ICONIQ Growth Welcomes Rob Bernshteyn

Our new General Partner Rob Bernshteyn in conversation with Will Griffith

Rob Bernshteyn, ICONIQ Growth General Partner

ICONIQ Growth Welcomes Rob Bernshteyn

Our new General Partner Rob Bernshteyn in conversation with Will Griffith

Rob Bernshteyn, ICONIQ Growth General Partner

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Enduring partnerships are built on trust, supported by a foundation of common values. Our shared principles have led to us welcoming Rob Bernshteyn, formerly CEO of Coupa Software and software industry veteran, as a new General Partner at ICONIQ Growth.  We are fortunate to have forged a deep partnership with Rob nearly a decade ago starting when we first invested in Coupa. During those years, we’ve had the opportunity to witness his remarkable leadership and applied experience firsthand, and to work seamlessly together as our alignment of goals and values were evident from day one.

Rob's fourteen-year tenure as CEO and Chairman at Coupa was nothing short of extraordinary. Under his leadership, Coupa emerged as a trailblazer in the software industry. Joining Coupa in its infancy, Rob played a pivotal role in rebuilding and transforming the company from a small startup into a global powerhouse with a nearly billion-dollar recurring revenue run rate, supported by thousands of employees globally. Rob demonstrated exceptional resilience and foresight, steering the company through various industry disruptions and technological advancements. He raised five rounds of private financing and led the company through a successful IPO in 2016. In 2023, Rob effectively navigated Coupa through a successful take-private transaction, further demonstrating his adept stewardship and strategic agility in managing the company's trajectory.

Beyond his impressive track record in scaling a world class company, Rob has driven a host of contributions across the enterprise software industry during his three-decade career.  He has held many key roles in both public and private companies, from executive management to marketing, sales, services, products, and programming. Prior to Coupa, he was a member of SuccessFactors’ executive management team, a leader in HCM cloud software (now part of SAP). He joined SuccessFactors when it was an early startup and directed all aspects of product marketing and management, departing a few years after its successful IPO.

Before SuccessFactors, Rob led product management at Siebel Systems, served as a management consultant at McKinsey, and was a SAP systems implementation engineer at Accenture.

Rob’s expertise is in identifying and then leading high growth technology companies into new market opportunities. Rob is technically astute, deeply product focused, intimately familiar with fundraising, go-to-market, alliances, acquisition integration, implementation, customer retention, finance, and operations. Rob has also been active in the venture space, providing support and mentorship to over two dozen companies at various stages of growth. Finally, not to be dismissed or discounted, Rob is a dedicated baseball card trader and collector.

Rob is also widely regarded for his commitment to fostering empowering work cultures, instilling values of excellence, and an obsessive focus on customer success – principles that are also foundational for us at ICONIQ Growth.  We are thrilled to embark on this new chapter of partnership with Rob.  To celebrate, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Rob to delve into his remarkable journey and glean insights from his leadership experience.

How would you best characterize your leadership principles and style?

Above all, I believe that aspirational leadership is grounded in uncompromising authenticity. In order for anyone to truly commit to being led, they must know that their leader will always be completely straight with them. With that foundation in place, the work can begin.  I always felt that the work itself must be grounded in an aspirational vision and focused on measurable results that all parties fully understand and can commit to. The leader must create an environment where everyone is willing to bring their beginner’s mind and where all assumptions could be questioned, in the spirit of jointly achieving set goals. In that environment the leader must lead by example, showcase vulnerability, and be willing to re-earn their stature as the emergent (rather than just the designated) leader of the group.  In my most recent role as CEO, I committed to my own set challenge of working to earn and re-earn my title each day, which I found invigorating.

With these principles in play, the leader then finds themselves in an incredibly fortuitous and gratifying position of being able to support their team in unlocking their greatest potential. This dynamic of supporting one’s team expands to the team’s team and across the organization as it grows.  This approach of servant leadership unlocked incredible value for many of the colleagues I had the pleasure of working with in my career thus far. Jointly, we overcame incredible obstacles and discovered that where there is a will there is a way.  Together, we were able to deliver on hard-fought goals and were then able to proudly celebrate our successes. These shared experiences contributed to many of us building lifelong bonds and friendships.

