Group (NYSE: LEAF), Net Quote (acquired by Bankrate), DispatchTrack, Ease (Merged with Employee Navigator), Linxup, and Visual Lease. Prior to joining Spectrum, Vic worked at Summit Partners, Accenture and ONYX Software. He serves on the Board of the NVCA and is a member of the Growth Equity Group Executive Committee. Additionally, he is a member of the National Council of the World Wildlife Fund and serves on the Board of Storycorps and the Natural Capital Project Advisory Council of Stanford University. Vic holds an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business and AB, magna cum laude, from Dartmouth College.

Ben Spero

Ben joined in 2021 and focuses on investments in software, data services, and consumer technology. Ben’s representative investments include Ancestry (Acquired by Blackstone), Grubhub (NYSE: GRUB), iPay Technologies (Acquired by Jack Henry), SurveyMonkey (NASDAQ: MNTV), AllTrails, Headspace Health, Lucid Software, OurFamilyWizard, and The Knot Worldwide. Prior to joining Spectrum, Ben worked at Bain & Company and co-founded TouchPak. He is Board Chair at Destination: Home, a public private partnership to end homelessness in Santa Clara County, CA and is a Board member at Children’s Day School. He holds an AB, magna cum laude, from Duke University.

Funds Raised

Since its founding in 1994, Spectrum Equity has raised $10 billion of limited partner commitments across 10 funds. Figures shown below reflect limited partner commitments.

Fund Name Size Date
Fund X $2 billion 2023
Fund IX $1.5 billion 2020
Fund VIII $1.25 billion 2017
Fund VII $1 billion 2014

Key Investments

AllTrails: Invested in 2018
Sector: Consumer Technology

AllTrails, the 2023 iPhone App of the Year, is the world’s largest and most trusted outdoor platform. The free app has cultivated a community of more than 60 million people and has more than 420 thousand curated trail routes across 191 countries. 

Ancestry: Invested in 2003, 17 year partnership; Acquired by Blackstone in 2020
Sector: Consumer Technology, Information & Content

Ancestry.com transformed genealogy and family history research, revolutionizing the way individuals trace their origins. With a collection of more than 40 billion records, over 3 million subscribers and over 25 million people in its DNA network, the company is the leading provider of online family history data and personal DNA testing.

Definitive Healthcare: Invested in 2015; IPO 2021
Sector: SaaS, Healthcare IT

Definitive Healthcare is a SaaS-based healthcare commercial intelligence platform. The company aggregates and analyzes data to help clients uncover the right markets, opportunities, and people in the healthcare ecosystem.

GoodRx: Invested in 2015; IPO 2020
Sector: Healthcare IT, Consumer Technology

GoodRx is a leading digital platform for consumer healthcare products and services, connecting consumers with affordable and convenient prescriptions and medical care, including telehealth, mail order prescriptions, doctor visits, and lab tests. 

Kajabi: Invested in 2019
Sector: EdTech, Information & Content

Kajabi is the leading platform helping creators and entrepreneurs to turn their knowledge and experience into sustainable online businesses. Tens of thousands of creators and entrepreneurs rely on Kajabi as the backbone to their business and have collectively earned over $4.8 billion in sales from more than 60 million customers.

Lucid Software: Invested in 2016
Sector: SaaS, Enterprise, Future of Work

Lucid is a pioneer in visual collaboration software. With 99 percent of Fortune 500 companies using its visual diagramming and collaboration design software, Lucid has become one of the top global enterprise applications. 

Netcraft: Invested in 2022
Sector: SaaS, Cybersecurity

Netcraft is a global leader in cybercrime detection and disruption. Netcraft is the trusted cybersecurity partner for three of the largest companies, twelve of the largest banks, and governments of five of the largest economies in the world.

Origami Risk: Invested 2018
Sector: SaaS, Risk Management, InsureTech 

Origami Risk is a leading risk and insurance SaaS technology firm. The company’s web-based software streamlines how risk, insurance and claims data is collected, analyzed and shared—ultimately helping users to be more productive and manage the total cost of risk for their organizations or for their clients.

Survey Monkey: Invested in 2009; IPO in 2018
Sector: SaaS, Data Analytics, Information & Content

SurveyMonkey transformed the traditional survey and market research industry with their online survey tool. SurveyMonkey is used by 95 percent of Fortune 500 Companies and available in 60 countries and 57 languages. 

Tenstreet: Invested in 2016
Sector: SaaS, Transportation and Logistics 

Tenstreet provides a web-based recruiting platform used by the trucking industry to recruit, screen, verify, onboard and retain drivers. 

Verafin: Invested in 2014; Acquired by Nasdaq in 2021
Sector: SaaS, FinTech

Verafin provides a cloud-based fraud detection and anti-money laundering management software (“FRAML”), high-Risk customer management services and information sharing. Over 3,500 North American banks and credit unions use Verafin to effectively fight financial crime and comply with regulations.

CEO Reviews

Jason Krantz, Founder, CEO & Executive Chairman, Definitive Healthcare

“With Spectrum’s support, we have the talent, scale, infrastructure and guidance to further our category leadership,”

Doug Hirsch, Co-Founder, GoodRx

“Spectrum’s demonstrated understanding of both healthcare and consumer internet made them an ideal partner.”

Zander Lurie, Former CEO of SurveyMonkey

“Spectrum helped us at every stage of our expansion and has been a tremendous partner.”

Robert Petrie, Co-founder & CEO, Origami Risk

“Spectrum’s analytical approach and deep domain knowledge offer a unique and helpful perspective in our next stage of growth”

Jonathan Zabusky, Former CEO of Seamless and President of Grubhub

“Spectrum helped us at every stage of our expansion, providing invaluable support to our team,”