Norwest Venture Partners announced today that it has closed a new $1.5 billion fund, called NVP XIV. This is the firm’s largest fund to date, bringing its total capital commitments to more than $7.5 billion, according to a statement. NVP XIV follows NVP XIII, a $1.2 billion fund that closed in January 2016.
The Bay Area-based firm initially began investing in enterprise startups within the U.S. but has expanded over the years across sector, geography, and stage. Today, the firm also invests in consumer and health care and has offices in Israel and India to source deals locally. Stage-wise, the partners added a growth equity team nine years ago to make minority and controlling investments in rapidly growing businesses.
Jon Kossow, who spearheads the growth equity team, has been promoted to managing partner, the firm announced today. He joins managing partners Jeff Crowe and Promod Haque.
When we last covered Norwest, the third managing partner was Matthew Howard. We asked Norwest about this transition, and the firm provided the following statement:
Matthew Howard continues to lead the enterprise practice as a general partner and is a valued member of the team, having served in the role of managing partner for many years. The new managing partner structure is a reflection of the diversification strategy we embarked on 10 years ago. Promoting Jon Kossow to managing partner was a natural evolution within that strategy, as we wanted growth equity to be represented on the management team.
Norwest also announced the promotion of Lisa Wu to partner on the venture capital team. She joined the firm in 2012 and focuses on consumer internet, digital commerce, and marketplaces. Wu sourced Jet.com, which was acquired by Walmart.com, and is also an investor in Ritual, a women’s health brand. She is Norwest’s second female partner (Sonya Brown is a general partner on the growth equity team).
On whether Norwest will be looking to invest in cryptocurrencies and blockchain with its new fund, managing partner Jeff Crowe told VentureBeat:
“We are not investors in cryptocurrencies and initial coin offering (ICOs). We view those as far too speculative. However, we certainly think that blockchain could solve many problems across many different technologies.”
Founded in 1961, Norwest counts Lending Club, Opendoor, Prosperworks, Spotify, and Uber among its portfolio companies.