Mayfield Fund, a big player in the Silicon Valley venture capital scene, announced today it has finished raising a $375 million fund, its twelfth. That’s down from Mayfield’s most recent fund, raised in 2000, which was just under $1 billion. As partner Kevin Fong told us yesterday: “The environment changed.”
Here’s the release (downloads file). Dan Primack has done a great job in covering the ins and outs of the Mayfield fund-raising process, including more today. Much of what Fong told us yesterday is well-covered by Primack. We asked Fong about Mayfield’s sub-par performance (bottom-quartile, according to Private Equity Intelligence) by on its most recent funds, relative to others firms in the venture industry. This was his response: “Judging performance has to be done in a relative sense,” he said. “Clearly, a Kleiner or Sequoia that have a Google in their 1999 and 2000 funds are in a class all by themselves. The rest of us have to fight for positions behind them.” However, this doesn’t explain why Mayfield has performed below average, because most other venture capital firms didn’t invest in Google either. Fong seemed to acknowledge that, but said that the firm’s performance stands for all to see, and that 3/4 of this latest fund’s money came from prior investors.
Good news is, they’ll start investing from the fresh fund by the end of the year, Fong said.
And here’s where he said they’re targeting:
1) Mobile/Wireless: “Anywhere from services, to semiconductors, devices and software. Phone and Internet are merging in very interesting ways.” Here, they’re also looking closely at Asia, including China.
2) Digital Media space: Think Internet advertising.
3) Consumer services and consumer products: He mentioned the “blogging, and RSS space.” We asked how these will make money. He said: “Theyï¿½re technologies, how you use them and where you use them is important when it comes to building companies.”