Every so often there’s one venture firm that makes everyone else in the industry seem like whiners.
This year is shaping up to be one of the worst for venture fund-raising in recent memory, with just 87 firms collecting $8.3 billion through the first three quarters of 2009. That’s down from about $25 billion raised during the first three quarters of 2008, according to the
But then there are the few that manage not only to raise funds, but actually have to make room for even more investors.
The most recent VC firm to make fund-raising look easy is
“Investors need to be particularly selective about the funds in which they invest,” says Andrew Golden, president of Greylock limited partner
In fact, University endowments have played a large role in Greylock’s funding over the years. Limited partners in previous funds include the
“We are thankful to count among our investors some of the most sophisticated and respected university endowments and family foundations,” says Greylock Partner Bill Helman.
It is unclear if Stanford and Harvard, which have been selling their stakes in well-known VC funds on the secondary market, came back for Greylock XIII. The firm declined to provide any information about its limited partners.
The firm has also turned to fund-of-funds in the past, such as
However, although Greylock’s fund-raising was fast, the firm slowed its pace of investment this year. So far this year, it has put $128.3 million into 22 deals so far this year, down from $155.6 million it put into 43 deals during 2008, according to data from Thomson Reuters (publisher of PE Week).
Still, the firm was involved in a number of large deals. It backed software-as-a-service startup Workday in a $75 million Series E round in April; security startup Palo Alto Networks in a $36.6 million expansion round in April; online radio station Pandora Media in a $35 million round in July; and consumer finance startup Wonga in a $22.5 million round in July.
In closing the fund, Greylock added serial entrepreneur Reid Hoffman to its ranks as a partner on its new fund. Hoffman was previously vice president at PayPal before co-founding professional networking website
Hoffman has been involved with several venture firms. He is a special advisor to the
It is unclear at this time if Hoffman will retain these advisory roles. He was unavailable for comment and a Greylock spokesperson said he was traveling for the next several weeks. —Alexander Haislip