Doug Landis has joined Emergence Capital as a growth partner. Landis has been at Box (BOX) since 2012, most recently with the title of “Chief Storyteller.” (A job that has something to do with making the company more “customer-centric.”) Before that he was Box’s vice president of sales productivity, and for nearly five years prior to that he held a similar role at Salesforce (CRM).
So what does a growth partner do? I’ve been seeing the title more frequently—Social+Capital’s Ray Ko is a growth partner; other firms have full-fledged growth teams or growth “platforms.” Considering that many venture firms use the word “growth” to describe their late-stage venture investing, while private equity firms use it to describe their early stage investing, I’d love it if we found a word other than “growth” to describe this role.
Landis is the first growth partner at Emergence Capital. He will lean on his background in software-as-a-service (SaaS) sales to create “go-to-market” strategies and ideas to share with Emergence Capital’s 45 portfolio companies, as well as the broader enterprise tech community. Emergence Capital Partner Jason Green has called this new effort, led by Landis, a “platform.”
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“Doug has been at the center of a community of SaaS sales leaders that share best practices, and we want him to continue to do that,” Green tells Term Sheet. “Our goal is to raise the game not just of the portfolio but the community overall.”
Green would not say whether Landis gets a piece of Emergence’s partnership in his new role.
To many venture firms, offering portfolio companies a suite of services from recruiting and “design flights” to PR and fancy CEO summits is table stakes for getting into the best deals. (That, and blogging. If you’re a VC without a blog, what are you even doing?) The “value add” services that private equity firms have been offering for decades is feeling less like a bubble-era extravagance and more like a permanent fixture for venture capital firms.
Emergence Capital focuses on enterprise and cloud startups. The firm’s fourth fund closed in 2015 with $335 million in capital commitments.