Reid Hoffman, the founder and chairman of popular professional networking site LinkedIn, is joining venture firm Greylock Partners as an investing partner. The firm also announced today that it has raised a $575 million fund, its thirteenth.
Both Hoffman and Greylock partner David Sze said Hoffman’s new position at Greylock shouldn’t affect his work at LinkedIn — after all, Jeff Weiner took over as CEO in June, with Hoffman scaling back his role to chairman. Hoffman has also been a prolific angel investor during the last few years (he said he made 85 investments in the last six years), having backed Digg, Facebook, Flickr, Zynga, and others.
“I definitely wear too many hats,” Hoffman said. “[Greylock and I] both wanted to make sure we had good, aligned interests. My interest was that I would continue to be massively focused on LinkedIn, and their interest was that I would help provide intelligence on the consumer Internet.”
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More concretely, Hoffman said he plans to maintain the same level of involvement in LinkedIn, while shifting the time he spends on angel investing to Greylock. Sze pointed to Greylock partner Aneel Bhusri, who also serves as co-CEO at Workday, as a demonstration that these time-splitting arrangements can work.
As for the new fund, Sze said Greylock has been raising its money from the same partners for several decades, so it didn’t have much trouble signing them up for the current fund — the process only took about four to six weeks, and Greylock XIII is about the same size as Greylock’s past funds. Despite the general decline in money raised by venture funds, Sze said the top-tier VCs are still able to get the money they need. It’s the less-established VCs that are having trouble.
“We’re seeing a flight to quality at all levels — for LPs, VCs, and entrepreneurs,” he said.
As for how Greylock plans to invest the new money, Sze said the firm will continue the path it has been following for the past few years — it will remain focused on early-stage investments, but will also branch out into later-stage deals, if the company is particularly promising.
Greylock’s portfolio currently includes Digg, Facebook, Cloudera, and oh yeah, LinkedIn.