Norwest Venture Partners, the Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm that has invested in companies from Rackspace to Peoplesoft, has raised a new fund of $1.2 billion.
It is the eleventh fund in the firm’s history, and its largest.
Managing partner Promod Haque says the new money will help the firm expand — in terms of geography, industry, and the type of deal it gets involved with. The fund is so much larger than Norwest’s $650 million tenth fund because many of the new strategies that Norwest started pursuing in the last few years are bearing fruit.
Geographically, the firm has been expanding beyond the United States, with offices in India and Israel, as well as investments in China. It’s also adding health informatics and medical devices to the already varied group of industries it invests in. And it’s looking to expand beyond its traditional early-stage focus into growth investments in later-stage companies.
In each case, Norwest has added staff to make the expansion happen, and Haque is emphatic that Norwest isn’t abandoning any of its existing investment areas. For example, growth equity investments are a natural next step as its portfolio companies mature, but Norwest also has two first-round deals in the works.
“We’re not changing emphasis, we’re adding some stuff,” he said.
Norwest has invested in 450 companies in its 48-year history. Recent successes include Rackspace, the hosting company that went public last year, and LifeSize Communications, which was recently acquired by LogiTech.