“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 Satya Patel, Partner at Homebrew. Check that out here.

This week we’re focusing on Hilarie Koplow-McAdams, Venture Partner at NEA!

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

One of our recent deals was in a very exciting company by the name of Metronome. Metronome is a cutting-edge billing infrastructure company designed to support the rapid growth and adaptability required by modern software companies. Offering a suite of solutions dedicated to supporting multifaceted billing needs and revenue operations, I believe Metronome serves as the perfect scaling partner for innovative businesses and software companies.

Metronome’s sophisticated billing and subscription management platform enables companies to easily manage and automate complex billing and invoicing processes. Founders, Kevin Liu and Scott Woody learned from their own early career experiences that companies need an easier way to deliver flexible pricing and packaging to the market.

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

Enterprise software–at all stages and check sizes–with a focus on SaaS, Security, Infrastructure and, of course, with an integrated AI strategy. I’m also focused on vertical SaaS solutions that are being disrupted by AI. The common threads of my investments are companies creating a new category or disrupting the definition of a current category.

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

It’s a gift of a lifetime to be in a position to help founders and their executive teams realize their dream of building and scaling a successful company. I’ve walked in the shoes of an executive trying to scale category-dominating software companies several times, so I lead with empathy when giving advice. While the circumstances may be different, I will always have that perspective in common with founders and founding teams. The advice I would give to SaaS founders today is as follows…

#1 Recognize that downturns have historically proven to be the best time to start a company. Many of the greatest companies were started during downturns– Airbnb, Slack, Uber, Salesforce, Box, Workday and Cloudflare.

#2 Embrace the tension between building a scalable company and the need to deliver on a day to day basis. This tension will always exist and help drive better decision-making. As you scale a company, what was hard yesterday slowly becomes easier enabling you to move onto to address the next big opportunity.

#3 When you think about your product strategy, think about a solution that brings oxygen to your customers. Oxygen-like solutions don’t get turned off or turned down, they become essential to the workings of a company. I find that way of framing the value prop helps founders hone their vision for their products.

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

We are all observing the tension between our exuberance for investing in AI-driven solutions and other companies where the balance between growth and efficiency is valued. Many of the companies in this latter category now have the opportunity, not to mention the urgency, to leverage AI techniques to further their innovation. I think when this all shakes out, many companies will be better positioned from an offering perspective and with a healthier profile.

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

From day one when I started to get to know the folks at NEA, I was struck by how the partners played as a team. Since joining the firm, I have seen that this translates into tremendous value for our founders. Each partner brings their own expertise to the table but also the expertise of their fellow partners. This team effort is not just for diligence purposes but for the much longer and important stage of company building. I have found this to be a unique attribute of NEA and find our Founders really appreciate the level to which they feel supported.

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

I am not sure there is just one! But two that come to mind where I served on the board are Zendesk and Tableau. Both companies redefined existing categories and ended up being purchased for $10B and $15B+ respectively. I am so proud of both companies and what they have been able to accomplish.


Hilarie Koplow-McAdams joined NEA as a Venture Partner in 2017 and is focused on enterprise software and services. A software industry veteran, Hilarie spent three decades at growth-stage companies in operating and board roles. Most recently, Hilarie was President at New Relic.

Prior to that, she was President at Salesforce, responsible for the company’s worldwide sales
organization. She started her career at Oracle and Intuit. Hilarie has a master’s degree in public
policy from the University of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree from Mills College.


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