IVP announces $1.5 billion venture fund

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IVP, one of the original late-stage venture capital firms, is announcing its sixteenth fund. And at $1.5 billion, it’s the largest yet. This brings the group’s total committed capital to $7 billion.

With a slew of exits this year, including Snap, AppDynamics, MuleSoft and Yext, and a historical IRR of 43%, it was enough to convince LPs that they’re ready for a little more money. The last fund raised was $1.4 billion in 2015.

IVP’s focus includes both consumer and enterprise-facing companies, and the team expects to continue to invest in about 12-14 fast-growing startups per year. Checks will be between $10 million and $100 million.

There are “a lot of interesting companies that are on their way up,” said Eric Liaw, general partner at IVP. The team is “spending a lot of time trying to identify the next leaders.”

Right now, he’s enthusiastic about Casper mattresses, Glossier’s makeup and Jessica Alba-founded Honest Company, in the commerce category. They also have gif platform Giphy in their portfolio and they are looking for more opportunities to invest in financial technology.

IVP typically takes board seats and considers itself a hands-on investment team. They believe this is partly what’s contributed to the exits. IVP has invested in over 100 companies that have gone public since it began investing in 1980.

But not everything has panned out well, as is expected in VC. One Kings Lane sold for lower than investors hoped for and they’re also in companies that have faced significant cultural problems like Zenefits and SoFi. 

Yet after a painfully slow 2016 which he says was a career low, Liaw believes that “the environment right now is healthy.” He’s optimistic that the coming years will be a better time for venture investing.

He expects to collaborate with the largest venture fund, SoftBank, which he hopes will make it easier for companies to raise capital. He’s not too worried about this potentially driving up valuations or delaying IPOs because he takes a long-term view.

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