To slow down? What slowdown? Menlo Ventures pockets $761 million for its biggest opportunity fund – TechCrunch

Startup founders and laid-off tech workers know the 2022 funding downturn all too well, but the boom times aren’t over for everyone. US venture capital firms in particular are amassing more cash than ever, and Menlo Ventures is continuing the trend.

The 46-year-old Bay Area firm, known for its early bets on companies like Uber and Warby Parker, told regulators this week it had secured $761.4 million for its third “special opportunities” fund. It appears to be Menlo’s largest such fund to date.

Menlo didn’t respond to requests for comment on his plan for the money, but an earlier statement offers a clue. When Menlo closed its first special opportunities fund in 2016, the company said it would use the money to support “the most promising entrepreneurs and businesses in the Series B and C stages.”

Opportunity funds and vehicles with the same name can mean different things to different companies, making it difficult to know exactly what Menlo plans to do. SoftBank, for example, launched a $100 million Opportunity Growth Fund in 2020 to “invest exclusively in businesses led by founders and entrepreneurs of color, but that doesn’t appear to be what Menlo is up to. Sure, the company could just reply to my emails, but never mind!

A filing from January says Menlo has already sought to raise $750 million for his third special opportunities fund; it ended up raising about $11 million more, from 29 undisclosed investors, according to the company’s latest filing. The fund marks a 53% jump from Menlo’s previous special opportunities vehicle, which closed at $496.7 million in 2019 and was also oversubscribed. Menlo’s funds are often around $500 million, according to PitchBook data and Securities and Exchange Commission filings. In 2020, the company unveiled its fifteenth seed fund, a vehicle it closed with $500 million in capital commitments.

To date, the venture capital firm has backed hundreds of companies across many industries and stages. Recent deals led by Menlo include a $37 million seed round for Polly, a SaaS startup focused on the mortgage industry, as well as a $19.5 million raise for Eppo, maker of testing tools. software. According to his website, Menlo has backed more than 75 public companies and has a portfolio that includes more than 160 M&A transactions and more than $5 billion under management.

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