Buck Up! 2012 Means New Year, New $$ for VCs

The VC confidence index just fell for the third straight quarter, but you wouldn’t get that impression by looking at this year’s fundraisings for the asset class. Maybe it is the LPs donning the rose-colored shades…

Coming off a year where VCs started raking in big bucks from LPs, 2012 makes it seem as if the asset class’ momentum shows no signs of weakening. For the most part, it is the biggest VCs in the business—NEA, Andreessen Horowitz—that are taking in the lion’s share of the GP bucks. So far. Today, peHUB’s got the biggest funds being raised—multi-billion dollar behemoths—all the way to the smaller guys, so see below who ranks where so far in the 2012 fundraising race.


[slide title=”New Enterprise Associates”]

So far, this would be the biggest fundraising on tap for 2012—although the Hub expects something bigger to come along almost any week now. Sources confirmed exclusively to peHUB that NEA is raising another fund on par with its mega $2.5B vehicles raised in recent vintages—and with deals from recent funds including Groupon, Fusion-io and Gilt Groupe, it shouldn’t be any trouble. NEA VII and VIII have generated, according to CalSTRS data, whopping IRRs of 63.71% and 31.6%, respectively.

[slide title=”Andreessen Horowitz”]

Thing big. Invest bigger. Return huge. This seems to be the mantra at Andreessen Horowitz, and the late-stage VC has a bunch of impressed LPs to show for it as they pursue a $1.5B fund. Investments in Facebook and Twitter—at valuations that made bystanders gasp—appear to have the potential to pay off big-time for the new big VC in the Valley.

[slide title=”Lightspeed Venture Partners”]

Lightspeed Venture Partners is all about doubling down in 2012. Earlier, we reported that the firm was looking to raise $675 million (a little off the ’08 total from its prior vintage), and after that, we were one-upped, by a report that said Lightspeed would in fact raise more than it did in 2008—just that the remaining $200 million it would tack on would be separately dedicated to China. Well played, Lightspeed. Stats from The Regents of the University of California said the firm’s current fund is valued with an IRR of 1.96x cash invested and the one before it, a 2005 fund, is valued at 1.31x with an IRR of 8.6%.

[slide title=”Canaan Partners”]

International VC Canaan Partners raised $600 million for its ninth fund, just a hair under its prior fund’s $650 million tally, but nevertheless a success with LPs that confirmed healthcare and life sciences investing isn’t totally out of vogue with investors. Canaan’s exits included a pre-IPO all-out exit of Advanced Biohealing that generated handsome returns, and other existing portfolio assets (Kabam, Zoosk) have potential for equally impressive results.

[slide title=”Bain Capital Ventures”]

Not to be outmatched—and, literally, they were not, at least by Canaan—Bain Capital Ventures also raised $600 million, the VC announced earlier this year. This fund—Bain Capital Ventures’ fifth—was oversubscribed and took a mere 12 weeks to raise, says Mike Krupka, a BCV managing director.

[slide title=”Flagship Ventures”]

Flagship Ventures is another of those rare healthcare and life sciences firms to successfully strike out and raise a new fund. The VC reeled in $270 million for, perhaps, the most challenging of all VC investment categories: early-stage healthcare investing. Of course, based in Massachusetts, Flagship is well-centered in the medical startup community to find plenty of attractive opportunities.

[slide title=”First Round Capital”]

First Round Capital, true to its name, will be back in action soon with a fourth, $125 million fund. peHUB broke the news about a month ago on the Pennsylvania VC firm with a big NYC presence, and it looks like—despite what we’re hearing was an opportunity to easily double the fund’s size—First Round partners elected to keep things as they’ve been in recent funds, not letting solid exits like GroupMe and Invite Media get to their heads.

[slide title=”Brooklyn Bridge Ventures”]

There’s just one thing missing from First Round Capital: Charlie O’Donnell. The Brooklyn boy VC (and former Union Square Ventures veteran) launched a homegrown early-stage investment shop, breaking off from his colleagues and relocating to the other side of the East River. O’Donnell didn’t release specifics on the fund when he revealed it a few weeks ago, but—since he was the one who sourced First Round’s GroupMe deal—LPs already have reason to have confidence in him.

[slide title=”IA Ventures”]

Another scoop for the Hub, IA Ventures confirmed our story from October last week when the VC closed its second fund with just over $105 million. Roger Ehrenberg’s second fund will have more of him backing hot data-focused startups like Yipit, BankSimple and BillGuard. It isn’t easy for a VC to raise funds when they don’t have a long tail. Of course, Ehrenberg does, thanks to his years of experience as a seed investor beginning almost a full decade ago, backing the likes of TweetDeck and Invite Media.

[slide title=”SoftTech VC”]

Maybe it isn’t the year of the large-cap VC. With the likes of Charlie O’Donnell, Roger Ehrenberg and Jeff Clavier raising funds in 2012, perhaps this is the year to go seed-size, instead. Clavier just closed a $55 million third fund that will let his SoftTech VC hire an additional partner. Since his most recent fund—a $15 million vehicle raised in 2007—was so much smaller, he’ll likely need the help to deploy all this new capital.