Portola Valley

Where Venture Valuation Meets Private Equity Strategy™

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Portola Valley  |  San Francisco  |  Sacramento 

Our Approach

Our unique model dramatically increases your company’s chance of success. With the Portola Valley Partners approach founders, investors, and partners are happier and much more likely to be successful – EVERYONE WINS.


We want to do good things with like-minded individuals who want to build great products that truly make a difference.


With new global economic conditions, earlier-stage companies need to do more than just raise money. And, raising money is currently more challenging - VCs are being highly selective. Crafting, developing, and shaping the story is more critical than ever.


We help comprehensively and holistically. Our team-based approach is game-changing. We have deep connections with potential investors and potential exit targets across a number of different vertical industries.

  • Process: We are hands-on, creative, founder/VC-friendly operators

  • Perspective: We apply our unique lens and focus on product, customer, competition, and the requirements for a nearer-term liquidity event

  • Outcome: Our portfolio companies are Up-Leveled and ready for hyper acceleration

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Achieve strategic vision

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Holistically improve execution

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Better valuation in less time

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Obtain a stronger, faster, higher value exit

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Get help with funding and acceleration

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Establish sustainable revenue growth


Software Genomics


1+1=7: We construct better-together stories for companies, especially when it comes to our areas of expertise: Data & Analytics, ML, AI, and Data Orchestration. Our methodology is a unique blend of science and art - Code Pairing is the scientific portion and Product-Market-Fit is the art:
Software Genomics applies to M&A opportunities and individual companies:
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Performing M&A, the Portola Valley Partners way:
  • Identify pairings between two or more companies - leveraging our network
  • Grow each company organically - begin seeding the market for liquidity
  • In parallel, create a combined entity - continue seeding the market
  • Preserve founder's equity, involvement, and DNA
  • While both companies may be viable separately, combined they bring exponentially more value to customers, founders and investors
UpLeveling a Company: 
  • Structuring strategic relationships that drive mutual growth & mutual benefit
  • Build a highly compelling, differentiated solution
  • Execute the right strategies, and make the right introductions, to drive a liquidity event
  • Simultaneous delivery of: investment, organic growth, M&A, liquidity, and strategy execution
  • Deep focus on both tech and people
  • Our approach is the ultimate recipe for success

How we Work

We want to meet companies with a good story around data or digital transformation, where we see enormous potential for tech that will change or help the world.
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When we see value, we engage as a team of D e s i g n  T h i n k e r s

We drive the venture valuations that everyone loves

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We steeply discount our engagement model in exchange for a small amount of equity - earned in, not simply granted

To achieve a liquidity event, there is a combination of items to be worked in parallel, it is never just one item. At a high level, we work with you on:

  • Sales execution and strategy

  • Fund raising/M&A

  • Strategic introductions

  • Comprehensive marketing/GTM

  • Product Market Fit

We do NOT charge by the hour like consulting firms

Where there is strategic fit, we engage affordably and as hands-on operators

We execute a PE-style strategy, without the typical dilution nor lengthy time-frame

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Portfolio Companies

We engage with growth-stage companies. Although we are flexible, the minimum requirements of our Portfolio Companies are:        

A team with great vision


At or above $300K+ ARR  |  Real Customers

Real Product  |  Production-Grade Product  |  No Vaporware


Seed, Pre Series-A through Series-B

We are generally looking for companies that have products with the following technologies:        

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Data &


  • Governance

  • Data quality

  • Predictive analytics

  • Compliance

  • Automation

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  • Refinement

  • Enrichment

  • Amalgamation

  • Digital transformation

  • Data Cleansing

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  • Big data

  • Dashboards

  • Perception/cognition

  • Interaction

  • Geographical/GIS

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  • Supervised learning

  • Unsupervised learning

  • Skill acquisition

  • IoT

  • Classification

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  • Decision Making

  • Algorithms

  • Predictive analytics

  • AR/VR

  • Wearables

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  • Zero-trust

  • Blockchain

  • Behavioral analytics

  • Authentication

  • AI & Deep learning

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We look to apply those technologies across a variety of industries, including:

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Large IT

  • Software | ISVs

  • Solutions

  • Mobility | Telecom

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  • FinTech

  • VC & PE

  • Insurance Tech

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Real Estate

  • PropTech

  • Commercial

  • Residential

  • HealthTech

  • Wearables

  • BioTech

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  • Automation | Robotics

  • Construction Technology

  • AR | VR Training & Safety

  • AgTech

  • Energy

  • Life Science


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  • Automotive

  • Mobility

  • Public Transportation

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We have strong relationships in our network that apply across many technologies. If your company fits in another interesting area, we'd love to hear from you.

Our Venture Studio

Our model of partnering, with our trusted, curated, and best-in-class, eco-system, allows us to provide a Venture Studio that delivers unprecedented value to our Portfolio Companies.


When we engage, we focus on learning about specific needs, objectives, near and long term goals, and timing - every situation is unique. Our Venture Studio provides a holistic, comprehensive, end-to-end approach.

It is critical to align to the "right" money. Venture, or funding of any type, is about much more than the funding itself. Partnerships, alliances, and strategic introductions need to be integral components of the path forward.


We align your company to the right money and the right partners. 


Below is a small sampling of our deep network demonstrating the mix of resources specific to your company's needs. Once our team engages, we will advise on how to best leverage our network of resources.

