NEA is closing in on the largest ever venture fund

Steven Loeb · March 25, 2015 · Short URL:

The firm has already reportedly raised $2.57 billion, on its way to $2.75 billion

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There's been a lot of talk lately about whether there is a private bubble going on right now, with more capital than ever going into venture capital and valuations going sky high. Now comes a piece of news that will likely spur that conversation even further. 

Venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates (NEA) is about to raise yet another giant fund, as the firm has already secured approximately $2.57 billion in capital commitments for its fifteenth fund, according to a report out from Fortune on Tuesday.

At least one of the backers is known: Teachers’ Retirement System of Louisiana committed $50 million to the fund in March, according to Bloomberg.

And the firm isn't done yet: when all is said and done, NEA hopes to have raised a total of $2.75 billion.In case you were wondering, that would make it the largest VC fund of all time. So this could wind up being some pretty big news.

NEA is no stranger to huge funds in the billions of dollars. In 2010 it raised $2.5 million for its thirteenth fund, followed by another $2.5 billion for its fourteenth fund in 2012. The firm has around $16 billion in committed capital, including the new fund.

Founded in 1977, NEA was an early backer of some of the largest tech companies around, including Groupon, 23andMe, Buzzfeed and Evernote. 

Some of its more recent investments include participation in the following rounds: a $2 million seed round in meeting management startup Do; $38 million in Collective Health, a self-insurance platform provider; $30 million in Series B funding for FiftyThree, the company behind drawing app Paper; $750,000 in a seed round for hopOn, a social travel booking site; a $13 million Series B round for Swiftype, a company that sells search engines for websites and mobile apps; $15 million in Series A funding for mobile software firm Branch Metrics; and a $22.2 million round of Series C funding for GuideSpark, an employee communications and engagement platform.

The firm typically invests in both early and late stage deals in technology, health care and energy companies. It has nine offices in total, which includes two offices in China and two offices in India.

NEA is raising this fund as the venture capital space is in a big upswing. In 2014, venture capital firms raised a total of $29.8 billion, from 254 funds. That represents a 69% increase by dollar commitments from the $17.7 billion raised in 2013.

The last time VCs raised more was back in 2007, right before the great recession hit, when it raised $30 billion. When it came to the number of funds, 2014 was the busiest year for U.S. venture capital fundraising since 2001, when 324 funds were raised.

Vator was unable to contact NEA for confirmation at this time. We will update this story if we learn more. 

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NEA is the entrepreneur’s venture capital firm.

When it is time to take a promising business or business idea to the next level, entrepreneurs want a venture partner who understands and believes in the power of big dreams, bold visions and fresh ideas that have the power to change an industry, a sector, the world.

Moreover, entrepreneurs want a venture partner who knows what it takes—through first-hand experience and carefully nurtured relationships—to make a company succeed, to turn an idea into an action, and to make a plan a reality.

For more than 30 years, NEA has been helping to build great companies. Our committed capital has grown to $13 billion, including a $2.6 billion fourteenth fund closed in 2012. We invest across stage and geography in technology, healthcare and energy.

Remaining nimble as we’ve grown—with more than 65 investment professionals working out of our offices in the US, India, and China and investing across the globe—NEA is the entrepreneur's venture capital firm, consistently ranking among the top firms in portfolio IPOs each year. Since its founding, the firm has backed more than 175 companies that have gone public and invested in more than 290 companies that have been successfully merged or acquired—more liquidity events than any other venture capital firm.

Whether you are seeking investment to get your idea off the ground or looking to propel a proven idea toward greatness, NEA is the venture partner who will be there—because we’ve been there—every step of the way.