Deals

Bessemer raises $1.6B fund — enough to own 3% of Facebook

Bessemer Venture Partners has raised a $1.6 billion fund, according to the New York Times. That’s a hefty amount that puts the venture fund in the big leagues alongside other premier VCs.

But to put that in perspective, that amount is only enough to buy a 3.2 percent stake in Facebook at its last known valuation of $50 billion. Luckily for the Larchmont, N.Y.-based fund, its strategy is to avoid the big deals in overheated sectors. Instead, the company plans to put its money in early-stage companies around the world. Rob Chandra, a partner at Bessemer, told the New York Times that the fund invests in “road-map” areas before they become really hot, not markets that are already crowded.

About a quarter of the money is intended for companies based in India. Bessemer added several new limited partners with the new fund, including large endowments and corporations. Others that have moved into the billion-dollar fund game include late-stage investors Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase. Others include Andreessen Horowitz, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and Accel Partners. Accel closed a $1.3 billion fund today with its Chinese partner, International Data Group (IDG).

Bessemer is about 100 years old and is one of the oldest funds in the country. It is an offshoot of Bessemer Securities, created by steel tycoon Henry Phipps, a co-founder of Carnegie Steel. One of its investments, the LinkedIn business social network, is poised to go public soon.

Since 2000, Bessemer has made investments in emerging markets such as India, Israel, Latin America and Europe. Bessemer’s office in Mumbai, India, now almost as many people as its sizable office in Menlo Park, Calif., in the midst of Silicon Valley. The fund has made 31 investments in India, including Shriram EPC, an engineering services company that has grown to $400 million in revenues.

[image credit: cpcml.ca]