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Early backer in Fitbit, Shopify, and Cruise Automation picks up fifth fund on its tenth birthday
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Another week, another fund.
Felicis Ventures, a decade-old venture capital firm headquartered in Palo Alto, today announced that it has closed a new $200 million fund. Not only is this the fifth fund for Felicis, but it is the largest ever raised for the firm.
Though Felicis originally focused on seed-stage companies, the firm eventually branched out to other stages and a wide variety of sectors. The company says its 180 investments have led to 60 exits and three IPOs. Here are some of the most notable investments made by Felicis:
- Fitbit: Fitbit's IPO in the summer of 2015 raised $732 million at a valuation of $3.4 billion, more than 10 times its $300 million valuation after raising $84 million in venture capital. The event marked the largest IPO ever for a wearables company, beating out GoPro's performance in 2013.
- Shopify: The Canadian e-commerce company raised $131 million its IPO last year, marking another successful exit for a Felicis portfolio company. The VC firm contributed to Shopify’s $7 million Series A round in 2010.
- Cruise Automation: Last month, General Motors spent a reported $1 billion to purchase Cruise Automation, a developer of self-driving technology. Felicis had backed Cruise from its very earliest days.
Incredibly, Felicis says its portfolio companies have created nearly 22,000 jobs, generated over $4.3 in annual revenues (as of last year), and raised over $4.5 billion in capital.
“We diversified rapidly beyond largely seed-stage consumer-internet start-ups into a variety of new sectors and geographies that were not popular with most investors,” said Aydin Senkut, Founder and Managing Director of Felicis Ventures. “Today, our investments are spread evenly across seed-, early-, and mid-stage companies that push the technological edge in an incredible range of areas from programming bacteria, to powering global payments; from platforms that power global logistics to next generation satellite systems.”
I’ve reached out to learn more about what has fueled Felicis’ push into different stages and different markets.
Funds have been on a roll lately, raising massive amounts of capital even while tech startups struggle to raise for themselves. Worldwide, 2,685 deals closed in the first quarter of the year, a 38 percent year-over-year decrease, according to PitchBook. But that’s for startups.
As for funds, 90 closed in the first quarter of the year, a three percent decrease year-over-year. But those funds collectively raised $16.7 billion, a bump of 27.5 percent.
Just a couple weeks ago, Draper Associates, headed up by well-known Silicon Valley investor Tim Draper, announced that it has closed a $190 million early stage fund.
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