September 26, 2017 / 11:13 AM / 23 days ago

Veteran Silicon Valley venture capital firm raises $1.5 billion fund

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Silicon Valley venture capital firm IVP on Tuesday announced the close of a $1.5 billion fund, the latest in a string of massive new venture funds that are appearing as global investors scramble for a piece of the tech boom.

The firm, which was founded in 1980, plans to use the new cash for investments for late-stage, high-growth startups enterprise software, cloud computing, cyber security and social media markets, said Jules Maltz, general partner at IVP, in an interview on Friday.

“This gets us back to doing what we love doing, which is backing late-stage companies,” Maltz said. “We can celebrate a little bit but then we have to get back to business and finding new companies.”

With the fund, the firm’s 16th, IVP has now raised a cumulative $7 billion in venture capital. In the past, IVP has invested in the likes of Twitter Inc (TWTR.N), Snapchat parent Snap Inc (SNAP.N), Dropbox and Slack.

The new cash comes as more venture firms raise funds of more than $1 billion, including Greylock Partners, Sapphire Ventures and New Enterprise Associates, which this year raised a $3.3 billion fund.

IVP chose to limit the size of the fund so it could continue to focus its investments on companies that have about 50 employees and are generating more than $10 million in revenue but have not yet become “unicorns,” which are startups with valuations of more than $1 billion, Maltz said.

“We don’t want to get too big as a fund that we have to do $50 million-minimum investments,” Maltz said. “We’ve seen other firms raise so much capital that it changes their investment strategies.”

The fund comes during a tumultuous year for the venture capital and tech industries as they deal with sexism scandals that have resulted in the ouster of notable investors and executives at firms like Ignition Partners and startups like Uber and SoFi. Maltz said IVP is hoping to spend more capital on female entrepreneurs and bring more diversity to venture and tech.

“More diverse teams and more diverse boards lead to better company performance,” Maltz said. “Our returns are based on performance. We believe investing in diversity will enhance our returns.”

Reporting by Salvador Rodriguez; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

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