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Menlo Ventures just closed its fifteenth early-stage fund with $500 million – TechCrunch

Menlo Ventures, the 44-year-old enterprise agency with workplaces in Menlo Park and San Francisco, is taking the wraps of its fifteenth early-stage fund immediately, a car it closed with $500 million in capital commitments.

It’s the identical quantity that Menlo announced last year for a growth-stage fund, the second within the agency’s historical past.

We talked with managing director Venky Ganesan earlier this week concerning the new fund. It is not going to, notably, embody longtime Menlo managing director Mark Siegel, who joined the agency 24 years in the past after a enterprise growth stint at Netscape, and who — like friends Invoice Gurley of Benchmark and Todd Chaffee of IVP — is now making room for a number of the agency’s more moderen additions.

Ganesan additionally stated that Menlo, which invests in shopper, enterprise, frontier tech, and healthcare startups, would possibly index a bit extra on health-related bets, which is unsurprising but additionally fascinating in an historic context.

Gilead Sciences was really incubated at Menlo again in 1987, however the agency dropped its life sciences follow for roughly 20 years earlier than resuscitating it in 2017, hiring Greg Yap as a companion to guide associated investments. On the time, Yap’s mandate was to take a position roughly 15% of the agency’s final, $450 million, early-stage fund into tech-driven life sciences, however Ganesan can think about that much more of its new fund might be poured into tech-driven well being and medical startups.

As for verify sizes, Ganesan stated that Menlo will proceed to do the occasional seed spherical however that it’s much more centered on Collection A and B offers, writing preliminary checks of between $eight million to $15 million on the Collection A for a focused 20% of every startup, and checks starting at $12 million to $14 million on the Collection B stage. (Its later-stage fund makes the larger bets past that.)

Menlo has lengthy counted Washington State as its anchor tenant, and this fund isn’t any totally different, having secured a $125 million dedication from its funding board.

A more recent investor, says Ganesan, is the State of New Mexico Funding Council, which is one in every of three new traders within the fund — all of which had been launched to Menlo via different traders, and all of which agreed to again the agency through Zoom.

Given the agency’s latest exits, institutional curiosity within the new fund isn’t stunning. Menlo led Uber’s Collection B spherical again in 2011, and according to the firm, even earlier than Uber’s IPO final yr, Menlo had already earned $973 million — or a 93x return — on its $10.5 million funding by promoting almost half of its Uber inventory to a syndicate led by SoftBank.

One other large win for the agency has been Roku, which makes quite a lot of digital media gamers for video streaming and went public in 2017. On the time, its shares traded at round $15 every; immediately its shares commerce at $233 apiece.

In the meantime, Menlo has lively portfolio corporations that additionally seem poised to provide returns for its traders. The consignment firm Poshmark stated late final month that it has confidentially submitted to securities regulators a draft registration assertion for its IPO, for instance. And Chime, a start-up that delivers banking companies via cell phone, closed a spherical of funding final month that valued the corporate at $14.5 billion.

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Connie Loizos