Long before SoftBank lauched its $100 billion Vision Fund, and years ahead of the private equity and mutual fund rush to Silicon Valley, T. Rowe Price Group's Henry Ellenbogen saw the opportunity to write big checks to tech companies while they were still private.
He's now been investing in late-stage start-ups for a dozen years, providing capital and guidance for consumer businesses such as Twitter and GrubHub and business software vendors Workday and Atlassian, and then generally adding to his stake when they IPO.
Those bets have helped make Ellenbogen's $25 billion New Horizons Fund the top-ranked small-growth fund, according to U.S. News & World Report.
For his latest deal, announced on Thursday, Ellenbogen led a $90 million investment in PagerDuty, whose software helps technical staff at companies spot problems and respond to incidents such as customer complaints. The funding round values San Francisco-based PagerDuty at $1.3 billion.
Ellenbogen met PagerDuty CEO Jennifer Tejada through venture capitalist Marc Andreessen, who has worked with T. Rowe on numerous deals and whose firm, Andreessen Horowitz, was already an investor. Tejada traveled to Baltimore with Howard Wilson, the company's chief commercial officer, about a month ago to meet with Ellenbogen about a potential investment.