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).