What do you believe to be the most important elements for defining and developing a company culture?

I believe that a company’s culture must be rooted in a common set of core values. When jointly defined early on and then committed to by all incoming employees, they can serve as the foundational DNA of the organization. In fact, when the core values are used as the foundational elements through which decisions are made in a company, they can support the organization scaling from a few early employees to thousands of global colleagues. In my experience at Coupa, staying grounded in our values helped us navigate through incredible uncertainty including rampant attrition in the early days, challenges in securing funding, diverting meritless lawsuits that could have held us down, coming together during the years of Covid and integrating over a dozen acquisitions, and in ultimately navigating the sale of the company.

One of the key factors that attracted me to ICONIQ Growth as my next career move is the values of the organization.  I found myself strongly drawn to the core values of trust, humility, excellence, integrity, and appreciation for diversity. There is clearly something very special going on at ICONIQ Growth and I’m excited to engage and contribute.

What are some of your key learnings from leading Coupa from the time of the Great Financial Crisis, through a successful IPO, and ultimately a successful take-private years later?

My key learnings center around optimally developing our company, serving our customers, and navigating the competition.

From a company perspective, that meant clearly visualizing the kind of company I wanted to build and then holding myself accountable to its manifestation despite any and all challenges along the way.  That required developing the depth of my own personal courage and having the conviction to gather like-minded colleagues to join me on the journey of company building. With that courage and conviction, no challenge appeared insurmountable, regardless of the changing context. Together we were able to grow and evolve the organization toward its full potential.

From a customer perspective, our energies were spent on ensuring customer success as the top priority. In fact, focusing on customer satisfaction was never good enough for us. Our belief was that customers should never be satisfied. Our job was to make sure that they were measurably successful, and we were more than willing to go as deep and wide as required to ensure that success. We were serving the companies that were paying us, and even if our champions left, we wanted to be sure that we were irreplaceable due to the measurable value we were delivering.

Finally, from a competitive perspective we understood that we were navigating within a complex ecosystem of enterprise software incumbents and upstarts. We focused on developing initial product/market fit and then dynamically evolved our offerings with a focus on clear differentiated value and competitive defensibility. We stayed agile and actively evolved our pricing and positioning, as we thoughtfully expanded into key segments, industries, and markets globally. We stayed humble and built our business on the shoulders of the players that came before us and made sure to offer interoperability to all key systems within our customer’s environments.  In that way, our competitors also became our partners in terms of driving value for our customers.

I feel so incredibly fortunate to have had this full experience with my colleagues.  In fact, we attempted to document some of our learnings and predictions as they were happening. I’m proud to share that many of the predictions in Value-as-a-Service played out, while some of the foundational principles in Smarter Together are unfolding as we speak.

Why did you decide to join ICONIQ Growth as your next move?

My rationale centers around ICONIQ Growth’s company culture and approach, along with my sense for personal fit.

Since meeting you, Matt, and your colleagues at ICONIQ Growth when you invested in Coupa nearly a decade ago, I have always been impressed by the company you were building.  I could feel the entrepreneurial spirit and could sense the grounding that came with in your company values.  Moreover, a mutual respect had developed thereby increasing the likelihood for strong and constructive future camaraderie.

Upon investing in Coupa, your team was consistently trying to help mine by opening doors to new sales opportunities and networks that were otherwise difficult for my team and I to reach.  But, more broadly I could tell that you were deeply committed to being a true partner with the companies that you invest in.  I was delighted to learn that nearly a decade later you’ve taken that commitment to a whole new level with an internal organization committed to this cause.  ICONIQ Growth’s hands-on approach of facilitating high-impact introductions, including customer leads, strategic partnerships, potential investors, and board member candidates must be invaluable to companies.  I found myself further drawn to a company that is committed to offering this type of value and at that level of scale.  I felt that I could contribute here.

