Coupa investor on what its IPO means to others

October 10, 2016

PUBLISHED BY Cromwell Schubarth

SOURCE Silicon Valley Business Journal

Bryan Stolle is one of the happy venture investors who celebrated Coupa Software’s IPO success last week.

He led the San Mateo startup’s Series D funding round for Mohr Davidow Ventures that closed early in 2011. The return for investors in that round was at about 25X at the end of the first day of trading on Thursday and its stake was valued at about $221 million.

The stock at one point doubled on its first day of trading but closed its first day on the market up by about 85 percent. It has since given back more than 10 percent of its gains, trading at around $29.34 on Monday afternoon.

Stolle, who co-founded Wildcat Ventures over the summer, talked to me about why he invested in Coupa and what he thinks its IPO may mean for other tech IPO candidates waiting in the wings.

Before jumping into venture investing, Stolle was the founder and CEO of San Jose-based Agile Software, which was acquired by Oracle in 2007 for about $495 million.

The following Q&A has been edited for length and clarity.

Tell me about your involvement with Coupa.
I got involved about six years or so ago, about three or four quarters after Rob Bernshteyn had come in as CEO from SuccessFactors. He was really just sort of starting to get the thing cooking, albeit still at a fairly low revenue run rate.

I just love Rob. He was recommended to me by somebody who said, “You really got to meet this guy.”

Given my past experiences and history and background, I won’t say that I was in love with the procurement software space. But Rob is just such an amazing guy. I think he is one of, if not the, best young CEOs in the Valley. I just cannot say enough good things about Rob.

I was just really impressed with him, impressed with the results that he was starting to get, impressed with the vision he was painting and the execution he was driving. it’s really hard to get those two things together. When you do, you get something special. So that was primarily what drove the investment.

Read the full interview in Silicon Valley Business Journal here.