Mayfield raises $525 million for two new funds

Ronny Kerr · April 29, 2016 · Short URL:

The long-standing VC firm has invested in early-stage startups from Atari to Lyft

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Mayfield, a venture capital firm that invests from seed to late-stage rounds, announced today that it has closed two new funds totaling up to $525 million.

The majority of that capital ($400 million) makes up Mayfield XV, the fund focused on early-stage companies, while the rest ($125 million) will go to Mayfield Select for later-stage investing. Mayfield says that Mayfield Select is a first for the firm, which has traditionally focused on investing in younger startups. Even so, those late-stage dollars will be used to fuel growth of existing portfolio companies, so it’s unlikely to see Mayfield participating in late-stage rounds for companies foreign to the firm.

This is a notable approach, as some other early-stage firms will simply reserve some unannounced portion of their fund for follow-on capital. Instead, Mayfield’s two new funds clearly draw the line.

Headquartered in Menlo Park and one of Silicon Valley’s oldest VC firms, Mayfield has helped fund some of the early giants in technology. Some of those early investments include Atari, Genentech, Compaq, SanDisk, and Citrix—all of which were founded before 1990.

Here are some of the firm’s more recent investments:

  • Lantern, provider of mobile and Web programs for mental health wellness. This past February, the company closed a $17 million Series A funding round led by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) with participation from Mayfield Fund (an existing investor) and others.
  • Massdrop, an online community and e-commerce site for enthusiasts of backpacking, audio gear, men's style, and other niche interests. Last August, the company closed a $40 million Series B financing round led by August Capital with participation from Mayfield Fund (an existing investor) and others.
  • Portworx, provider of storage software for hosting stateful applications in Linux containers. In the summer of 2015, Mayfield led the startup's $8.5 million Series A round with participation from Michael Dell. Along similar lines, Mayfield also joined Nexus Venture Partners in the $10 million Series A round for Docker, an open-source platform that automates the deployment of applications inside software containers.
  • Marketo, marketing automation software. Mayfield fully funded the company’s $10 million Series C round in 2009, and then led the company’s $10 million Series D round in 2010. Both investments turned out to be solid bets, as Marketo went public in 2013 with its stock up 77.7 percent at market close. Today, the company's market cap is $1 billion.
  • Lyft, the ridesharing underdog facing off with Uber in the U.S. In 2013, Zimride (the parent company of Lyft) closed a $15 million round led by Founders Fund with participation from Mayfield and others. This was the company’s first funding raised with Lyft as a growing, core product.

“We raise early-stage focused funds of approximately $400 million usually every 3-4 years and invest in roughly 30 companies per fund,” said Mayfield Managing Director Navin Chaddha in a prepared statement. “Mayfield XV is our fourth consecutive fund with a consistent size that follows our established strategy of investing primarily in early-stage technology companies serving enterprises and consumers.”

Though Mayfield has two new funds, its management team will remain the same: Navin Chaddha, Rajeev Batra, Tim Chang, Ursheet Parikh, and Robin Vasan.

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