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We mentioned that some influential institutional investors like CalPERS think the venture capital is getting riskier, and so may be earmarking less money to VC firms in the future.

So if you are an entrepreneur, you may want to grab cash while it is still available. For now, cash is still cascading into the start-up world. Palo Alto venture capital firm, Norwest Venture Partners, today becomes the latest firm to defy any emerging skepticism in the industry. It has raised $650 million in fresh cash, from its sole investor Wells Fargo, to invest in technology start-ups, citing an investment climate that is “more robust.”

The fund is bigger than the Norwest’s previous fund of $400 million back in 2001.

Promod Haque, the leading partner at Norwest, told us there are “more opportunities, we’re seeing more high-quality deals…In general, the global economy continues to be doing well, and that includes the U.S. economy.” The firm plans to expand its investments in India and China, he said.

To that end, the firm is hiring more people to help. The firm wants to hire principals, to fill the void created by the promotion of five of the firm’s professionals to “general partner.” These promotions include Robert Abbott, Jeffrey Crowe, Vab Goel, Jim Lussier and Venkat Mohan.

The firm cited recent wins such as Website Pros, which went public in November last year, Arbortext (acquired by PTC for $190 million) and Airspace (acquired by Cisco for $450 million in February of last year.