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My focus has always been on building relationships,
which has been an important building block in my career.
Peter Delgrosso is a founding and managing partner of Bryant Stibel focused on venture and private equity investments. Previously, Delgrosso was Chief Business Development Officer, Dun & Bradstreet Emerging Business and Senior Vice President, Business Development of Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp.
Prior to D&B, Delgrosso oversaw business development, public relations and investor relations for Web.com (NASDAQ: WWWW) and served as Vice President, Corporate Communications for United Online (NASDAQ: UNTD).
Delgrosso sits on the boards of LSTN Sound Company and The Los Angeles Venture Association (LAVA) and is an advisory board member for Metallica’s All Within My Hands foundation.
He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Television-Radio and a minor in History from Ithaca College.
It All Began When…
I had the good fortune to start working during the dot-com boom in the mid 1990s in Boston, MA. Businesses were going public on the premise that the Internet would change the world and investors came jumping in. I dove right in – really learning the value and importance of strong relationships while at two PR firms, The Weber Group and Blanc & Otus. There I spent time with various emerging high tech businesses to succinctly tell our clients’ stories while representing the company and their mission. Over the span of a couple years, many of these businesses went on to greater things, while others became part of the dot-com bust.
Hence, it was also a time where I learned the value of learning from adversity.
It was around this time I started working with Jeff Stibel at a small, but scrappy start-up called Simpli.com (PS – I named the company that because we were able to secure that domain!). Simpli was a way of life, and a labor of love. We took no salary for a long time and racked up personal credit card debt, all the while having faith that the best and brightest minds from our team of gifted linguists and cognitive scientists would create a better way to search the Internet. They did – and we ended up selling our business to NetZero based in Los Angeles in the early 2000s around the time of the famous March 2000 Barron’s article, which some say was the last straw in its sobering analysis of the dot-com boom.
Post Simpli, I stayed on to work at NetZero in public and investor relations. I had a front row seat for what became an amazing turnaround, resulting in taking two companies public (NetZero and Juno) and turning it into a web services holding company (United Online) while driving its market cap from under $100M to over $1B in a few short years. It was a tremendous learning lesson and exposed me to some of the smartest people I have ever worked with. Many of which I am still friends with today.
United We Stand
After 5 years to the day at United Online, Jeff and I left United Online to turn around a public company in Atlanta called Interland, which we later rebranded to Web.com and had a similar result turning a company that was well below $100M in market cap to over $1B in a few years. At Web.com, I wore a few more hats including media relations, investor relations and business development. It was a very satisfying chapter of my life as it moved us to Atlanta and Jacksonville exposing us to a host of new and exciting opportunities, and new teammates including several current Bryant Stibel partners including Gonzalo Troncoso, Bill Borzage and Judy Hackett.
After we left Web.com, the company continued to thrive and in 2018 sold for $2.24B to private equity, marking the final chapter for this team.
After Web.com, we relocated back to California and created Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp. In 2009, we partnered with Great Hill Partners to acquire assets from Dun & Bradstreet to create a new type of business credit platform to help small and medium-sized businesses grow. It was an incredible learning experience and likely the feather in our caps to date, having more than tripled the size of a declining business by executing our barbell subscription strategy, which we continue to refine today with portfolio companies.
This was also where I spent 100% of my time on business development and partnerships, honing the craft while creating new revenue opportunities. After we merged the unit back with D&B in 2010 and transitioned, this became a success story, not only financially, but it helped create a blueprint, which we still follow today.
A Blueprint For Success
With all this experience under my belt, it has taught me how to build strong relationships and helped shape my career from media and public relations, to investor relations, to business and corporate development, to managing and growing the Bryant Stibel funds today. I take great pride in building my network and get excited when I can play networker to our companies and partners to identify and grow a new opportunity together. At this point, I’ve had the good fortune of working with the Bryant Stibel team for a long time, in some cases for over two decades.
The reason why we work well together isn’t a secret, its because we all know and trust each other. We understand everyone’s strengths and weaknesses and maximize certain peoples’ involvement when the opportunity necessitates it. While easy to understand, this is extremely rare to find.
When I’m Not Working
I make it a mission to give back and be of service to others. As such, I sit on the boards of LSTN Sound Company and Los Angeles Venture Association (LAVA). LSTN builds and markets a line of premium audio products with proceeds going to help people hear for the first time through their partner Starkey Hearing Foundation. LAVA is helping connect the Los Angeles business community to entrepreneurs – two areas I care deeply about – to foster technology investment and regional growth. I am also an Advisory Board Member of Metallica’s All Within My Hands foundation, a great cause focused on workforce education, the fight against hunger, and other critical local services.
I often wonder what I would be doing if I was not at Bryant Stibel. The relationship and negotiating skills I’ve learned through the years could probably transfer to some sort of diplomatic role working across foreign relations. If not, I’d spend my time with family, learning Italian and guitar, while traveling and cooking more and continuing to coach my kid’s basketball teams.