The Top 25 Software Investors of 2019

We are pleased to announce GrowthCap’s inaugural Top 25 Software Investors awards.  Since 2013, we have been producing feature publications on today’s leading investors to provide private company CEOs as well as institutional limited partners with additional insights on investors rooted largely in detailed evaluation of an investor’s performance and professional achievements while frequently incorporating feedback from peers, colleagues and other industry participants including our own direct experience.

We decided to initiate an awards list focused on the software sector due to specific inquiry we have been receiving from pensions and endowments regarding who we believe to be the top performing individuals.  In addition, it has been our experience that large family offices seeking to commit significant capital to the private equity asset class have found our awards publications helpful in identifying both established and rising investor talent.

The individuals selected for the Top 25 Software Investors of 2019 are those who have demonstrated deep software sector expertise, high corporate strategic acumen, exceptional investment judgement, and consistent professional performance over a sustained period of time.

Please join us in congratulating this year’s awardees.



Firm: Vista Equity Partners
Title: Principal and Fund Co-Head


Former entrepreneur Alan Cline first joined leading software, data and technology-enabled investment-focused firm Vista Equity Partners in 2001. In his tenure with the firm, Alan has assumed many leadership roles, including serving as Co-Head of the Vista Foundation Fund for the past 10 years and Co-Head of the Vista Endeavor Fund. He has been actively involved with many of the firm’s key investments, including Accruent, Autotask, Kibo, MicroEdge, Mitratech, SRC Software and Upserve.

Alan was formerly general partner at Accretive, an innovative venture capital firm with a focus on high growth technology-enabled service companies. Prior to joining Vista Equity, Alan co-founded and served as general manager of internet-based movie ticketing business Fandango. He started his career at Goldman Sachs in their mergers & acquisitions and high technology groups. Alan received his bachelor of science in system engineering with distinction from the University of Virginia and his MBA from Stanford University.




Firm: TPG
Title: Partner

nehal.pngNehal Raj is a Partner at TPG, where he leads the firm’s software and enterprise technology group. He is a career long technology investor with deep industry knowledge in areas such as vertical applications, healthcare IT, security, infrastructure, DevOps and AI/ML. In his role, Nehal invests across TPG Capital, TPG Growth, The Rise Fund and TPG Tech Adjacencies. He has led and/or served on the board of several key investments for the firm, including, CCC Information Services (acquired by Advent), EverFi, IMS Health (public, now known as IQVIA), Intergraph (sold to Hexagon AB), Kaseya,, Sonatype, WellSky, Wind River and Zscaler (public).

Prior to joining TPG in 2006, Nehal was with Francisco Partners. He received an AB in economics and MS in industrial engineering from Stanford University (Phi Beta Kappa) and an MBA from Harvard Business School (Baker Scholar). TPG is a leading investor in technology, with approximately $23 billion invested in the sector since inception.




Firm: Genstar Capital
Title: Managing Director


Software-focused investment professional Eli Weiss has been with middle market-focused private equity firm Genstar Capital since 2008, when he joined the team as senior associate. Since then, Eli has been promoted to Managing Director and is currently responsible for leading the firm’s software practice. Among the investments he oversees are Bullhorn, ConnectiveRx, Drillinginfo, Innovative Aftermarket Systems, PDI, Prometheus Group, Stack Sports and Telestream.

Prior to joining Genstar, Eli served as an associate at private equity investment firm Hellman & Friedman as well as an analyst in the mergers & acquisitions, restructuring and principal investing groups at investment bank Greenhill & Co. Eli holds his bachelor of arts from Yale University as well as an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.




Firm: Warburg Pincus
Title: Managing Director

brian-chang.jpgProlific investor Brian Chang has been with premier private equity firm Warburg Pincus since 2005. Currently a Managing Director in the firm’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications group, Brian serves on the board of directors for Businessolver, Contrast Security, Cyren, eSentire, NEOGOV and Procare.  Warburg Pincus was founded in 1966 and has invested more than $72 billion in over 850 companies in more than 40 countries.

