Fundraising recap: Summary of recent firm news from around the world

United States

Bloomberg Beta raises $75 mln

Bloomberg Beta announced in mid-July has raised a second $75 million fund from its sole LP, Bloomberg. The fund is the same size of its inaugural pool, which was launched three years ago.

The San Francisco-based firm focuses on what it calls the future of work, which is about helping businesses work better. In announcing the fund, Bloomberg Beta said the new fund will have a greater emphasis on machine intelligence.

Emphasizing transparency, Bloomberg Beta open sourced its internal operating manual on GitHub, abandoning a traditional website. The firm has also developed a methodology to predict who will start companies, called the Future Founders program, which uses a predictive model to identify people most likely to create a startup.

Lonsdale’s 8VC sets out to raise $400 mln

8VC, a San Francisco-based firm with Joe Lonsdale as a founding partner, has set out to raise a $400 million co-invest fund, according to a regulatory filing.

Lonsdale, co-founder of Palantir Technologies, had previously founded Formation 8 with Jim Kim, who earlier had worked at Khosla Ventures, and Brian Bonwoong Koo. Last year, Formation 8 said it would not raise a third fund because its partners were headed in separate directions.

The filing for 8VC Co-Invest Fund I says a first close has not yet taken place.

500 Startups announces three fund updates

500 Startups announced initial closes on two funds while it begins fundraising for a third.

The firm has begun raising a second Latin American seed fund, according to a regulatory filing.

500 Luchadores II is targeting $10 million, an increase over the $2.5 million raised for the firm’s 2014 first fund, according to data from Thomson Reuters. The filing did not list a first close.

Mountain View, California-based 500 said also has closed on more than $6 million of the $15 million Turkish fund it announced in October. The firm said the first close took place in July.

500 Istanbul is led by 500 Venture Partner Erhan Erdogan, along with 500 Fund Advisor Erbil Karaman.

In addition, 500 Startups has raised more than $8 million for its targeted $15 million TukTuks fund, according to a regulatory filing. The fund will focus on startups in Thailand.

Forerunner raises $122 mln

Forerunner Ventures has raised a $122 million third venture fund.

The new fund is a substantial step up from the firm’s $75.8 million second fund raised in 2013. The early-stage firm was an early investor in Dollar Shave Club, which was recently acquired by Unilever for $1 billion.

Kirsten Green
Kirsten Green, founder, Forerunner Ventures. Photo by Oscar Urizar, Red Eye Collection, for VCJ.

Before founding Forerunner, Kirsten Green was an equity research analyst and investor at Banc of America Securities, formerly Montgomery Securities, covering publicly-traded retail and consumer stocks.

Industry Ventures racks up over $400 mln for two funds

San Francisco-based Industry Ventures has raised more than $400 million for two funds: Industry Ventures Partnership Holdings IV, a fund of funds, and Industry Ventures Direct, an inaugural direct co-investment fund.

Both funds will focus on making primary and early secondary investments in smaller venture funds as well as direct co-investments alongside venture funds previously backed by Industry Ventures. The funds’ investors included government and corporate pension funds, insurance companies, endowments, foundations and high-net worth family offices.

Bain Capital Ventures raises $600 mln fund

Bain Capital Ventures has raised a $600 million venture fund, according to a regulatory filing.

The new fund is a slight pullback from Bain’s $650 million 2014 fund. The firm also has a $200 million co-investment fund dating to 2014.

The fund filing indicated 66 LPs contributed to the new fund.

Thrive Capital wraps up $700 mln fifth fund

New York-based Thrive Capital Partners, an early investor in Instagram, has closed its fifth fund at $700 million.

The firm’s regulatory filing said the fund was raised from 70 LPs.

Thrive participated in Instagram’s $50 million funding round in April 2015 shortly before Facebook agreed to buy the company for $1 billion.

The firm is also an investor in many other hot companies including at least three unicorns: GitHub, Slack and Stripe.


Georgian Partners collects over $165 mln

Georgian Partners has raised more than $165 million for its third international growth fund, according to a regulatory filing.

The Toronto-based growth equity firm is targeting over $182 million for the pool.

Georgian Partners, which is focused on investments in applied analytics, raised $200 million for its previous growth fund in April 2015. Iris Dorbian


Euro Currency
The new 50 euro banknote shown during it’s presentation by the German Bundesbank in Frankfurt, Germany, July 13, 2016. Reuters/Ralph Orlowski

Capricorn ditches slow burners in new cleantech fund

Amid a challenging environment for cleantech investors, Capricorn Venture Partners has narrowed the focus of its sixth fund to sustainable chemistry.

The Leuven, Belgium-based fund hopes to raise €100 million to €150 million ($110 million to $166 million) before the end of the year from a mix of financial, corporate and government investors, with a first close penciled in for September.

“With our previous, generalist cleantech fund, the biggest success stories were in sustainable chemistry, while photovaltic, wind and water [energy] were more of a struggle,” Capricorn Chief Financial Officer Tom Vanhoutte tells VCJ.

