Benchmark has raised a sixth fund of $500M

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benchmark2.jpgBenchmark Capital, one of Silicon Valley’s leading venture firms, has just finished raising its sixth fund, totaling $500 million, the firm told VentureBeat earlier today.

Partner Steve Spurlock said the firm’s partners haven’t changed, and that its focus will remain on enterprise software, internet and security companies. The latest fund is somewhat larger than the firm’s previous 2004 fund of $425 million, in part because the firm has added two more partners, but also because it wants to invest in later stage deals (which requires larger amounts of money) opportunistically.

The firm hit it big in the late 1990s with eBay’s IPO, was somewhat barren during the downturn immediately after 2000, but has had a roll of profitable returns on investments lately: MySQL, Zimbra, Vontu and Tellme have all been acquired for large multi-hundred million dollar amounts. Other recent IPOs or sold companies were Infinera, Business.com, Good, Avamar, Entrisphere and Ingenio.

Benchmark is known in the valley for having a very equal partnership structure — where each partner owns the exact same portion of profits, and there are no senior versus junior partners.

Update: Turns out, PEHub got to this story before we did.