About Polaris

The Polaris Mission

In 1996, Jon Flint, Terry McGuire, and Steve Arnold founded Polaris Venture Partners. Their vision was to identify and invest in exceptional entrepreneurs and operating companies with innovative and disruptive ideas, the skills necessary to become market leaders, and a passion for success. Since its inception, Polaris has believed that diversification across company stage and across industries is the key to outstanding long-term results for the firm’s limited partners.

Our Investment Strategy
Diversification is the cornerstone of Polaris’ investment strategy. We invest in seed, early stage, and high growth middle market companies. Early stage efforts focus on information technology and life sciences companies. Middle market investments focus on businesses in technology, healthcare, Internet and digital media, ecommerce, consumer products and services, and business service sectors. As the lead or co-lead investor in virtually all of our portfolio companies, we take an active, long-term role in helping them develop into successful, market-leading companies.

Our Target Markets
Early Stage: Our early stage efforts are focused on technology, consumer/consumer Internet, and life sciences. Within the technology sector, Polaris has invested in companies developing Internet and broadband infrastructure, enterprise software products, e-commerce products and services, digital media, entertainment and consumer software, network hardware, and network software.  Consumer Internet is a key focus area for Polaris and we have led investments in companies that are defining the emerging social web, including Automattic (the company behind WordPress), Quantcast, LOLApps, Thing Labs, JibJab, Hangout.net and Turbine Entertainment. In the life sciences sector, the firm has invested in companies developing medical devices, pharmaceuticals, genomics, proteomics, drug delivery, medical services, and consumer products and services.

Middle Market: Our private equity efforts are focused on high growth middle market companies in industries including technology, healthcare, digital media, consumer products and services and business services. The firm’s investments include minority growth equity investments, recapitalizations with liquidity, and leveraged buyouts.

Our Operating Approach
At Polaris we provide more than capital. We add value to the companies in which we invest by actively partnering with each entrepreneur and management team to help propel their ideas into market leading businesses.

As part of the support we provide our portfolio companies, we recruit and attract employees at all levels. We identify and structure strategic partnerships. We raise additional equity and debt financing. And, we’re available 24/7 to help solve problems, identify opportunities, and detect “land mines.” At the same time, we know the difference between being a coach and a player. We respect the individuality and inspiration that drive the entrepreneurs in whom we invest.

We also take a long-term view of our partnerships. We know that building a successful company takes time. In partnering for the life cycle of companies, we provide access to Polaris’ expertise and network at all stages of a company’s development and across all strategic areas of the business.

Our Network
Polaris-backed companies become part of a network of high-level venture capital, private equity, operating, and entrepreneurial experts. Polaris-backed companies gain access not only to Polaris’ extensive resources, but also to the resources of our extended network of advisors including senior executives of public and private businesses, established thought leaders in academia, and preeminent faculty and practitioners at hospitals, labs and R&D facilities of the country’s leading universities. These outstanding individuals provide the companies we back with expertise in areas such as market dynamics, business development, R&D, financial and strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions, and more.


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