As enterprise tech investors at Work-Bench, an exciting theme we’ve invested in for many years has been GIFEE — Google Infrastructure for Everyone Else.

This initially played out through our early investments in CoreOS and Cockroach Labs, and most recently through our investment in Authzed.

Given this experience, I had the opportunity to speak at Equinix Metal’s recent GIFEE Day conference on G(TM)FEE: Go To Market For Everyone Else.

The talk covered four elements key for cloud-native startups looking to sell into the enterprise, with examples shared from GIFEE inspired companies in our portfolio across:

  • Community
  • Sales
  • Buyer Personas

Check out the video of the talk and hit me up on Twitter if you want to nerd out on anything discussed.

Permissions as a Service

We’re thrilled to announce our latest investment in founders we have known for many years through our Work-Bench community as we lead Authzed’s $3.9M seed round, with participation from Amplify Partners, Y Combinator, and notable angel investors including Spencer Kimball (Cockroach Labs), Alex Polvi (CoreOS), Jeff Yoshimura (Snyk), and Gokul Rajaram (DoorDash).

Authzed is building a platform to store, compute, and validate application permissions at scale.

Now more than ever, development speed and application scale are critical for companies of all sizes. …

With 9 years of the NY Enterprise Tech Meetup (NYETM) under our belt, we’re excited to continue our epic speaker lineup of enterprise game changers. First up this month, Elizabeth Lawler, CEO and Co-Founder of our portfolio company AppLand demoed their new, open source product AppMap. Then, we dug into a fireside chat with Jeff Lawson, CEO and Co-Founder of cloud communications platform Twilio.

Today, Twilio is among the world’s five fastest growing tech companies with a valuation that has tripled since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, with more than 200,000 customers, eight million developers, and over…

We’re excited to announce that Nike has acquired our Work-Bench portfolio company Datalogue!

After meeting Co-Founder & CEO Tim Delisle back in 2017, we spent a few great years working alongside each other as we housed the Datalogue team at our Work-Bench office.

Some fun memories from their journey include…

Their #NYETM demo in June 2017 (note our super classy Work-Bench astroturf that we still had around from our summer party)

Tim pitching to a room of Fortune 500 execs in mid-2018 and making data pipelines super engaging!

Co-headlining our State of Data Engineering webinar last Sept along with an MD from JPMC

Always making time to chat with the local university community

A Jessica Lin on-air shoutout on TD Ameritrade Network leading to a Datalogue feature 3 days later!

Wishing the Datalogue team all the best on their continued journey with Nike!

We’ve been investing in enterprise tech startups since our launch in 2013 and for the past several years, we’ve been tracking our local NYC enterprise ecosystem’s growth.

See our most recent report on 2H funding 👉 here

While the world faced an unprecedented global health pandemic and economic crisis in 2020, digital transformation took a front seat in the enterprise and enterprise software startups have been a key enabler of this transformation. Now all signs clearly demonstrate that despite COVID-19, 2020 was the best year yet for enterprise tech in NYC 🔥🔥🔥

In this report, you’ll find funding trends, exit activity, and the local NYC pipeline of both unicorns primed for large exits and a “Next Guard” list of startups on the cusp of themselves becoming unicorns.

It’s been really interesting watching the debates on Twitter about the Silicon Valley exodus and the rise of Miami as a tech hub. Especially as a 305 native who remains a die hard Miami Heat fan despite living in NYC, I’m certainly rooting for my hometown to thrive. However, it’s not whether one city “wins” or another “loses,” but how this migration and remote work boom can lift up the entire country as tech’s importance in our economy is only going to increase more over time.

Something that I haven’t heard much about are the critical ingredients for nurturing and…

Earlier this year, my colleague Priyanka Somrah published a well-researched landscape on IT Compliance and Security Automation. There’s a lot of innovation occurring in various slices of this market as modern GRC tools increase their adoption in the enterprise. (Stay tuned for an exciting announcement from us in the coming months about an investment we made in this space).

A related space that we’ve been exploring is modernizing the vendor evaluation process from a Fortune 500 buyer’s perspective. As is typical with many ‘aha moments’ that lead to startup opportunities, the current process involves numerous stakeholders across different teams, massive…

As early stage investors, we’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly of how initial rounds come together.

A fundraising process not only leaves its imprint on the cap table going forward, but also reveals signs that can portend what type investor you’ll have along with you for the journey.

While there are many attributes to evaluate a potential investor’s fit for an early stage round (ie seed fund vs multi-stage, sector focus vs generalist, etc.), …

Here at Work-Bench, there are two things we love above all else: Enterprise tech and NYC. For the past several years, we’ve been tracking, recording and analyzing NYC enterprise tech funding data (see past reports from 2016, 2017, and 2019) and have continued the tradition this year!

See the complete 1H funding report 👉 here 👈

While 2020 has been an unprecedented year so far with NYC being hit hard as COVID-19’s epicenter, our findings were clear:

New York City enterprise tech is on 🔥 and has remained resilient throughout 1H 2020 despite COVID-19.

There’s a lot of uncertainty in the market right now as we simultaneously face a global health pandemic and an economic crisis.

To combat this uncertainty, we recently launched our Weathering the Storm: 2008 & Now webinar series to provide tactical guidance for our enterprise community of startups, corporate executives, and investors.

Our inaugural session featured two senior Wall Street IT execs who shared tactical advice around how startups can best communicate with existing customers and prospects during this time.

First and foremost, customer empathy is always important in enterprise sales, but especially during these times you’ll need to up…

Jonathan Lehr

All enterprise tech, all the time || VC @Work_Bench, Founder of @NYETM, and @KauffmanFellows Class 19 || I also tweet (a lot) about the @MiamiHEAT

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