Before moving to Warburg Pincus, Brian was an investment banking analyst at Merrill Lynch in their media and telecommunications investment banking group. Brian received his bachelor of science in electrical engineering with distinction as well as his MBA from Stanford University, where he was named an Arjay Miller Scholar.




Firm: Thoma Bravo
Title: Managing Partner

scott-crabill.pngFormer product manager turned investor Scott Crabill was hired by pioneering buy-and-build private equity firm Thoma Bravo in 2002 to help build out the firm’s investment strategy for the software industry. In his tenure as Managing Partner, he has been responsible for guiding investment strategy, serving on the board of directors for active portfolio companies and helping to oversee the firm.

Scott was formerly a member of the investment team at Summit Partners, where he was involved with that firm’s private equity investments in technology companies. Prior to Summit Partners, Scott worked on the investment team at private equity firm J.H. Whitney and in corporate finance at Alex. Brown & Sons. Scott holds a bachelor of science in industrial engineering as well as an MBA from Stanford University.




Firm: Summit Partners
Title: Managing Director

greg-goldfarb.pngCorporate technologist turned investor Greg Goldfarb joined leading growth equity investment firm Summit Partners in 2002. In his role as Managing Director, he works closely with companies across the technology sector with a particular focus on big data and analytics, enterprise applications, cloud computing, internet and electronic marketplace businesses, and mobility and security. Greg’s investment and director experience includes Clearwater Analytics, Cloudmark, Gainsight, onX, Jamf, PatSnap, Philz Coffee, Visier, RiskIQ, Rocket Fuel, TSheets, Web Reservations International and Wowza Media Systems.

Prior to joining Summit Partners, Greg was the director of e-commerce and director of the Innovation Lab for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. Greg received his bachelor’s degree in government from Harvard University, where he graduated manga cum laude.




Firm: Sapphire Ventures
Title: Managing Director

rajeev-dham.jpgSoftware and internet investment specialist Rajeev Dham joined growth-stage technology venture capital firm Sapphire Ventures as a Managing Director in 2013. Rajeev divides his investment focus between SaaS businesses and innovative companies in the healthcare and financial technology sectors. During his tenure with Sapphire, he has played a role in over 20 investments and has sat on dozens of boards, including Catchpoint, Livongo, LeanData, Pendo, Outreach and Reltio.

Rajeev joined Sapphire Ventures from technology-focused private equity firm Silver Lake, where he specialized in middle-market and growth equity investments for the internet and software sectors. Before moving to private equity, he spent time in the investment banking division at Goldman Sachs. Rajeev received his MBA from Harvard Business School and his bachelor’s in business administration from the University of Southern California, where he graduated magna cum laude.




Firm: TA Associates
Title: Managing Director


Software and technology-enabled investment specialist Hythem El-Nazer joined global growth and private equity firm TA Associates in 2004 and has since risen to the roles of Managing Director, member of the Management Committee and Co-Head of TA’s North America Technology Group. In his tenure with TA Associates, Hythem has participated in more than 20 investments worth over $20 billion in enterprise value across North America, Europe, the Middle East and India. He currently serves on the board of directors for 10 leading technology companies, including Gamma Technologies, IDERA, insightsoftware, PDI, MRI Software and Netsmart.

Before moving to TA Associates, Hythem was a junior associate at McKinsey & Company and an investment banking analyst at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette. He received his MBA from Columbia University, a general course degree from the London School of Economics and his bachelor’s degree in economics from Brown University.




Firm: Bain Capital
Title: Managing Director

david-humphrey.jpgInformation services, software and technology services-focused investor David Humphrey currently serves as a Managing Director at Bain Capital Private Equity, one of world’s leading multi-asset investment firms with over $105 billion under management. He works within the firm’s technology, media & telecommunications vertical and is also a member of their North American private equity team. In addition to his investment activities, David plays a key role in recruiting, training and professional development at Bain Capital.

