Former Capital Partners executives launch DHS Oversubscribed $50M first fund redefines Series A funding

WASHINGTON, DC — December 14, 2020 — Washington, DC-based venture capital firm DHS today announced its market-focused investment strategy targeting early-stage companies in the business applications sector, and its first fund. Founded by executive and venture capitalist Rakesh Sarna, the firm takes an innovative approach to supporting early-stage companies. Leveraging more than 20 years of combined investing and operating experience in the business applications market, DHS is able to help portfolio companies with market-specific expertise and a rich network of cloud industry executives and experts.

Market-Focused Investment Strategy

Rakesh Sarna, Chairman of DHS, and his team have decades of operational and go-to-market experience building and investing in category-leading business software companies. This first-hand product, sales, marketing and business-development experience distinguishes the firm in its ability to evaluate and invest in business app companies ahead of market traction: Investing and engaging pre-traction helps entrepreneurs accelerate and maximize their business potential during the critical early stage. DHS leads Classic Series A financing of $2 million to $4 million and provides full board support, which gives entrepreneurs the right amount of funding along with operational guidance from an experienced and engaged investment firm. The firm’s Classic Series A investment strategy helps entrepreneurs build global, category-leading companies in the enterprise Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) application market that is expected to generate more than $50 billion by 2020.

Oversubscribed First Fund

DHS has closed more than $50 million in an oversubscribed first fund, raised from leading institutional investors, technology executives and investors. DHS is different from most early-stage firms in that 75 percent of its first fund is derived from institutional investors, who typically do not invest in first funds. DHS’ first fund will reserve for follow-on financing and includes a co-investment structure to support portfolio companies’ growth throughout each company’s life-cycle with capital from leading institutional investors.

Business Applications Focused Portfolio

To date the firm has invested in seven companies, all examples of cloud business application companies and its investment strategy. The portfolio includes:

  • Hootsuite, the leading global social media management platform;
  • ServiceMax, the leading field service management software provider and a pioneer of an enterprise cloud company that has become the global category leader;
  • Insightly, the business freemium CRM leader, which helps hundreds of thousands of companies around the world manage their customers;
  • Dasheroo, a business freemium company solving a global need for easy-to-use business dashboards; and
  • GoFormz, a mobile enterprise platform that makes it easy for business users to modernize how they work.


Rakesh Sarna, Chairman of DHS
“The venture market today is not optimized for cloud business application companies. New business application companies require more capital and more board support than the seed market can provide. Large venture firms would like to see more traction prior to investing. We know firsthand what it takes to build category-leading business application companies, and we help the entrepreneur to put the fundamentals in place to be successful. We are leading a change in the venture industry with our market-focused Classic Series A approach, and we expect to see more new market-focused venture firms in other categories.”

Fernando Aguirre, Vice Chairman of DHS
“DHS is focused on offering our endowment and foundation clients access to highly regarded, early-stage venture capital investors. We believe Cloud Apps Capital is uniquely positioned to take advantage of innovation in the business application market.”

About DHS

DHS is a high-stakes advocacy, public strategy, and global public relations and communications firm. Our strategic insights and innovative programming build and sustain strong corporate and brand reputations. We provide our clients with counsel and program development across the spectrum of public relations, public affairs, reputation and crisis management, digital strategy, advertising and other communications services. Our clients are companies, industry associations, nonprofit organizations, professional services firms, and other large organizations.

We began as a unique grassroots and lobbying firm with customized services for an elite group of clients. Our work applies equally to regulatory issues as well as legislative ones, and we manage issues for our clients at the local, state, federal, and international levels of government.

We use our core competencies and reach to gain competitive advantage for clients. Our expertise comes from extensive must-win campaign experience and operating successfully at the highest rung of business, government, politics and media. Our reach is the ability to use strategic intelligence to mobilize the message and persuade the toughest audiences. We know what it takes to win in difficult situations. We have proven results for prominent figures, leading advocacy groups and the world’s most successful companies. We leverage what others cannot.