Dominic Ang Managing Partner
Software investing is best when done by a team of equal parts operators and investors.
Turn/River was founded on the core idea that software investing is best when done by a team of equal parts operators and investors. And this idea really started to take shape in me when I graduated from Berkeley, and promptly abandoned my investment banking track to join a software startup instead.
I joined a company called Plumtree Software and did my small part in helping them grow to over $100M in revenues during the dotcom boom in San Francisco. While there, I really got to see and learn all aspects of the software business and the process of growth.
From there I got back to software investing, joining a large private equity firm, Advent International, and then a tech-focused investment firm, Vector Capital—first as an Associate, then as a Vice President. In this role, I was able to combine what I learned in software operations with what I’d learned about how to be an investor at scale, both the process of actually putting dollars to work and the long but ultimately rewarding process of helping companies improve and create value.
Near the end of my tenure there, I started to see a newer breed of software company. AWS was emerging, really ushering in what we know today as SaaS companies. These companies were incredibly agile compared to everything that had come before: bootstrapped, highly efficient, often profitable and pursuing common-sense growth.
In many cases, they were too profitable for venture capital, still too small for private equity and too messy really for strategic acquirers.
A friend introduced me to the founder of one such business and I decided to get my life savings together (and Evan’s and a few other friends’ life savings), buy that business, and become the CEO. Even though we bought it literally a week before the Great Financial Crisis, we were able to build a playbook for growth that helped that company grow sales by 5X in 3 years, and later sold that company to a strategic acquirer.
I started Turn/River shortly after that, and that playbook for growth, that idea of investing with an operational mindset and an operational team, formed the core of what we do today.