Before transitioning to the buy-side, David was in investment banking at Lehman Brothers in their mergers & acquisitions group. David received his bachelor’s in economics cum laude from Harvard University and his MBA from Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar and a Henry Ford II Scholar.




Firm: Providence Equity
Title: Managing Director

dave-philipps.pngDavid Phillips joined leveraged buyout and growth equity-focused private investment firm Providence Equity in 2005. Based in the firm’s Providence office, David is currently a board director at Blackboard and Vistage. He previously served as a board member of Ascend Learning, PADI, CSDVRS, and Archipelago Learning. The investment firm has over $40 billion in aggregate capital commitments.

Prior to joining Providence Equity, David’s background was in business development and investment banking. He was assistant director of business development at Hutchison Whampoa China as a Luce Scholar as well as an analyst in Goldman Sachs’ Principal Investment Area. David received his MBA from Harvard Business School and his bachelor of arts degree from Princeton University.




Firm: Francisco Partners
Title: Partner

briandecker_on.pngSoftware investor Brain Decker has been with technology-focused global private equity firm Francisco Partners since 2008. As a Partner, Brian focuses on investments within the infrastructure software and security sectors, with a current investment portfolio that includes BeyondTrust, K2, Perforce, Quest, Sandvine, Sectigo, SmartBear and Sonicwall.

Brian formerly served as a business analyst with McKinsey & Company with a focus on the semiconductor, telecommunications and hardware sectors. Before McKinsey, Brian held a range of product and strategic marketing roles at Mindspeed Technologies and Skyworks Solutions. He holds a master in engineering in electrical engineering from Cornell University as well as a bachelor of science with distinction in computer engineering from the University of Waterloo.




Firm: Hg
Title: Partner

jean-baptist-brian.jpegLondon-based technology investor Jean-Baptiste Brian currently serves as a Partner at Hg, a middle market buyout-focused private equity firm operating primarily in Europe. He joined Hg in 2013 to work on technology-sector investments with a particular focus on SME and enterprise software. Jean-Baptiste is currently a member of the boards of Access, Allocate, EidosMedia, Litera, Mitratech, TeamSystem and Visma.

Before joining Hg, Jean-Baptiste was a member of the TMT team at TPG Capital for seven years. He started his career at Morgan Stanley. Jean-Baptiste holds a master of science in management from HEC Paris and a master in law from Université Paris-Sud.




Firm: Carlyle
Title: Managing Director

Stephen-Bailey_Director.pngCorporate development specialist turned technology investor Stephen Bailey joined multinational private equity and alternative asset management firm The Carlyle Group in 2005. Based in Washington, D.C., he currently serves as a Managing Director with a focus on growth and middle-market technology investing. He is actively involved with several of the firm’s current investments, including Net Health Systems, ECi Software Solutions and Coalfire Systems.

Before joining Carlyle, Stephen was vice president and head of corporate development at Dell, where he led the company’s strategic investment and merger and acquisitions activity. Prior to Dell, Stephen was a principal at private equity firm ABS Capital Partners, worked for 3Com’s business development group and for the investment banking division of Alex. Brown. Stephen received his MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and his bachelor of arts from Harvard College.




Firm: KKR
Title: Member & Head of TMT GrowthEquity


Corporate strategist turned investor Dave Welsh serves as member and head of TMT Growth Equity at KKR, the iconic private equity firm that evolved into a multi-asset manager with $206 billion under management. He joined KKR’s private equity platform in 2014 and is currently on the board of directors for Five9 and ForgeRock.

Dave came to KKR from Adams Street Partners, where he was a partner with a focus on growth equity investments. Earlier in his career, Dave was an executive vice president for corporate strategy and business development at McAfee, a general partner at Partech International and a vice president in corporate development for Portal Software. Dave received his bachelor of arts in international relations cum laude from UCLA and a JD from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law Schools.




