Peter Fenton joined Benchmark Capital in 2006, after spending seven years as a partner at Accel. Not yet 40, Fenton already sits on the board of directors at companies like New Relic, Polyvore, Twitter, Yelp, and Zendesk. Starting at Accel in his late twenties, the young investor focused his attention on the enterprise — on backing smart software and infrastructure companies. In 2009, for example, the young VC helped lead SpringSource’s $400 million+ sale to VMWare.
Yet, Fenton saw promise in startups like Twitter, investing in the microblogging service back when it employed just 25 people — getting in early on Yelp, too. Becoming actively involved in consumer internet companies, Fenton came to recognize a marked difference between how these companies approached their users (and their market) and how enterprise players were doing business. Today, he tells us, a sea change has come to enterprise, which is being driven not only by a fundamental transformation of company culture but by new generation of users — namely those pesky, plucky millenials.