Venture firm Norwest raises $1.5 billion fund, its largest ever
By Heather Somerville
SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Silicon Valley firm
Norwest Venture Partners has raised its largest fund to date, a
$1.5 billion pool of money, joining a wave of record fundraising
as venture firms jockey for deals in the competitive field of
The new fund, announced Wednesday, comes just two years
after Norwest raised a $1.2 billion fund, which was at that time
the firm's largest. Norwest Venture Partners was founded in 1961
and is on its 14th fund.
The firm plans to back startups creating technology to
transform the real estate, insurance, ecommerce and medical
device industries. Wells Fargo & Co is a major investor
in Norwest's fund.
The rapid pace of funding reflects both robust interest in
technology startups and the growing size of investments
commanded by companies that are staying private longer.
"The pace of innovation has not slowed down," said Jeff
Crowe, Norwest's managing partner. "Meanwhile, the deal size is
Last year, venture capital firms raised more than $32
billion, with nearly $7 billion of that going to funds larger
than $1 billion.
While fundraising is down from its peak in 2016, there
remains a large supply of eager investors such as family offices
and sovereign wealth funds. Fewer venture firms, just 14
percent, missed their fundraising target last year than in any
previous year, according to data firm PitchBook Inc.
The average size of U.S. venture funds is at its highest
since 2011, according to the data.
Norwest's investments include health care technology firms,
software startups and consumer businesses such as Uber
Technologies Inc and Spotify. In the last two years,
it made 130 investments, and roughly two dozen of its startups
got acquired and five went public.
Crowe said the recent stock market correction has not
"Mankind has always had financial cycles and we will have
financial cycles both in the public and private markets," he
said. "Things do not go up and to the right forever."
(Reporting by Heather Somerville; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)
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