DFJ, the 31-year-old, Sand Hill Road venture firm, is announcing a new, $350 million fund this morning — the firm’s 12th early-stage vehicle.
We chatted with managing director Josh Stein yesterday about the effort, which he says took about two months from start to finish.
The biggest takeaway: Expect more of the same from the firm, which typically plugs between $10 million and $15 million into its startups; has six investment partners, including firm cofounder Steve Jurvetson; and has become known, largely owing to Jurvetson’s bets, as an outfit willing to gamble on companies that are little out there — sometimes literally.
Among the firm’s many Jurvetson-led investments: the rocket company SpaceX, the satellite company Planet Labs, and the electric car company Tesla Motors. Indeed, Jurvetson accepted a Crunchie award on behalf of SpaceX at last night’s Crunchies awards ceremony. The company won for the category of best technology achievement for its two-stage rocket, the Falcon 9, which was designed to transport satellites and SpaceX’s own Dragon spacecraft into orbit.
Stein wouldn’t talk yesterday about the internal rate of return of any of the firm’s previous funds. He did say DFJ’s last fund — a $325 million vehicle closed exactly two years ago — has backed an as-yet-undisclosed autonomous transportation startup that “we think could be the biggest company we’ve ever been involved with.”