General partner Fred Wang tells me that the target for the fund, Trinity Ventures XI, was $300 million (the same as the last fund), but there was enough interest from limited partners (LPs) that it raised an extra $25 million — there was a hard cap at $325 million.
Even though that’s a sizable amount, Wang says it was a deliberate choice not to raise even more, because one of Trinity’s points of pride is its partner-to-capital ratio. (The firm’s website lists seven general partners.) In Wang’s words, that ratio reflects a willingness to be a hands-on investor, providing “heavy lifting and elbow grease.”
“We don’t tend to chase those companies marching up and down Sand Hill Road, doing a beauty pageant of venture firms,” he says. “We like to date before we get married.”
Trinity plans to continue investing in cloud and mobile infrastructure, digital media, software as a service, social commerce, and entertainment, with roughly a half-and-half breakdown between consumer- and enterprise-facing companies. Wang notes that the firm has also been doing more seed investments in the past couple of years, and that it opened an incubation space called Dolores Labs in San Francisco. Both moves are responses to the fact that entrepreneurs can now build companies with much less capital, he says.
The new fund comes largely from LPs who had invested in Trinity’s earlier funds. However, Wang says he’s hearing that a lot of VCs are trying to raise more money this year, and that those LPs are “pruning” the firms that they work with.
Success stories from Trinity’s portfolio include Aruba Networks (public), Blue Nile (public), Extreme Networks (public), LoopNet (public), Photobucket (acquired by News Corp.), Speedera Networks (acquired by Akamai), Starbucks (public), and Sygate Technologies (acquired by Symantec).
Founded in 1986, Trinity Ventures is an early stage venture capital firm dedicated to partnering with passionate entrepreneurs to transform revolutionary ideas into reality. With over $1 billion under management, Trinity Ventures believes in personal engagement, mutual respect and goal alignment with the entrepreneurs. Trinity focuses on early stage and seed technology investments with particular emphasis on social commerce and entertainment, digital media, Saas, and cloud and infrastructure. Trinity Ventures has invested in such leading companies as Aruba Networks,...
Fred has over 15 years of experience in venture capital. He currently invests in infrastructure, with a focus on digital media, and on specific sectors in clean tech. He is currently involved with 21ViaNet, Aryaka Networks, Avaak, ClearLeap, Exalt Communications, Enovix, Netcordia, Ankeena (acquired by Juniper Networks), and Soliant Energy. He has led investments in successful companies such as Aruba Networks (ARUN), Illuminet (ILUM), Modulus Video (acquired by Motorola), Network Access Solutions (NASC), Orative (acquired by Cisco),...