LPs’ $400 Million Vote of Confidence: Redpoint Ventures Raises Fund IV

At an annual investors’ meeting in the wake of the dot bust, several LPs in Redpoint Ventures growled that Geoff Yang — who while golfing with John Walecka in 1999, decided to form Redpoint — was spending too much time on the links. (They had looked up his tee times at the Sharon Heights Country Club in Menlo Park.)

No one is complaining about Yang’s favorite pastime anymore. Tonight, Redpoint announced it has just closed a $400 million fund, reward in part for a number of the envy-inducing exits it saw last year, at the height of the worst recession in decades, including: the October sale of WiChorus to Tellabs for $165 million; the November sale of LifeSize Communications to Logitech International for $405 million; and the December IPO of network protection company Fortinet. (Redpoint owned 12.4 percent of its shares after the offering.)

Redpoint portfolio companies Calix Networks and Solyndra have also filed to go public, though they’ll both need big boosts from the markets for its backers to see meaningful returns. Calix has raised $272 million and Solyndra has raised $512 million from investors.

Redpoint’s newest fund is its fourth early-stage vehicle. While it is still awaiting returns on its third fund — it closed in 2006 with $400 million –its second fund, a whopping $1.25 billion fund that closed in 2000, has enjoyed a number of hits. The aforementioned are among them; so was Intermix Media, an L.A.-based company whose chief asset was a little site called MySpace that News Corp. bought for $580 million in 2005.

Yang tells our colleagues at Reuters that the firm first approached investors last fall and that it closed the fund without being able to accommodate all the LPs wanting a stake.

 “We were prepared for a much tougher environment based on all the horror stories we had read and if you look at the macro conditions,” said Yang.

The new fund will continue Redpoint’s focus on social networking, as well as be used to back mobile computing, cloud computing and clean tech startups.