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A one-stop middle market investment bank providing a variety of solutions

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Cash management accounts and corporate cards with no personal guarantee

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Customized, creative, efficient deal structuring and venture debt 

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Cutting your tax to the legal minimum & bulletproofing your business

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San Francisco based bank with customized lending programs for startups

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Sacramento based community bank with custom-crafted programs

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The Scaramento area's leading economic development organization

Comprehensive real estate services for companies at all stages of growth

Connecting the people, companies, & capital of Silicon Valley

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Working with early stage companies on dilution mitigation and wealth preservation

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[r o c k e t   s c i e n c e]

A world-class creative agency for video, podcasts, and social media

The science of growth marketing and creative approach to M&A

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Game-changing protection strategies for M&A, founders, and companies

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Software-focused investment bank specializing in M&A

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Helping organizations use change to become the best version of themselves


Our Team

We have the unique experience of being:
  • Serial Entrepreneurs
  • Founders | Partners
  • Large IT Execs
Some of these companies are household names today. We have personally exited companies to large organizations.
We worked with those large companies, as senior executives, to integrate, acquire, and perform M&A work.
Understanding what a large company needs to see, from a startup, is key to driving a liquidity event.

We know startups and we live and breathe Silicon Valley.


We understand how to navigate boot-strapping, raising capital, and liquidity events.


We held executive leadership positions at companies including HP, Dell, Microsoft, Lenovo, Yahoo, Apple, SnowFlake, Sun, BMC, CyberCash, The Red Herring, Deutsche Bank, Merrill Lynch, and many others.

John Majeski | CEO | jmajeski@portolavalleypartners.com

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John has experience with startups, turnarounds, and large IT companies. He was a founder/partner in 3 startups - successful exits. At HP John led the integration of a company and served as a CTO. At Dell, as VP/GM, John integrated a $1B acquisition and grew revenue from $400M to $2.3B in 3 years. At Lenovo, John was the Founder & Managing Director of a global business focused on acquiring technology to help Lenovo pivot from pure hardware to software and solutions. John has led in Product, Engineering, Sales, and M&A areas.

Steve Brown | President & COO | sbrown@portolavalleypartners.com

  • LinkedIn

Steve was the Managing Partner of Lenovo’s Global Software Business Unit and also led the SAP global alliance. For 25+ years, he was part of establishing Silicon Valley businesses including The Red Herring and CyberCash. He started three companies and invested in early stage companies. Steve has grown more than 100 businesses using operational technologies and processes to achieve sustainable business growth. Steve has led Sales, Operations, and Bus-dev functions.

Steve Douty | EVP M&A | sdouty@portolavalleypartners.com

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Steve spent the past 25 years in diverse executive positions, including marketing, product, sales, bus-dev and IT; he is a four-time CEO. He is skilled in bringing new technologies to market & creating new markets. His experience spans dozens of sectors, including enterprise SaaS, communications, cybersecurity, and data. Steve has raised $100M in venture capital, has 3 exits totaling nearly $900M, and has been an advisor and executive mentor for more than 15 companies.

Todd Basche | CPO | tbasche@portolavalleypartners.com

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Todd developed award-winning products blending innovative HW with intuitive SW. He is an expert in the art of developing transformational products that delight people. He worked with Apple’s CEO on next-gen products and created the iLife suite (iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie, iDvd). Todd was also VP/GM at Remedy-BMC, leading SW product management that defined and developed enterprise software. As a VP at Dell he led product management and SW engineering for Android & Chrome.

Shahid Chishty | CIO | schishty@portolavalleypartners.com

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Shahid has experience with business development, finance, investment banking, strategic advisory, private equity, venture capital, and investments at Deutsche Bank and Merrill Lynch. Shahid has advised private and public corporations on M&A, working on transactions valued in the multi-billions. He has experience with fundraising, capital structuring, and IPOs valued at over $500M. He managed a €2B multi-currency fund for the Rhein-Main Securitisation group.

Brandon Apparcel | CBDO | bapparcel@portolavalleypartners.com

  • LinkedIn

Brandon’s 15+ years of business development and entrepreneurial leadership has been focused on creating new revenue streams, sourcing executive talent, and management coaching. Prior, Brandon facilitated tech adoption for non-tech companies and developed disruptive strategies to achieve exponential growth for his clients. Brandon has consulted for top technologists, and marquee venture leaders, to accelerate their development, increase market adoption, and skyrocket revenue. 

Olivier Miranda | CTO Advisor | omiranda@portolavalleypartners.com

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Olivier’s experience in Silicon Valley includes engineering leadership, building technical teams, developing product solutions, and incorporating new technologies. Olivier led Enterprise Architecture at Snowflake Computing and helped facilitate customer and marketplace adoption of elastic cloud data warehousing. He has expertise in various development methodologies and operational excellence. His broad range of technical strength covers most technologies.

Bob Karr | Chairperson of Advisors | bkarr@portolavalleypartners.com

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Bob is the CEO & Founder of LinkSV, a solution that for 30 years connects people, capital, and companies of Silicon Valley. He is an active investor, advisor to companies, and board member. Bob co-founded the Angels Breakfast Club. Bob retired from a career in the corporate liability insurance business where he was a Partner at Dinner-Levison. Bob also worked with Sedgwick as their SVP of business development & client services for emerging & pre-IPO companies in the Bay Area.


Contact Us

We'd love to hear from you.

If you'd like more information or if you'd like to join our team, please call or email us:



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