Los Angeles-based venture capital firm Upfront Ventures has had a pretty good run as of late, due to a number of its recent investments seeing exits in the past year or so. As a result, it was probably no problem for Upfront to raise a new fund, this time bringing in $280 million to invest in startups in its home market and around the world.
It’s been about 18 months since the firm formerly known as GRP Partners rebranded as Upfront Ventures and announced the close of its fourth fund, which consisted of $200 million. The firm had first begun investing out of that fund in early 2012, however, so it’s following the usual three-year lifecycle of these things.
The new fund is being announced after Upfront Ventures has seen a fair amount of success in its investments recently. That includes exits for Maker Studios, which was acquired by Disney for more than $500 million; Gravity, which was acquired by AOL for at least $83 million; and TestFlight-operator Burstly, which was bought by Apple earlier this year. This was also the year of the TrueCar IPO, which Upfront Ventures first invested in back in the mid-2000s.
The firm has also changed some of its personnel over the last few years. Mark Suster took over as general partner a while ago, but since the rebranding Upfront added a few team members. Those include partner Greg Bettinelli and venture partner Hamet Watt, both of whom joined last year.
With the new fund, Upfront doesn’t plan to change its investment strategy too much. The firm makes about half of its investments in L.A., a market that has seen a fair rise in the number of startup success stories in recent years. The other half of its investments are made around the U.S. and internationally.
The one place Upfront doesn’t invest heavily is in Silicon Valley — but hey, there are enough investors to compete for deals there, right?