Seasoned Software Investors Establish Elsewhere Partners to Focus on “Outliers”

Firm Offers Transitional Capital, Transformational Expertise, Exit Readiness

Austin, Texas, UNITED STATES

AUSTIN, Texas, Sept. 20, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Veteran software investors Chris Pacitti, John Thornton and Sam Kentor today launched Elsewhere Partners, a growth-stage venture capital firm. Elsewhere Partners invests exclusively in business software companies that are located outside of traditional venture capital hubs and have achieved substantial customer traction and revenue growth without significant outside funding.

“Most venture capital firms are busy chasing unicorns; this ‘billion-or-bust’ strategy means that they have to accept an excessive number of losses. That’s not our approach. We see a tremendous opportunity to invest in software companies that don’t fit the traditional model -- these ‘outliers’ are located beyond the boundaries of the major VC hubs and have proven their business models without standard Series A or B rounds thanks to a customer-centric culture. Our strategy is to make 100 percent of them successful by building off what they’ve already achieved,” said Chris Pacitti, founder and partner, Elsewhere Partners.

Combining Transitional Capital with Transformational Expertise
Deviating from the traditional venture capital model, Elsewhere Partners is dedicated to making right-sized, seven-figure investments that provide the transitional capital its portfolio companies need to efficiently reach the next stage of growth. The team also delivers the transformational expertise required to quickly scale portfolio companies and create more exit options.

“As more private equity firms look to acquire software companies, the exit model for venture-backed start-ups is ripe for radical change. We intend to help all of our portfolio companies become exit-ready on their own timeframe and ensure there is a broad range of options for realizing value. To that end, we’ve built an extraordinarily talented team of operating advisors who collectively have decades of experience doing just that – and, unlike other VC firms, we put them directly in the board seats to maximize their impact,” added John Thornton, co-founder and partner, Elsewhere Partners.

Portfolio companies get intensive, boots-on-the-ground support from the Elsewhere Partners Operating Advisors. This team is comprised of C-level software executives and veteran investors, including:

  • Mike Bennett, former CEO of SolarWinds, chairman of Idera Software
  • Bill Bock, president of Silicon Labs, former Dazel CEO
  • Kevin Cunningham, president and founder of SailPoint Technologies, founder of Waveset (now Sun Microsystems) 
  • Don Duet, president and COO at, former Goldman Sachs technology division partner
  • Doug Erwin, former CEO of The Planet and PentaSafe Technologies
  • Howard Greenfield, SVP WW sales of SailPoint Technologies, former VP WW sales for Zenprise (now Citrix)
  • Randy Jacops, current CEO and former COO of Idera Software
  • Cam McMartin, CFO of SailPoint Technologies, former SVP of operations for Dazel Corporation
  • Mark McClain, CEO and founder of SailPoint Technologies, founder and former president of Waveset Technologies (now Sun Microsystems)
  • Jack McDonald, chairman and CEO of Upland Software, former chairman and CEO of Perficient
  • Michele Perry, former COO of GetWellNetwork, former CMO of Sourcefire (now Cisco)
  • Rita Selvaggi, CMO of AlienVault, former SVP of Marketing for SolarWinds          
  • Josh Stephens, former Chief Strategy Officer of Idera Software, former VP of technology and head geek for SolarWinds
  • Kenny Van Zant, former head of business for Asana, former chief product strategist for SolarWinds
  • Heather Zynczak, CMO of Pluralsight, former CMO of Domo

“Elsewhere Partners brings the broadest, most talented group of operational leaders in technology to the table. Mark McClain, who sits on our board is a great example; there is no better talent in software, and his involvement with Vyopta is a testament to the strength and depth of the Elsewhere Partners network. A team of operating advisors has literally been with us every step of the way — from due diligence to onboarding – which has been transformational for our company,” said Alfredo Ramirez, co-founder and CEO of Vyopta, an Elsewhere Partners portfolio company.

