Startup founders and laid-off tech workers know all too well about the funding slowdown of 2022, but the boom is not over for everyone. US venture capital firms in particular are amassing more money than ever, and Menlo Ventures is continuing this trend.
The 46-year-old Bay Area company, known for its early betting on companies like Uber and Warby Parker, told regulators this week it secured $761.4 million for its third “special opportunities” fund. It appears to be Menlo’s largest such fund to date.
Menlo did not respond to requests for comment on his plan for the money, but an earlier statement offers a hint. When Menlo closed its first special opportunity fund in 2016, said it would use the money to support the “most promising entrepreneurs and companies in the Series B and C phases.”
Opportunity funds and vehicles of the same name can mean different things to different companies, making it difficult to know exactly what Menlo plans to do. For example, SoftBank launched a $100 million opportunity growth fund in 2020 to exclusively “invest in companies led by founders and entrepreneurs of color,” but that doesn’t seem to be what Menlo is planning. Sure, the company could just reply to my emails, but that doesn’t matter!
A January submission notes that Menlo once wanted to raise $750 million for his third special opportunity 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 on $496.7 million in 2019 and was also oversubscribed. Menlo’s funds often come in at about $500 million, per PitchBook Data and filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In 2020, the company unveiled its fifteenth early-stage fund, a vehicle it closed with $500 million in capital commitments.
To date, the venture firm has supported hundreds of companies across numerous sectors and stages. Recent Menlo-led deals include a $37 million round for Polly, a SaaS startup focused on the mortgage industry, as well as a $19.5 million raise for software testing tools maker Eppo. according to his websiteMenlo has backed more than 75 publicly traded companies and has a portfolio of more than 160 mergers and acquisitions and more than $5 billion under management.