Downer brings deep experience in analytics and insurtech companies to Silicon Valley venture firm
MENLO PARK, Calif., and SALT LAKE CITY, Aug. 1, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Sorenson Ventures, a firm focused on early stage enterprise software and security startups, today introduced Chris Downer as its newest principal. Downer brings extensive knowledge and expertise in the analytics and insurtech markets to help Sorenson Ventures continue supporting its portfolio companies and sourcing new investments.
Downer was most recently a principal at XL Innovate, where he invested in, partnered with and helped scale analytics and insurtech companies across North America, Europe and Asia. While there, he was also a board observer at Pillar Technologies, an end-to-end environmental monitoring solution for construction sites, and a board member at Stonestep, which provides microinsurance as a service in emerging markets.
“We are a firm that works closely with our portfolio companies, rolling up our sleeves and diving in to help build success, and that energy and entrepreneurial spirit is precisely what Chris brings to us,” said Ken Elefant, managing director at Sorenson Ventures. “We believe that our portfolio companies will greatly benefit from Chris’ talent, experience and knowledge.”
Sorenson Ventures had its final closing in February 2019 above its $100 million target with over $110 million in committed capital. Since that time, the team has made multiple investments in the enterprise and security space, including:
- NS8 – an abuse, fraud and user experience protection platform
- MX – a company that enables financial institutions to gather, enrich, present and act on data
- CyCognito – a SaaS platform that continuously maps an organization’s attacker-exposed IT ecosystem to help the organization identify, prioritize and eliminate their most critical security risks
“Sorenson Ventures has created momentum already, and we are positioned to continue building our portfolio of innovative and successful companies,” Downer said. “I am eager for the opportunity to work alongside Ken Elefant and Rob Rueckert – two experienced investors – and to grow into new verticals by expanding my scope into enterprise and security companies.”
Prior to joining XL Innovate, Downer was an associate at Goldman Sachs in the alternative investments and manager selection group, part of the investment management division. During his five years at Goldman, he developed special expertise in emerging markets and Asia, working in the New York City and London offices.
Sorenson Ventures leverages the analytic and operational capabilities of Sorenson Capital, a growth equity and buyout firm founded in 2002, with more than $1 billion in capital under management.
About Sorenson Ventures
Sorenson Ventures is a Silicon Valley and Utah-based early-stage venture capital firm focused on enterprise software and security investments. Sorenson Ventures has more than $100 million in capital under management. The fund is managed by Ken Elefant and Rob Rueckert, who have both operating experience and venture experience at Battery Ventures, Lightspeed and Intel Capital. The principals of the fund are especially known for making value add connections to Global 2000 customers and have partnered with outstanding entrepreneurs through the years.
About Sorenson Capital
Sorenson Capital (www.sorensoncapital.com) is a private equity firm that makes middle-market buyout and growth equity investments. Sorenson Capital has more than $1 billion in capital under management and typically makes investments of $10 to $40 million in companies with unique strategic positions. Sorenson Capital is based in Salt Lake City, Utah.