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One of the oldest VC firms' secret to success is not what you'd expect

NVP Managing Partners
Image Credit: Norwest Venture Partners

New venture capital firms seem to be cropping up left and right every day, but Norwest Venture Partners (NVP) has been around since 1961, and it has certainly learned a thing or two over the years.

Today, the firm is announcing its twelfth fund, which will total $1.2 billion. This new fund will bring its total capital under management to a little under $5 billion and will be structured much like its eleventh fund, which was also $1.2 billion.

“A key strategy for success at NVP is investment diversification. We invest across multiple sectors, stages, and geographies, all with a team approach that enables our portfolio companies to tap into the breadth and depth of our expertise,” said senior managing partner Promod Haque in an official statement.

Unlike many firms that specialize in certain sectors and investment stages, NVP invests at all stages and almost all sectors out of the same fund.

“Over the years we’ve learned that [sectors] go in cycles. If you only focus on one sector, it’s not a good strategy, so you’re prone to the cycles,” said Haque in an interview with VentureBeat.

NVP has also diversified its investments geographically and plans on continuing this approach with its newest fund. As with its previous fund, the firm plans on investing about 80-85% of the funds in the U.S. and the rest abroad. The firm has offices in Tel Aviv, Israel as well as Bangalore and Mumbai, India.

In addition to its diversification, NVP does one more thing to help ensure the success of its fund: It provides portfolio companies with a wide range of help and resources, from recruiting to setting up business pitch opportunities with large customers the firm has good relationships with. Of course, this is something just about every VC firm does nowadays.

In 2013, NVP saw exits from several of its portfolio companies, including the initial public offerings (IPO) of FireEye and RetailMeNot, and the sales of Virtela, 41st Parameter, ScaleIO, and Morta Security. Only a few months into 2014, it has one IPO under its belt, Sabre Corporation, and The Echo Nest, Basis Technology, and Veveo have been acquired.

Norwest Venture Partners is headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif., and was founded in 1961.

 

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