Lightspeed Venture Partners Raises $1.2 Billion

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Lightspeed Venture Partners, the 16-year-old, Menlo Park-based early-stage venture firm, has raised two new funds totaling $1.2 billion, according to two new SEC filings. One filing, for the firm’s 11th fund, shows a close of $715 million. Lightspeed has also raised $500 million for its second “Select” fund for later-stage companies.

The capital comes two years after the firm last raised two new funds:  $650 million for its tenth fund and $350 million for its first Select fund.

The timing underscores a years-long trend of venture firms committing money more quickly to startups than they have historically and subsequently returning to their own institutional investors more rapidly for more funding. (Venture firms have traditionally invested over a three- to four-year period, rather than two years. As startups began shortening the length of time between rounds around early 2013, the entire process became accelerated.)

One would guess LPs didn’t hesitate to write fresh checks to Lightspeed either way. Among its other investments, Lightspeed famously wrote the first, $500,000 check to the young messaging giant Snapchat, which is now valued at $16 billion. (During an event that this editor hosted last year, managing director Jeremy Liew talked about tracking down an elusive, Stanford student named Evan Spiegel to get that deal done.)

Its other bets — which include both enterprise and consumer-facing companies — include The Honest Company, which is reportedly working with Goldman Sachs on a 2016 IPO.

In addition to its U.S. office, Lightspeed has outposts in India, Israel, and China.