Earlier this month, I joked that if a pre-IPO company raises big funding but only refers to its lead backer as a “Boston-based institution,” it’s almost certainly referring to Fidelity Investments. But that may have been a bit too simplistic. The company also may be referring to Wellington Management, the 86 year-old firm that has more than $900 billion in assets under management.
To date, Wellington has participated in big funding rounds for private companies like Adaptimmune, Docusign, Honest Co., Lookout, Nutanix, Veracode and Uber.
My assumption was that it farmed out pieces of each investment to various mutual funds, much like Fidelity does. But multiple sources say that Wellington recently decided to raise a dedicated fund for such deals, sized at around $500 million. It’s unclear if Wellington went to traditional limited partners in the venture capital space (i.e., college endowments, pension funds, etc.) or if it marketed to existing Wellington clients. There has not yet been an identifiable SEC filing about the fund, which could mean it is not entirely closed.
Per usual, Wellington declined to comment, confirm or deny.