About Sapphire Ventures
Sapphire Ventures is a venture capital firm helping innovative technology companies become global category leaders. Sapphire Ventures has more than $2.5 billion in assets under management across three investment organizations:
Sapphire Growth — focused on direct, growth-stage investments globally
Sapphire Sport — focused on earlier stage investments at the intersection of sports, media & entertainment, and technology; and
Sapphire Partners — which invests in other, early-stage venture funds in the US, Europe and Israel.
Since 2011, Sapphire has had more than 55 company exits and invested in more than 100 companies and venture funds.
When Elizabeth Patterson joined Sapphire Ventures as Vice President of the talent network in January of 2018, she was tasked with understanding executive talent needs within Sapphire’s portfolio of companies and cultivating a network of talent to meet those needs.
Because she spends the majority of her time building talent ecosystems versus recruiting directly, she needed a way to maintain relationships with executives over time. Google docs and spreadsheets simply weren’t cutting it for Patterson; her job required a robust talent database that would speed up data entry and reduce the risk for error.
“The biggest challenge for us was data integrity,” says Patterson. “We were managing multiple contacts in different locations, so there was no one standard. Not only was it time consuming to build and rebuild lists, but there was also a lot of room for error.”
Soon after Patterson joined Sapphire Ventures, she began evaluating talent management and customer relationship management (CRM) platforms, including Thrive TRM. After demoing Thrive, Patterson’s first impression was that it was “really straightforward.” She recalls, “I could capture all of the information that I needed over time. You really could build long term, sophisticated relationships with depth, and if I ever needed to go back and reference information in Thrive, it was there for me.”
A key feature that solidified Patterson’s decision to choose Thrive TRM was the Chrome extension, which enables the Sapphire team to seamlessly create or update contacts from web profiles with the click of a button. “It populates everything from college and work experience to contact information. So a lot of the heavy lifting is done and it reduces my risk for error if I’m doing data entry manually. That’s huge for me,” says Patterson.
Thrive’s contact tagging capability is another feature that has saved Patterson and the Sapphire Ventures team countless hours. “I may have a portfolio company that says, ‘We are desperate for a VP of Product. This just came up, and it’s the highest priority at our firm. Can you help us?’ I very quickly, based on the networks that I set up and tags that I set up within Thrive, can create and get that report out with mapped candidates to one of our portfolio companies in a matter of minutes.” This shortens the hiring time for our portfolio companies.
Onboarding was a smooth and speedy process for Sapphire, says Patterson, who worked closely with the client success team to input data into Thrive and customize the platform to fit their needs. “The biggest surprise and delight has been the level of partnership and responsiveness from Thrive’s customer success, support, and services teams,” says Patterson. “Having come from a technology, marketing, and sales background, this level of customer service is beyond what I’ve typically experienced, and truly first-class from a Thrive perspective.”
Since implementing Thrive TRM at Sapphire Ventures, Patterson and her team have been able to save time, build stronger talent networks, and strengthen their relationships across portfolio companies. “In the role of a talent leader within Sapphire Ventures, we work with many startups who seek access to the best executives we know within our vibrant ecosystem to support them with critical hires to help them scale. Thrive allows me to do my job more efficiently and in less time while delivering a solid product for our portfolio companies,” says Patterson.
Having a standardized database of executive talent has helped Sapphire Ventures scale their network and leverage this ecosystem like never before. “Because my networks are current in Thrive and I’m able to provide background on the company’s strength objectives, I’m able to provide information quicker. This has made me even more of a trusted partner to our portfolio companies.”