Slow going for DFJ growth fund

After one solid year of fund-raising, Draper Fisher Jurvetson’s growth affiliate has finally crossed the halfway point in raising its first fund.

The growth fund closed on $128.6 million in commitments toward its $250 million target, according to a regulatory filing. The effort is led by DFJ co-founder John Fisher, onetime America Online CEO Barry Schuler and venture capitalist Mark Bailey.

The partners have invested in two known companies to date: Visto and Raydiance. They put $51 million into Visto, which is a mobile email technology startup based in Redwood City, Calif. Schuler joined the board. Other investors in the round included DFJ’s core fund and DFJ ePlanet Ventures affiliate, Meritech Capital Partners, Rustic Canyon Ventures, GKM and Blueprint Ventures.

The partners also backed commercial laser company Raydiance, participating in a $15 million Series C financing alongside DFJ’s core fund.

DFJ is not the only noted early stage investor to trot out a growth-stage investment vehicle. Sequoia Capital closed on $861 million in May for its U.S. growth fund and, separately, Sequoia closed on $400 million in September for its India Growth Fund. The firm is also working on a similar late stage vehicle for China, according to sources, but no details have been released. Meanwhile, New Enterprise Associates joined the growth party in the summer, carving out $1.5 billion of its $2.5 billion 12th fund for later stage expansion deals. —Alexander Haislip