While many firms offer advisory support from the sidelines, Elsewhere Partners is taking a different path by actively placing operating advisors on the boards of its portfolio companies, rather than filling seats with partners. As board members, the operating advisors not only provide executive mentorship, but also hands-on tactical and strategic support to build stronger companies, faster.

“As a board member, I’m able to engage in a deeply meaningful, impactful way and can be more effective in helping the portfolio companies quickly achieve milestones,” said Kenny Van Zant, Elsewhere Partners operating advisor and board member of Itential, a recent Elsewhere Partners investment. Van Zant is the former head of business for Asana and SolarWinds chief product strategist; he currently serves on the boards of Castlight Health, Idera and Puppet. “After spending decades in the software business, I’m also drawn to working with the companies that match the ‘outlier’ profile Elsewhere Partners has developed. These companies have incredible potential to leverage the strong foundations they’ve built, and it’s rewarding to help them take their businesses to the next level.”

Accelerating Success Stories
Recently, Elsewhere Partners made the first outside investment in Atlanta-based Itential, an emerging leader in automating Software Defined Networks (SDN). The investment will enable the company to accelerate R&D and marketing investments and to intensify its focus on enterprise customers. Elsewhere Partners also led a round of transitional capital for Relatient, a rapidly growing patient engagement software company located in Nashville. Coincident with the financing, Relatient added Elsewhere Partners Operating Advisor Michele Perry, former chief operating officer of GetWellNetwork, to its board of directors.

Other Elsewhere Partners portfolio companies include Vancouver-based Tasktop, a leading supplier of value stream integration for software development organizations in large enterprises; and Austin-based Vyopta, a rapidly growing provider of unified communications and collaboration performance management solutions.

In addition to the cities where Elsewhere Partners has already invested, the firm is in active discussions with companies in Boulder/Denver, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Raleigh/Durham, Salt Lake City, Toronto, Washington D.C. and beyond.

Expertise Earned Through Experience  
With a successful track record that spans three decades and includes more than 50 software investments, the Elsewhere Partners team offers a deep understanding of the tension between the traditional VC model and the evolving needs of today’s software companies. Recently, the founders helped guide a number of successful exits, including Bazaarvoice; Explorys (acquired by IBM); Idera (acquired by HGGC); Innography (acquired by CPA Global); SailPoint (acquired by Thoma Bravo); SolarWinds; Upland Software (NASDAQ:UPLD); Permeo (acquired by Blue Coat Systems); Pluck (acquired by Demand Media); and Vovici (acquired by Verint Systems).

“Elsewhere Partners understands the physics of business – and they don’t try to unnaturally defy those physics. They get the importance of timing and sequencing for scale, which enables them to be pragmatic and smart about pursuing growth strategies based on where our company is and where our market is,” continued Ramirez. “That eliminates a lot of wasted time and effort, and produces better outcomes for everyone.”

Founder and Partner Chris Pacitti is a seasoned investor with 22 years of experience as an investor and mentor to software entrepreneurs. Pacitti remains a general partner at Austin Ventures, the nation’s largest regional venture capital firm, where he co-led technology investing for 16 years with Elsewhere Partners Co-Founder and Partner John Thornton. Thornton has 27 years of software investing experience and also continues as a general partner at Austin Ventures, where he led or co-led technology investing since the late 90s and served as managing partner 2005-2008. In addition, Sam Kentor, co-founder and principal, brings investment experience from JMI Equity, and was previously at Bain & Co.

To learn more about Elsewhere Partners, please visit, follow us on LinkedIn or contact

About Elsewhere Partners
Elsewhere Partners is a growth-stage venture capital firm that makes seven-figure investments in Elsewhere Outliers – business software companies that are located outside of traditional venture capital hubs and have achieved substantial customer traction and revenue growth without significant outside funding. Elsewhere Partners combines transitional capital with transformational expertise to help companies achieve exit readiness on their founder’s timetable. To learn more, visit


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