Granite Global Ventures, a venture capital firm that has done much better than its relatively low profile would suggest, has raised a $400 million fund to invest fresh companies.
Granite has done well by investing in China early. It has offices in both Silicon Valley (Menlo Park) and Shanghai, and was an early backer of Chinese online trading site, Alibaba. It also invested in gaming company Xfire, sold to Viacom for $102 million in April.
The firm told VentureBeat that the fund will continue Granite’s focus on making “lead” investments companies in their “expansion” stages in both China and the U.S.
The fund is larger than the firm’s previous $230 million fund raised in 2004. Granite Global has added partners to help manage it, including Glenn Solomon, hired from Partech, and Jixun Foo (from JAFCO Asia) and Jenny Lee (from DFJ) in China, who we mentioned here.
According to CalPERS, the California public pension fund that invested in Granite Global’s first fund in 2001, the firm’s internal rate of return is a net 41.7 percent. That means it has returned 41.7 percent of the fund’s worth, annually, every year over the past five years, partly only on paper so far, but that is strong compared to the rest of the industry.