“Doubling Down” is a new series where we hear from top B2B SaaS investors on their most recent activities and takes on the current market. We had a great one last time with Luci Fonseca, Partner at Base10 Partners. Check that out here.

This week we’re focusing on Andrew Steele, Partner at Activant Capital!

#1.  What’s your most recent disclosed investment?  Why did you do the deal?

My most recent investment was Owner.com

Adam, Dean, and the team at Owner are quietly building one of the fastest-growing B2B platforms out there by helping restaurants take back their customer relationships. US restaurant spending hit $1TN last year (up 40% since 2019) and online ordering is outpacing dine-in by 300%, but restaurants are getting squeezed by today’s providers. Solving this challenge is no easy feat, but with relentless focus on the customer and best-in-class product, Owner is giving restaurant owners superpowers and digitizing their entire operations. Activant Capital is thrilled to have invested in Owner multiple times already.

#2.  What’s your sweet spot for investing — check size, stage, type of deal?  And how big is your current fund?

Our focus is on enterprise software and commerce infrastructure such as fintech, and logistics. We typically lead Series B rounds, but sometimes we will invest at an earlier or later stage depending on the market and company. Our usual check size is between $15-50M, but we like to invest multiple times in our founders and be one of their most active partners. Our latest Fund IV is $395M.

#3.  What’s the #1 bit of advice you’d give to SaaS founders today?

My advice is to keep the bar high. Until recently, founders would describe their growth rate by how fast they were growing their company headcount. The last few years have demonstrated how smaller and leaner teams can create outsized value through strong alignment, and performance. In addition, recent advancements in automation are making it possible to keep the bar higher for longer when scaling teams.

#4.  What’s your pulse check on the venture markets right now, today?

Cautious optimism. This is one of the most exciting periods in recent memory to be investing in technology. We’ve had material advancements in productivity (read, AI) and the toolkit for builders- from middleware, to developer infrastructure, data pipelines, and fintech components-  is more robust than ever and is subsidized by the last wave of venture dollars. The teams building today are more resilient and focused on the fundamentals of creating great businesses. It’s an exciting time for a fund of our vintage to lean into the market when it’s more challenging for some of the mega funds who deployed the largest funds in history at the top of the market. We’re energized.

#5.  What’s different about your fund / how you invest and support founders?

Our differentiator is focus. Activant Capital is a research-led fund with an entire office dedicated to building deep research in our focus markets. This approach has been critical in our growth since fund I because it enables us to pick our spots and be proactive in winning the right to invest in the best companies– with the right teams in the right markets at the right time. After an investment, this allows us to support our founders as they think through where to place strategic bets and how to own their categories through product marketing, channel, and M&A. We couple this with a deep community of leaders in our space and lots of events to create organic connections.

#6.  What’s an “exit” you’re particularly proud of?

I’m really proud of Deliverr, which was acquired by Shopify for $2.1B in 2022. We had invested multiple times in Harish and team as they rolled out the largest asset light fulfillment network in the US to unblock Amazon Prime-like fulfillment for every merchant.


Andrew grew up in Northern Ireland on either side of the Good Friday Agreement in a family that lived in the thick of it, but cherished travel and embraced diversity of opinion. He first visited the U.S. to attend a summer camp in Vermont, and later moved full-time to attend Harvard University, where he studied behavioral economics.

Andrew co-founded an ed-tech platform in 2014 after seeing a gap in the market and ran the company for two and a half years before joining Activant in its first fund.

As an early team member, Andrew has been part of scaling Activant alongside its portfolio companies and established the firm’s fintech focus.

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