Finally, after having explored a host of potential opportunities, joining ICONIQ Growth simply feels like the right next move for me.  I’m also excited about engaging in the world of venture capital at this turbulent, yet highly promising time.  The opportunity for continued innovation and company building lies ahead and I look forward to partnering with inspired entrepreneurs and playing a role in helping them and their teams realize their dreams.

Notes

The views expressed in this presentation are those of ICONIQ Growth ("ICONIQ" or the "firm"), are the result of proprietary research, may be subjective, and may not be relied upon in making an investment decision. This presentation is for educational purposes only and does not constitute investment advice or an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities which will only be made pursuant to definitive offering documents and subscription agreements, including, without limitation, any investment fund or investment product referenced herein. Any reproduction or distribution of this presentation in whole or in part, or the disclosure of any of its contents, without the prior consent of ICONIQ, is prohibited. This presentation may contain forward-looking statements based on current plans, estimates and projections. The recipient of this presentation ("you") are cautioned that a number of important factors could cause actual results or outcomes to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, the forward-looking statements. The numbers, figures and case studies included in this presentation have been included for purposes of illustration only, and no assurance can be given that the actual results of ICONIQ or any of its partners and affiliates will correspond with the results contemplated in the presentation. No information is contained herein with respect to conflicts of interest, which may be significant. The portfolio companies and other parties mentioned herein may reflect a selective list of the prior investments made by ICONIQ. Certain of the economic and market information contained herein may have been obtained from published sources and/or prepared by other parties. While such sources are believed to be reliable, none of ICONIQ or any of its affiliates and partners, employees and representatives assume any responsibility for the accuracy of such information. All of the information in the presentation is presented as of the date made available to you (except as otherwise specified), and is subject to change without notice, and may not be current or may have changed (possibly materially) between the date made available to you and the date actually received or reviewed by you. ICONIQ assumes no obligation to update or otherwise revise any information, projections, forecasts or estimates contained in the presentation, including any revisions to reflect changes in economic or market conditions or other circumstances arising after the date the items were made available to you or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. For avoidance of doubt, ICONIQ is not acting as an adviser or fiduciary in any respect in connection with providing this presentation and no relationship shall arise between you and ICONIQ as a result of this presentation being made available to you. ICONIQ is a diversified financial services firm and has direct client relationships with persons that may become limited partners of ICONIQ funds. Notwithstanding that a person may be referred to herein as a "client" of the firm, no limited partner of any fund will, in its capacity as such, be a client of ICONIQ. There can be no assurance that the investments made by any ICONIQ fund will be profitable or will equal the performance of prior investments made by persons described in this presentation.

Disclaimer:

Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this presentation are those of ICONIQ Growth (“ICONIQ" or the “Firm"), are the result of proprietary research, may be subjective, and may not be relied upon in making an investment decision. Information used in this presentation was obtained from numerous sources. Certain of these companies are portfolio companies of ICONIQ Growth. ICONIQ Growth does not make any representations or warranties as to the accuracy of the information obtained from these sources. 

This presentation is for general information purposes only and does not constitute investment advice. This presentation must not be relied upon in connection with any investment decision. The information in this presentation is not intended to and does not constitute financial, accounting, tax, legal, investment, consulting or other professional advice or services.  Nothing in this presentation is or should be construed as an offer, invitation or solicitation to engage in any investment activity or transaction, including an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities which should only be made pursuant to definitive offering documents and subscription agreements, including without limitation, any investment fund or investment product referenced herein. 

Any reproduction or distribution of this presentation in whole or in part, or the disclosure of any of its contents, without the prior consent of ICONIQ, is strictly unauthorized.

This presentation may contain forward-looking statements based on current plans, estimates and projections. The recipient of this presentation ("you") are cautioned that a number of important factors could cause actual results or outcomes to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, the forward-looking statements. The numbers, figures and case studies included in this presentation have been included for purposes of illustration only, and no assurance can be given that the actual results of ICONIQ or any of its partners and affiliates will correspond with the results contemplated in the presentation. No information is contained herein with respect to conflicts of interest, which may be significant. The portfolio companies and other parties mentioned herein may reflect a selective list of the prior investments made by ICONIQ.

