New Enterprise Associates (NEA), the 40-year-old venture firm, has signaled its intention to raise $3 billion for its 16th fund in a new SEC filing. The Form D states that the first sale has yet to occur, though typically, when a firm registers a fund of this size, it has already soft circled many, if not all, of the commitments from investors to reach its goal.
Three billion dollars is a mammoth amount, even for NEA, which closed its last fund with just less than $2.8 billion, with an additional $350 million raised at the same time for an “opportunities” fund for select later-stage portfolio companies.
Then again, big funds have become very fashionable as investors look to park their capital with a small number of top VCs, and investors have to be feeling pretty great about NEA right about now. Among the firm’s recent exits was the sale of e-commerce company Jet.com to Walmart for $3.3 billion in cash and stock last August.
NEA had led Jet’s $55 million Series A round almost exactly two years earlier.
NEA’s sixteenth fund is also coming roughly two years after the close of its fifteenth fund, which is fast by historic standards but typical of the pace that VCs have more recently adopted, with many firms — including Accel Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Founders Fund — closing on new and massive funds last year after previously closing funds in 2014.
NEA invests in everything from seed to very late-stage deals.
It has eight offices around the world, including in San Francisco, New York, Beijing, and Mumbai.
Last year, NEA lost one of its most beloved investors, Harry Weller, who long led NEA’s East Coast venture practice from Washington, D.C., and who passed away suddenly at age 46. Since then, NEA has established the Harry Weller Big Fund Idea, a charitable giving program administrated by T. Rowe. Price.