DFJ raises $325 million early stage fund; Draper, Fisher step back from investing roles

Silicon Valley venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ) is announcing that is has raised DFJ Venture XI, a $325 million early stage venture capital fund. Notably, two of the firm’s founders, Tim Draper and John Fisher, will not be investing partners for the new fund. They will however continue to remain of the firm’s management committee and are significant investors in DFJ Venture XI in their personal capacities.

Draper and Fisher, who founded DFJ in 1985 with Steve Jurvetson, announced in November that they would be stepping back from their investment roles to focus on other activities. Draper is currently concentrating primarily on Draper University, a mentoring programme for entrepreneurs. He is also working on some ideas related to reinventing the seed funding ecosystem. Fisher, who co-founded the DFJ Growth fund in 2006, will devote his full attention to growth stage investments as a partner on that team, the firm said in a press release.

Subsequent to that development, the firm undertook an organizational restructuring to reflect the changes. This involved the creation of a governing to oversee its network of funds, which includes DFJ’s own funds, partner funds and DFJ Growth. As part of the restructuring, the firm also decided to drop the DFJ brandname from partner funds such as DFJ Mercury, DFJ Athena Korea, DFJ Frontier, DFJ Esprit. Read more on the restructuring in TechCrunch.

DFJ Venture XI, which follows the $350 million DFJ Venture X raised in 2010, will invest in segments such as machine learning, mobile applications, cloud computing, business applications, robotics, satellites, synthetic biology, communications and intelligent devices.

In India, DFJ had a direct presence for seven years before it decided to fold up operations located in Bangalore and Hyderabad in late 2012. The firm’s India managing director Mohanjit Jolly relocated back to Silicon Valley — read our earlier interview with Jolly on DFJ’s changed outlook on India. Sateesh Andra, the firm’s Hyderabad-based venture partner, has moved on to take charge of Ventureast Tenet Fund — more on Andra’s plans for Ventureast. The firm has invested around $70 million across 16 companies here including Komli Media, Cleartrip, Attero Recycling and Canvera.

Since its founding in 1985, DFJ and its network has raised more than $7 billion in fund commitments and invested in over 400 companies across the world.

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