Firm: Sumeru Equity Partners
Title: Managing Director

john-brennan.pngFormer corporate development technician John Brennan is a Managing Director and investment committee member at Sumeru Equity Partners, a middle market technology-focused private equity firm. Sumeru Equity Partners is the successor to Silver Lake Sumeru, Silver Lake’s middle market investment strategy where John also served as managing director since 2008.

Before transitioning to the investment side, John was senior vice president of platform software at Adobe Systems, where he also led the operational side of Adobe’s creative professional business unit. Prior to Adobe, John was senior vice president of SMB segment operations with Hewlett-Packard and principal and associate partner of the electronics and high-tech practice at Accenture Strategic Services. John received his MBA from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and his bachelor of arts from Yale University.




Firm: TCV
Title: General Partner

kapil.pngTechnology investment banker turned investor Kapil Venkatachalam has been with technology-focused public, private and venture capital firm TCV since 2006. As a General Partner, Kapil focuses mainly on software and tech-enabled services investments, with security, analytics and vertical software being particular areas of interest. Kapil’s current investment portfolio includes, EtQ, FinancialForce, Genesys and Rave Mobile Safety.

Before transitioning to the buy-side, Kapil was with Goldman Sachs, where he served as both a software investment banker and in the office of the CIO working on strategic application and infrastructure technology projects. Kapil received his master of engineering management and master of science in electrical engineering from Dartmouth College, where he was a William F. May Fellow; he obtained his bachelor of engineering, electronics and telecommunications from the University of Madras in India.




Firm: STG Partners
Title: Managing Director

jt-treadwell.jpgFormer consultant and strategist J.T. Treadwell has been with middle market software, data and analytics-focused private equity firm STG Partners since 2003. Currently a Managing Director, J.T. has led investments for STG across a variety of sectors, including healthcare, marketing services and retail analytics. In particular, he has helped lead and manage his firm’s investments in Shopzilla, ImpactRx, Teleca, Sigma3, IBS AB, SymphonyIRI Group, Symphony Marketing Solutions, GERS Retail Systems and Intentia AB (Lawson). He currently sits on the board of directors for Shopzilla, ImpactRx, Teleca, Sigma3, SAM and IBS AB.

Prior to STG, J.T. was the director of marketing and strategic planning at global logistics software firm Qiva. He also spent time as an associate at Bessemer Venture Partners and as a consultant at The Boston Consulting Group. J.T. received dual bachelor of arts degrees in history and ethics, politics and economics from Yale University.




Firm: Apax Partners
Title: Partner

jason-wright.jpegComputer programmer turned investor Jason Wright is a Partner in the tech & telco team of Apax Partners, a London-based private equity firm that currently ranks as the fourteenth largest globally. Since joining Apax’s New York office in 2000, Jason has spearheaded and participated in a variety of key deals for the firm, including ECi Software Solutions, Paycor, Exact, Epicor Software Corporation, Duck Creek and Paradigm.

Jason joined Apax immediately after receiving his MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. Prior to business school, Jason worked at GE Capital in a variety of roles. His first role out of school was as a computer programmer for Accenture, where he designed and implemented systems for the pharmaceutical and financial services industry. Jason received his bachelor of arts in economics from Tufts University.




Firm: Hellman & Friedman
Title: Partner

david-tunnell.pngDavid Tunnell, a software and insurance-focused investor with more than 25 years of experience, serves as Partner and investment committee member for large-scale private equity firm Hellman & Friedman founded in 1984.  Since joining the firm in 1994, David has played a role in a large number of portfolio company investments. He currently sits on several boards, including Genesys, Applied Systems, Kronos, Ultimate Software and HUB.

While David has spent the majority of his career at Hellman & Friedman, earlier in his career he served in the investment banking group at Lazard Frères & Co. David received his undergraduate degree from Harvard College and his MBA from Harvard Business School.




