Norwest Venture Partners announced that it has raised $1.2 billion for its 13th fund, which it’ll use to support its sector and stage independent investment strategy. With this fund, the firm now has a total capital and commitment size of more than $6 billion.
Started more than 55 years ago, Norwest Ventures Partners functions differently from most investment firms in that it doesn’t break its fund into specific groups. Instead, its focus is on the entrepreneur and supporting them throughout the startup’s growth. In the past, Norwest has made investments in the health care, consumer Web, infrastructure, and enterprise spaces, and it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.
“When we look at it, there’s all kinds of innovation taking place in the marketplace. There’s a lot of new opportunities,” said senior managing partner Promod Haque. “Our pitch to entrepreneurs is to provide more than just money. What we have to look at, what else we can do, our long history, network, strategic offering, and analysts can provide a host of services in addition to capital, whether to help recruit or do other things, so that the companies are successful.”
This is the third consecutive $1.2 billion fund that Norwest has raised. The firm has made investments in companies like Blue Jeans Network, Casper Sleep, Honybook, IFTTT, Jet, Lumosity, Modcloth, Spotify, Uber, and Udemy. Norwest said that in the past 18 months, its portfolio has seen seven public offerings in the United States, India, and Israel, and 15 acquisitions.
While the firm declined to specify performance of its last fund, which closed in May 2014, managing partner Matthew Howard said that the funds Norwest puts into startups are seeds that it’ll likely see grow in the next seven to eight years. “By the time you fund a company, at a minimum it’s 5 to 6 years. You cannot just look at the previous fund. You have to look at the funds before that,” Haque stated. What he hopes is that entrepreneurs will see that his firm continues to raise fund after fund and is able to provide helpful insights to startups both in the best of times and during downturns.
“When you’ve gone through downturns, it sharpens your vision,” Howard explained. “This business is apprenticeship-driven. I’ve been through downturns before. Very few venture firms have seen difficult times. This fund confirms that our history continues and we’ll bring more portfolio services, recruiting, tax, advice, and a whole bunch of other things to the platform.”
Norwest hasn’t set any quotas or limits on the types of companies it’ll invest in. “We want to make sure that we’re opportunistic with our investment,” Haque said.