IDG Ventures, an early-stage venture firm that was among the first VC outfits to plant its flag in San Francisco instead of Silicon Valley, has raised $120 million for its third and newest fund, according to cofounders Phil Sanderson and Alex Rosen.
The two longtime VCs came together with a third partner, Pat Kenealy, in 2008; their previous fund closed with $100 million.
IDG Ventures is an interesting outfit in a number of ways. It’s kind of a corporate fund, but not really. To wit, it counts IDG – the publishing, research, and conference giant – as an investor, but IDG isn’t its sole or even majority investor. Even still, the venture outfit is able to use IDG’s platform as a giant hook for entrepreneurs looking to enter their respective markets faster.
For example, starting last year, IDG Ventures began promising consumer-facing startups $1 million in targeted marketing spend to spread across IDG’s hundreds of online properties. It meanwhile began promising to deliver leads to enterprise startups, including by using IDG to develop custom ad units that IDG then syndicates out across the web.
IDG Ventures is also a bit of an anomaly in its interests. Whereas many investors have begun to shun mobile games as one-hit wonders and ad tech startups as not differentiated enough, the venture firm still counts them among its five broad target areas.
Maybe it’s no wonder. IDG Ventures was the lead investor in the mobile social game developer Funzio, which sold in 2012 to the Japanese internet company Gree for $210 million in cash. It was also a seed and Series A investor in Vidible, which sold software that helped publishers manage their syndicated video business. Vidible was acquired for undisclosed terms late last year by TechCrunch corporate overlord AOL.
In another unique twist, IDG Venture is part of a global network of independent venture funds that share an investor in IDG. That can be a tad confusing. There’s IDG Capital Partners in China, and IDG Ventures in India, and two smaller independent outfits in Korea (IDG Korea) and Vietnam (IDG Ventures Vietnam).
Then again, those far-flung friends are nice to have, says Sanderson. Each outfit talks with the others in an effort to help their portfolio companies establish a more global footprint. Sanderson also says IDG has co-invested alongside its similarly named peers at least half a dozen times.