DFJ Raises $350 Million For Its 12th Early-Stage Fund

Sand Hill Road venture firm DFJ is announcing a new, $350 million fund this morning — the firm’s 12th early-stage vehicle.

We chatted with managing director Josh Stein yesterday about the effort, which he says took about two months from start to finish.

The biggest takeaway: Expect more of the same from the firm, which typically plugs between $10 million and $15 million into its startups; has six investment partners, including firm cofounder Steve Jurvetson; and has become known, largely owing to Jurvetson’s bets, as an outfit willing to gamble on companies that are little out there — sometimes literally.

Among the firm’s many Jurvetson-led investments: the rocket company SpaceX, the satellite company Planet Labs, and the electric car company Tesla Motors. Indeed, Jurvetson accepted an award on behalf of SpaceX at last night’s annual Crunchies awards ceremony. The company won for the category of best technology achievement  for its two-stage rocket, the Falcon 9, which was designed to transport satellites and SpaceX’s own Dragon spacecraft into orbit.

Stein wouldn’t talk yesterday about the internal rate of return of any of the firm’s previous funds. He did say DFJ’s last fund — a $325 million vehicle closed exactly two years ago — has backed an as-yet-undisclosed autonomous transportation startup that “we think could be the biggest company we’ve ever been involved with.”

DFJ also has a growth team, as readers may know; we talked with investor Randy Glein, who helped co-found its later-stage offshoot a decade ago, back in December.

Photo of DFJ’s venture team, courtesy of DFJ.