He says that solar investments, in particular, have taken longer to mature than Capricorn expected when it raised €112 million ($123 million) for its last cleantech fund in 2008.

The new fund should invest up to €10 million ($11 million) per company, mainly in Europe at “late Series A” stage. Viable investments include biomass conversion and biofuel businesses. –Alex Derber

Biogeneration capitalizes on multi-billion-dollar exit

An industry-leading exit in 2015 has encouraged investors in Biogeneration Ventures, which has reached a first close for its third life sciences fund at a level already exceeding its two previous funds.

The Naarden, Netherlands-based firm was an early investor and co-founder of Acerta Pharma, which AstraZeneca acquired in December at a $7 billion valuation.

BioGeneration Capital Fund III has a target of €50 million ($55 million) and has won commitments from British and Dutch family offices, Leiden University and a Dutch regional investment scheme.

The fund will prioritize seed and early-growth tickets in Dutch life science companies.

Biogeneration Ventures is an affiliate of Forbion Capital Partners, another Dutch life sciences investor, which closed a $208 million fund in April. –Alex Derber

German stock exchange announces venture arm

Deutsche Borse has established its own VC unit, called DB1 Ventures, to pursue strategic investments.

Although the manager of Germany’s stock exchange will not disclose how much DB1 has to invest, or its typical deal size, it says that its focus will be on early- to growth-stage fintech businesses.

These will be “core or adjacent to our client, product, geographic and technology strategy,” according to Deutsche Borse Chief Executive Carsten Kengeter, who will chair DB1’s investment committee.

Deutsche Borse has invested intermittently since 2007. Earlier this year it also established a hub in Frankfurt for fintech startups.

DB1 will invest from its parent company’s balance sheet. –Alex Derber

Allianz and Bpifrance support French VC again

Insurer Allianz and state investor Bpifrance have channeled €80 million ($88 million) to Allianz France Investissement IV, a new venture fund-of-funds.

AFI IV will focus on VC firms that invest in young French businesses, and will take a sector-agnostic approach.

However, a small part of its capital has been reserved for secondary deals and direct co-investments.

The two LPs hope their fund will reach its target of €150 million ($165 million) in 2015.

Paris-based Idinvest, which spun out Allianz and counts the insurer and Bpifrance as LPs in many of its own funds, will manage AFI IV. –Alex Derber


Lightspeed China pursues dual-currency strategy

Shanghai-based Lightspeed China Partners has finalized its third dollar-denominated venture fund, and made progress towards an RMB500 million ($75 million) vehicle.

The Internet, mobile and enterprise technology investor raised $260 million for its new flagship fund, the same size as Lightspeed II, which closed in 2014.

The new fund will continue to target early-stage technology opportunities in China, investing mainly at seed and Series A stages.

Though independent, Lightspeed China maintains a strategic relationship with Menlo Park, California-based Lightspeed Venture Partners, which the former uses to help assist global expansion of its Chinese portfolio.

It says the new fund was oversubscribed from a mix of new and existing investors. –Alex Derber

Joy Capital raises $200 mln venture fund

Joy Capital has raised a $200 million first venture fund, according to a U.S. regulatory filing.

The Chinese firm is run by former Legend Capital colleagues Erhai Liu, Mi Dai and Xiao Li. Twenty-five LPs committed capital, according to the filing.

IDG Capital Partners closes third fund with Breyer Capital

IDG Capital Partners has closed IDG Capital Fund III at $1 billion, in partnership with Silicon Valley’s Breyer Capital.

The fund will invest in technology, media and telecommunications, healthcare, energy and consumer products, including targets in China as well as global companies looking to enter the Chinese market.

In announcing the new fund, Hugo Shong, founding general partner of IDG Capital Partners, said that Jim Breyer has been a long-time business partner and personal friend, as well as an adviser to the firm for more than a decade.


Alchemy pitches blended strategy

Rising demand for electric cars has sparked a A$200 million ($153 million) debut fundraising from Sydney-based Alchemy Ventures.

The new firm intends to back consumer and agricultural technology startups, as well as mining businesses focused on the resources necessary for electric car production, such as lithium, graphite and cobalt.

Alchemy’s founders say they will fill a funding gap created by recent changes to Australian stock market rules, which dictates that companies worth less than A$20 million ($15 million) won’t be allowed to list on the ASX as of September.

“The regulators are depriving them of that capital so we see an opportunity in this sector to provide capital to them in the unlisted space, because what other choice do they have?” Alchemy co-founder Matthew Walker told the Financial Review.

With tickets of up to A$5 million ($4 million), Alchemy expects most of its investments to be at early-growth-stage, while seed deals could comprise up to 40 percent of its activity.

About a fifth of the fund will be deployed outside Australia, particularly in Asia. –Alex Derber

Compiled by VCJ staff

U.S. venture fundraising by month

Downloadable Data: U.S.-based venture fundraising (June 2016)

Downloadable Data: Worldwide venture fundraising (June 2016)

Photo of Euro, Hong Kong dollar, U.S. dollar, Japanese yen, British pound and Chinese 100-yuan banknotes courtesy of Reuters/Jason Lee