Menlo Park-based VC firm Shasta Ventures is announcing the closing of its Shasta Ventures III fund today, topping off at $265 million. With the participation of mostly already existing investors, the fund will be the VC firm’s largest raised to date, following the $250 million Shasta Ventures II fund closed in 2007 and the $210 million Shasta Ventures I fund closed in 2004.
Shasta managing director Tod Francis tells me that the fund’s investments will continue to follow Shasta’s general strategy of investing between $250K to $6 million early on in a company’s Series A round and then following on in subsequent rounds — The firm is willing to invest up to $12 million over the course of their relationship with a portfolio company.
The Shasta team, which consists of managing directors Francis, Rob Coneybeer, Jason Pressman, partner Ravi Mohan, principal Sean Flynn, CFO Austin Grose and associate Jacob Mullins, is specifically focusing on companies that are early-stage and in one of three core verticals; consumer internet, mobile, and software as a service.
“The primary thing we’re looking for is entrepreneurs that have a unique vision and passion in sectors where technology can change the way people do business and can dramatically improve the customer experience,” says Francis.
Francis estimates that a fund this size should be good for around 30 investments and the firm completes around 8-10 investments a year. Notable Shasta companies include TechCrunch Disrupt finalist and Intuit acquisition Mint, which Francis describes as a “classic” Shasta investment because Shasta gave its fiduciary vote of confidence before the market was proven and the startup’s technology ended up dramatically changing the industry.
Errand marketplace TaskRabbit is a more recent example of a Shasta Ventures investment that is on the forefront of change in its space, connecting people who need tasks completed with people who want to complete tasks. In the SaaS space, Francis tells me that social CRM tool Lithium and Zuora, which helps companies simplify their billing processes, are Shasta companies to watch.