Firm: General Atlantic
Title: Managing Director

alex-crisses.jpgTechnology-focused investor Alex Crisses currently serves as a Managing Director at General Atlantic, a global growth equity firm focused on growth companies in the consumer, financial services, healthcare and technology sectors.  Alex currently serves as a board member at Benevity, Flipp, Gympass, pymetrics, and Sonendo and as a board observer at JumpCloud and Seismic.  He leads General Atlantic’s thematic sourcing program as well as co-heading its emerging growth initiative.

Alex joined General Atlantic from Insight Venture Partners, where he was a managing director with a focus on global software and internet investments. Alex began his career in global energy and power investment banking at Credit Suisse. He holds a bachelor of science in economics from the Wharton School at the University in Pennsylvania and an MBA from Harvard Business School.




Firm: Riverwood Capital
Title: Managing Director


Former product manager and entrepreneur Harish Belur joined high growth technology-focused private equity firm Riverwood Capital in 2011. Currently serving as a Managing Director, Harish’s investment portfolio includes Accellion, Druva, Forecast5 Analytics, Mandic Cloud Solutions and Sauce Labs.

Prior to joining Riverwood, Harish lead the product management teams at Cisco Systems for the switching, routing and smart grid sectors. He also co-founded and headed product management for Greenfield Networks, a pioneering ME-3×00 carrier ethernet access product producer that was acquired by Cisco. Harish received his bachelors in technology in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi and his MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.




Firm: K1 Investment Management
Title: Managing Partner

ron-cano.jpgTransaction specialist turned buy-side partner Ron Cano has been with enterprise software-focused investment firm K1 Investment Management since 2011. As a Managing Partner, Ron spearheads diligence and execution for K1’s new investments, as well as serving as an active board member for the firm’s portfolio companies and advising management teams.

Ron came to K1 from Vista Equity Partners and Clearlake Capital, where he was focused on buyout investments in the software sector. He also spent time in Thomson SA’s Global Strategy and Acquisitions group, where he managed minority and control investments. He began his career in technology, media and telecom investment banking at Bear Sterns. Ron holds his MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and his bachelor of science in business administration cum laude from Georgetown University.




Firm: Bessemer Venture Partners
Title: Partner


Software developer turned derivatives trader turned investor Alex Ferrara joined technology-focused venture capital firm Bessemer Venture Partners in 2005. As a Partner, he focuses primarily on investments in enterprise SaaS, SMB software and cybersecurity companies throughout the United States and Europe.

Before joining Bessemer, Alex held a variety of roles in the technology and financial services sector. He began his career as a software development turned derivatives trader at Salomon Brothers. Alex then headed engineering for two startup companies before a brief stint in investment banking at Goldman Sachs. He holds his bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and his MBA from the Columbia Graduate School of Business.




Firm: NEA
Title: General Partner

scott-sandell.jpgIndustry-leading venture capitalist Scott Sandell has been with global technology and healthcare venture capital firm NEA for almost 25 years. Currently serving as Managing General Partner, Scott has spearheaded many of NEA’s most prominent and industry-transforming investments, including those in, Data Domain, WebEx, Tableau Software and Workday.

Earlier in his career, Scott was a product manager at Microsoft; he also co-founded and ran the European subsidiary of C-ATS Software. He started his career as a consultant at the Boston Consulting Group. Scott received his bachelor of arts in engineering sciences from Dartmouth College and his MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.




Firm: Advent International
Title: Managing Director

eric-wei.jpgEric Wei joined global private equity firm Advent International in 2011.  As a Managing Director, Eric concentrates on technology and media companies. He has played a key role in eight investments at Advent, including TransUnion, Definitive Healthcare, CCC Information Services, Allied S.A., Ansira Holdings, Unit4 and P2 Energy.  Founded in 1984, the firm has invested in over 340 transactions across 41 countries.

Prior to Advent, Eric was a principal at Sageview Capital, where he spearheaded that firm’s investments in Everbank, Financial Engines, Globeop and Avalara. He also served in buy-side roles at Bain Capital and Evercore Partners, as a vice president and associate, respectively. Eric began his career as a strategy consultant at Bain & Company. He received his bachelor’s degree with distinction from Stanford University and his MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.


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