Norwest Venture Partners raises $1.5b for its largest-ever fund

Jeff Crowe, Managing Partner, Norwest Venture Partners

Silicon Valley firm Norwest Venture Partners has raised its largest fund to date, a $1.5 billion pool of money, joining a wave of record fundraising as venture firms jockey for deals in the competitive field of startup investing.

The new fund, announced Wednesday, comes just two years after Norwest raised a $1.2 billion fund, which was at that time the firm’s largest. Norwest Venture Partners was founded in 1961 and is on its 14th fund.

The firm plans to back startups creating technology to transform the real estate, insurance, ecommerce and medical device industries. Wells Fargo & Co is a major investor in Norwest’s fund.

The rapid pace of funding reflects both robust interest in technology startups and the growing size of investments commanded by companies that are staying private longer.

“The pace of innovation has not slowed down,” said Jeff Crowe, Norwest’s managing partner. “Meanwhile, the deal size is larger.”

Last year, venture capital firms raised more than $32 billion, with nearly $7 billion of that going to funds larger than $1 billion.

While fundraising is down from its peak in 2016, there remains a large supply of eager investors such as family offices and sovereign wealth funds. Fewer venture firms, just 14 percent, missed their fundraising target last year than in any previous year, according to data firm PitchBook Inc.

The average size of U.S. venture funds is at its highest since 2011, according to the data.

Norwest’s investments include health care technology firms, software startups and consumer businesses such as Uber Technologies Inc and Spotify. In the last two years, it made 130 investments, and roughly two dozen of its startups got acquired and five went public.

Crowe said the recent stock market correction has not rattled him.

“Mankind has always had financial cycles and we will have financial cycles both in the public and private markets,” he said. “Things do not go up and to the right forever.”

Reuters

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.