Santa Barbara Venture Partners Launches $11M Fund

Santa Barbara Venture Partners

Santa Barbara Venture Partners, a Santa Barbara, CA-based venture capital firm, closed its $11m maiden fund.

Fund I is focused primarily on investing in tech and tech-enabled firms providing capital and support to help with customer acquisition and marketing. 

The fund aims to invest in software companies after a product-market fit has clearly been established/validated. The average check size is ~$1 million into companies that have $3-100 million in (preferably recurring) revenue, are generally growing 75-300%+ per year, and have customer retention and satisfaction metrics. SBVP makes both primary and secondary share investments into companies typically at seed through Series D stage.

SBVP-funded companies work with the firm’s investors and advisors who are seasoned marketing veterans with decades of experience in over 20 different B2B & B2C marketing channels and strategies, including on/offline advertising, content marketing, TV & radio advertising, PR, conversion rate optimization, branding, email, affiliate, strategic alliances, B2B lead gen, B2B sales enablement, PPC search & SEO, etc. plus overall marketing strategy. SBVP’s investor/advisor roster includes the former Chief Marketing Officer at CBS, at Papa John’s, at (SaaS conglomerate) J2 Global, executives and leaders of demand generation and marketing at firms including Pinterest, Citrix, Procore, AppFolio, RingCentral, Apeel Sciences,, the former head of strategic alliances/partnerships at Google, SailPoint and Dynatrace, plus dozens of others expert in customer acquisition and marketing.

To date, SBVP has made nine investments including Bark Technologies, Voltaiq, Specright, Classy, Nice Healthcare, Hydrosat, Jackpocket, Rad AI, and Curri. The firm has already exited non-profit SaaS leader Classy, which was acquired this year by GoFundMe.

The firm was founded and is led by Dan Engel, who led customer acquisition and/or marketing at Google, GoToMeeting, Picasa, and FastSpring. He co-founded fintech software company FastSpring, and as CEO, led it to become the 13th fastest-growing company in North America from 2006-2010, with an eventual acquisition by Accel-KKR for over $100 million. Engel has over 20 years of experience building software companies and over 11 years of experience investing into private software companies.