Certain of the economic and market information contained herein may have been obtained from published sources and/or prepared by other parties. While such sources are believed to be reliable, none of ICONIQ or any of its affiliates and partners, employees and representatives assume any responsibility for the accuracy of such information.

All of the information in the presentation is presented as of the date made available to you (except as otherwise specified), and is subject to change without notice, and may not be current or may have changed (possibly materially) between the date made available to you and the date actually received or reviewed by you. ICONIQ assumes no obligation to update or otherwise revise any information, projections, forecasts or estimates contained in the presentation, including any revisions to reflect changes in economic or market conditions or other circumstances arising after the date the items were made available to you or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. Numbers or amounts herein may increase or decrease as a result of currency fluctuations.

Disclaimer

The views expressed in this presentation are those of ICONIQ Growth ("ICONIQ" or the "firm"), are the result of proprietary research, may be subjective, and may not be relied upon in making an investment decision.  This presentation is for general information purposes only and does not constitute investment advice. This presentation must not be relied upon in connection with any investment decision. The information in this presentation is not intended to and does not constitute financial, accounting, tax, legal, investment, consulting or other professional advice or services. Nothing in this presentation is or should be construed as an offer, invitation or solicitation to engage in any investment activity or transaction, including an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities which should only be made pursuant to definitive offering documents and subscription agreements, including without limitation, any investment fund or investment product referenced herein.  Any reproduction or distribution of this presentation in whole or in part, or the disclosure of any of its contents, without the prior consent of ICONIQ, is strictly unauthorized. This presentation may contain forward-looking statements based on current plans, estimates and projections. The recipient of this presentation ("you") are cautioned that a number of important factors could cause actual results or outcomes to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, the forward-looking statements. The numbers, figures and case studies included in this presentation have been included for purposes of illustration only, and no assurance can be given that the actual results of ICONIQ or any of its partners and affiliates will correspond with the results contemplated in the presentation. No information is contained herein with respect to conflicts of interest, which may be significant. The portfolio companies and other parties mentioned herein may reflect a selective list of the prior investments made by ICONIQ. Certain of the economic and market information contained herein may have been obtained from published sources and/or prepared by other parties. While such sources are believed to be reliable, none of ICONIQ or any of its affiliates and partners, employees and representatives assume any responsibility for the accuracy of such information. All of the information in the presentation is presented as of the date made available to you (except as otherwise specified), and is subject to change without notice, and may not be current or may have changed (possibly materially) between the date made available to you and the date actually received or reviewed by you. ICONIQ assumes no obligation to update or otherwise revise any information, projections, forecasts or estimates contained in the presentation, including any revisions to reflect changes in economic or market conditions or other circumstances arising after the date the items were made available to you or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. For avoidance of doubt, ICONIQ is not acting as an adviser or fiduciary in any respect in connection with providing this presentation and no relationship shall arise between you and ICONIQ as a result of this presentation being made available to you. ICONIQ is a diversified financial services firm and has direct client relationships with persons that may become limited partners of ICONIQ funds. Notwithstanding that a person may be referred to herein as a "client" of the firm, no limited partner of any fund will, in its capacity as such, be a client of ICONIQ. There can be no assurance that the investments made by any ICONIQ fund will be profitable or will equal the performance of prior investments made by persons described in this presentation. Any information in this presentation is directed at, and intended for, only persons who are experienced institutional or professional investors (“professional investors”) as defined by applicable law and regulation. Any person that is not a professional investor is not an intended recipient of this presentation and the matters discussed herein.

For avoidance of doubt, ICONIQ is not acting as an adviser or fiduciary in any respect in connection with providing this presentation and no relationship shall arise between you and ICONIQ as a result of this presentation being made available to you.

ICONIQ is a diversified financial services firm and has direct client relationships with persons that may become limited partners of ICONIQ funds. Notwithstanding that a person may be referred to herein as a "client" of the firm, no limited partner of any fund will, in its capacity as such, be a client of ICONIQ. There can be no assurance that the investments made by any ICONIQ fund will be profitable or will equal the performance of prior investments made by persons described in this presentation.

