Ex-NEA GP Viswanathan raising $1.3 bln related to secondary deal

New Enterprise Associates this spring appointed former General Partner Ravi Viswanathan to the job of selling about $1 billion of its portfolio holdings in an unusual secondary transaction.

This week, Viswanathan filed a regulatory document to raise a $1.35 billion venture capital fund under the name NewView Capital Fund I. The filing suggests the portfolio transaction is on course and may have grown larger than initially anticipated.

The firm’s plans were reported by the Wall Street Journal in May and called for transferring stakes in about 20 startups to a new firm, allowing NEA LPs to reap about $1 billion in liquidity for their investments. Included were NEA portfolio positions said to be eight to 10 years old, including, reportedly, 23andMe, VCJ reported in October.

VCJ in October reported the process was nearing a close and could raise as much as $1.4 billion, with Goldman Sachs leading the deal and Hamilton Lane part of the investor syndicate.

Pricing for the stakes was said to be strong, at a low 90 percent of net asset value, VCJ reported at the time.

The new firm is to operate independently of NEA under the leadership of Viswanathan.

Reached via email, Viswanathan declined comment. NEA did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment.

This week’s filing did not report a first close, but noted that the new firm will be located in Burlingame, California.