DFJ goes quickly back to market

Draper Fisher Jurvetson has begun raising $600 million for its 10th fund, just 12 months after closing its ninth fund with $650 million in commitments, according to a regulatory filing.

The regulatory filing was scant on details and Managing Director Tim Draper declined to comment, citing SEC restrictions.

The last time DFJ hit the fund-raising circuit, it filed its first regulatory document in late 2006, but did not hold a final fund close until November 2007. It is likely the regulatory filing associated with fund 10 is the first in a series.

DFJ’s timing doesn’t seem ideal, given the economic recession. Though the firm has never had trouble convincing its limited partners to pony up capital, many endowments and other institutional investors have been walloped in recent months by the financial markets. For example, Harvard University recently announced that the value of its endowment had fallen 22% as of the end of October and that it could decline 30% by the end of the 2009 fiscal year. Likewise, Yale Univesity’s endowment lost 25% of its value between June and early December.

Despite economic woes, the Menlo Park, Calif.-based firm has to raise a new fund because of its brisk investment pace. It put about $325 million to work in 131 companies in 2008, according to data from Thomson Reuters (publisher of VCJ). That’s more than the $227 million the firm invested at the height of the dot-com boom in 2000.

Most of DFJ’s investments last year were in the Internet sector, with $116 million going to 47 Internet-related companies, according to Thomson Reuters. The firm’s second favorite sector was industrial/energy (which includes cleantech deals), where it put $44 million into 13 startups.

DFJ’s other sectors of interest in 2008 included semiconductors/other electronics ($36 million in 14 companies), communications and media ($33 million in 12 companies), computer software and services ($30 million in 17 companies) and consumer-related ($23 million in six companies), according to Thomson Reuters. —Alexander Haislip and Constance LoizosDEALWATCH: Five recent investments by Draper Fisher Jurvetson

Apieron Inc._Biosensor products to manage asthma

Sharpcast Inc._Wireless software platform

Stiki Digital Inc._Digital content as promotional gifts

World Of Good Inc._Handcrafted products from artisans around world

Yodle Inc._Online lead generation marketing for small businesses

Note: Investments made between Dec. 18, 2008, andJan 12, 2009. Sources: Thomson Reuters