Any information in this presentation is directed at, and intended for, only persons who are experienced institutional or professional investors (“professional investors”) as defined by applicable law and regulation. Any person that is not a professional investor is not an intended recipient of this presentation and the matters discussed herein.

Copyright © 2024 ICONIQ Capital, LLC. All rights reserved.

Disclaimer

The views expressed in this presentation are those of ICONIQ Growth ("ICONIQ" or the "firm"), are the result of proprietary research, may be subjective, and may not be relied upon in making an investment decision.  This presentation is for general information purposes only and does not constitute investment advice. This presentation must not be relied upon in connection with any investment decision. The information in this presentation is not intended to and does not constitute financial, accounting, tax, legal, investment, consulting or other professional advice or services. Nothing in this presentation is or should be construed as an offer, invitation or solicitation to engage in any investment activity or transaction, including an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities which should only be made pursuant to definitive offering documents and subscription agreements, including without limitation, any investment fund or investment product referenced herein.  Any reproduction or distribution of this presentation in whole or in part, or the disclosure of any of its contents, without the prior consent of ICONIQ, is strictly unauthorized. This presentation may contain forward-looking statements based on current plans, estimates and projections. The recipient of this presentation ("you") are cautioned that a number of important factors could cause actual results or outcomes to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, the forward-looking statements. The numbers, figures and case studies included in this presentation have been included for purposes of illustration only, and no assurance can be given that the actual results of ICONIQ or any of its partners and affiliates will correspond with the results contemplated in the presentation. No information is contained herein with respect to conflicts of interest, which may be significant. The portfolio companies and other parties mentioned herein may reflect a selective list of the prior investments made by ICONIQ. Certain of the economic and market information contained herein may have been obtained from published sources and/or prepared by other parties. While such sources are believed to be reliable, none of ICONIQ or any of its affiliates and partners, employees and representatives assume any responsibility for the accuracy of such information. All of the information in the presentation is presented as of the date made available to you (except as otherwise specified), and is subject to change without notice, and may not be current or may have changed (possibly materially) between the date made available to you and the date actually received or reviewed by you. ICONIQ assumes no obligation to update or otherwise revise any information, projections, forecasts or estimates contained in the presentation, including any revisions to reflect changes in economic or market conditions or other circumstances arising after the date the items were made available to you or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. For avoidance of doubt, ICONIQ is not acting as an adviser or fiduciary in any respect in connection with providing this presentation and no relationship shall arise between you and ICONIQ as a result of this presentation being made available to you. ICONIQ is a diversified financial services firm and has direct client relationships with persons that may become limited partners of ICONIQ funds. Notwithstanding that a person may be referred to herein as a "client" of the firm, no limited partner of any fund will, in its capacity as such, be a client of ICONIQ. There can be no assurance that the investments made by any ICONIQ fund will be profitable or will equal the performance of prior investments made by persons described in this presentation. Any information in this presentation is directed at, and intended for, only persons who are experienced institutional or professional investors (“professional investors”) as defined by applicable law and regulation. Any person that is not a professional investor is not an intended recipient of this presentation and the matters discussed herein.

For avoidance of doubt, ICONIQ is not acting as an adviser or fiduciary in any respect in connection with providing this presentation and no relationship shall arise between you and ICONIQ as a result of this presentation being made available to you.

ICONIQ is a diversified financial services firm and has direct client relationships with persons that may become limited partners of ICONIQ funds. Notwithstanding that a person may be referred to herein as a "client" of the firm, no limited partner of any fund will, in its capacity as such, be a client of ICONIQ. There can be no assurance that the investments made by any ICONIQ fund will be profitable or will equal the performance of prior investments made by persons described in this presentation.

Any information in this presentation is directed at, and intended for, only persons who are experienced institutional or professional investors (“professional investors”) as defined by applicable law and regulation. Any person that is not a professional investor is not an intended recipient of this presentation and the matters discussed herein.

Copyright © 2024 ICONIQ Capital, LLC. All rights reserved.

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