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Spark Capital eyes growth-stage startups with new fund, adds new partner to lead it

Jeremy Philips -- Spark Capital
Image Credit: Spark Capital

Nine-year old venture capital firm Spark Capital just quietly closed a new fund and got itself a brand new partner too.

Spark partner Bijan Sabet announced today that the firm has closed a fund of $375 million aimed at growth stage companies and that Jeremy Philips is joining as general partner to lead the new fund.

Philips was previously an executive at News Corporation, where he led the alleged failed acquisition of LinkedIn, as well as the chief executive of Photon group, and a member of REA Group’s board. He’s currently on TripAdvisor’s board.

Sabet writes:

We have known Jeremy for many years. Jeremy has an amazing track record as an entrepreneur, a senior executive at News Corporation and a public CEO. He has also been a successful investor in a number of great companies and serves on the board of publicly held Trip Advisor. And he’s a terrific person and a very good friend.

Jeremy has a passion for the same investment areas we pursue at Spark but with an eye towards growth stage investments. So we decided to join forces.

I’m proud to announce we have raised Spark Growth, a new $375MM fund. Jeremy is now a general partner at Spark, focused exclusively on Spark Growth, and based in New York. Like the rest of us, he will travel anywhere in search of the best teams going after the most compelling opportunities.

Spark’s previous fund closed at $425 million in February 2013 after only a few weeks of marketing and was oversubscribed. The firm has invested in prominent companies such as Twitter, Tumblr, Oculus Rift, Foursquare, Aviary, Warby Parker, Jelly, and Upworthy, among many others. Jelly’s Biz Stone is also an advisor to Spark Capital.

Spark Capital was founded in 2005 by Paul Conway, Bijan Sabet, Santo Politi, and Todd Dagres. The new fund’s team will be based in New York City and San Francisco and will build out the fund’s team in New York City, where Philips is based.

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