Bessemer officially closes $1.6 billion fund

Ronny Kerr · April 1, 2011 · Short URL:

Along with new $1.3 billion IDG-Accel fund for China, startups around the world are covered

The rumors were true.

Century-old venture capital firm Bessemer Venture Partners has closed a $1.6 billion fund, its largest to date, the group told DealBook on Thursday.

Reports first bubbled to the surface in early March that Bessemer was closing in on a new tech startup fund sized between $1.2 and $1.5 billion, but it looks like the actual number is just a tad larger than those estimates. The firm had little trouble raising money for the heavily oversubscribed fund, which attracted $2.5 billion in intended commitments, according to anonymous sources.

As we noted last time, Bessemer’s last round was first completed in 2007 and later expanded in 2009, totaling $1.35 billion in the end.

In general, Bessemer prefers to invest in early-stage startups. Additionally, a quarter of the latest fund is slated for investments in India-based tech companies.

To get an idea of the kinds of startups Bessemer likes to fund, here are three of the firm’s latest additions to its portfolio:

  • Online video advertising company closed $20 million in Series C financing led by Bessemer, with participation from existing investors Gemini Israel Funds, Redpoint Ventures and Spark Capital.
  • Productivity app management company Apperian closed a $9.5 million round of funding led by Bessemer along with some big names in the industry, including North Bridge Venture Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, CommonAngels, and LaunchCapital.
  • Free flash website builder Wix raised $40 million in Series D funding led by Insight Venture Partners and DAG ventures, with participation from Benchmark Capital, Mangrove Capital Partners and, of course, Bessemer.

All three of these relatively large funding rounds just occurred in the last few days.

Meanwhile, IDG-Accel, a joint venture capital fund between International Data Group (IDG) and Accel Partners focused on investments in China, announced that it has closed two new China funds totaling $1.3 billion.

Startup bubble or boom? Looks like it’s going to be a hot topic for awhile.

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In 1911, Henry Phipps founded Bessemer Securities to reinvest the proceeds of his sale of Carnegie Steel for the benefit of his descendents. The start-up investment operations were spun out into Bessemer Venture Partners, which now operates out of seven offices around the globe.


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