Spark Capital suddenly has $1 billion to invest

Spark Capital, whose investments have included Twitter and Cruise Automation, has closed on $1 billion in commitments, it revealed earlier today. The 11-year-old firm, which has offices in Boston, San Francisco, and New York, closed its fifth early-stage fund with $400 million, down slightly from the $450 million it had raised for its fourth-early stage fund, which closed in 2013.

Spark also garnered $600 million in commitments for its second growth fund, just two years after launching its debut growth fund with $375 million in capital. Like a lot of early-stage funds that have raised so-called opportunity funds in recent years, Spark uses the capital to invest in its breakout portfolio companies. Among the startups it has funded are the Brazilian real estate portal VivaReal and the automated investing platform Wealthfront.

Spark has enjoyed a string of hits in its relatively short existence. Among its exits: headset maker Oculus was sold to Facebook for $2 billion in 2014; Twitter went public in 2013; Wayfair, an online home furnishings company went public in 2014; and the autonomous driving tech startup Cruise Automation sold earlier this year to General Motors for a reported $1 billion.

The firm also holds stakes in the highly valued messaging service Slack and the still-private eyeglasses retailer Warby Parker.

Spark is among a growing spate of early-stage venture funds that are suddenly managing far more money than they ever had previously. Other firms that have raised significantly higher amounts than in past years include Forerunner Ventures, a young, San Francisco-based firm that focuses primarily on e-commerce opportunities and has raised at least $122 million this year, up from its last, $75 million fund; and decades-old Accel Partners, which closed on $2 billion across two new funds earlier this year, up from two funds that totaled $1.45 billion just three years earlier.