VC firm First Round looking to raise $135 million

Steven Loeb · April 16, 2012 · Short URL:

Investor in Path, Fab, Mint, Stumbleupon set to raise fourth fund

Early-stage venture capital firm First Round Capital is about to raise its fourth fund, targeting $135 million, according to the company’s filing with the SEC on Monday.

In its third fund, raised in late 2010, First Round, which has four partners -  Josh Kopelman, Chris Fralic, Robert Hayes and Howard Morgan  - raised $126 million. That year, it was named the third largest investor in the United States, as measured by number of deals.

Founded in 2004, First Round Capital, which typically invests $250,000 and $500,000, is one of the original venture firms to institutionalize angel investing. You might call it the first super angel fund as it bet that start-ups would not require large sums of money to get traction.

Since then it has backed more than 70 companies. Its portfolio includes Fab, the fast-growing fashion retail site, photo-sharing site Path, which just raised another $30 million, Web hosting service Wikia, social media Web browser RockMelt; food search engine Yummly, game developer RockYou, and Schoolfeed, a site to help find high school friends, which recently raised $1.75 million.

First Round Capital has already seen many exits for its portfolio companies. Web search engine StumbleUpon was purchased by eBay for $75 million, financial management website, which was bought by Intuit for $170 million, retail site, which was acquired by Google for $100 million, Chai Labs, which was bought by Facebook for $10 million, and GroupMe, a mobile group messaging provider bought by Skype for an undisclosed amount.

What does the VC market look like?

First Round’s $135 million goal is relatively modest when compared to the goals set recently by other top investment firms. The lower threshold is in large part due to First Round's philosophy of investing modest amounts at the early stages, an investment philosophy that doesn't require large capital raises.

Other recent fund raises include Andreessen Horowitz's $2.5 billion raised in January. Andreessen Horowitz also invests in early stages, but has a penchant for putting large amounts of money in later-stage deals. In recent months, Groupon investor NEA filed with the SEC to raise $2.3 billion, while DST, one of Facebook's biggest investors, was looking to raise $1 billion. Also recent includes a $100 million fund raised by Berlin-based Earlybird. In the fourth quarter of 2011, the top five early-stage firms that raised funds include Khosla Ventures, which raised $1 billion in October, Founders Fund, which raised $625 million for early-stage investments, General Catalyst, which raised $500 million, Accel Partners, which raised $475 million and Redpoint Ventures, which attracted $400 million.  

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Wikia is a community destination supporting the creation and development of wiki communities on any topic people are passionate about. We currently support over 5500 communities in more than 70 languages. Part of the free culture movement, Wikia content is released under a free content license and operates on the Open Source MediaWiki software. Explore our existing communities or start a new one.

Wikia, Inc.

Wikia is operated by Wikia, Inc. Wikia has offices in San Mateo and New York in the US, and in PoznaƄ in Poland. Remote staff are located in Chile, England, Germany, Japan, Taiwan, and also in other locations in Poland and the US. Wikia's staff members have over 60 years Wikipedia experience among them.

Wikia was founded by Jimmy Wales and Angela Beesley in 2004. The company is incorporated in Delaware. Gil Penchina became Wikia's CEO in June 2006, at the same time the company moved its headquarters from St. Petersburg, Florida, to Menlo Park and later to San Mateo in California. A new office was launched in Poznan, Poland in September 2006 and Wikia moved out of St. Petersburg at the end of 2006. The New York office opened when Wikia acquired ArmchairGM in December 2006. Wikia has received two rounds of investment; in March 2006 from Bessemer Venture Partners and in December 2006 from



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