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AngelList gets institutionalized

AngelList, venture capital, Naval RavikantAngelList, venture capital, Naval Ravikant
AngelList CEO Naval RavikantPhotograph by Rebecca Greenfield for Fortune

Naval Ravikant is finally living his dream.

For more than a year, the AngelList founder and CEO has been trying to persuade institutional money managers to participate on his popular crowdfunding platform, which so far has helped facilitate $205 million in investment for 650 seed-stage companies. Find a great startup job, invest in a startup or raise money.

There have been some small successes, like $25 million in commitments to Maiden Lane, a quasi-independent fund that primarily backs companies via AngelList’s syndicates program, which allows well-known individual investors to create pools of committed capital that gets invested on a deal-by-deal basis. But for all of his meetings — including trips to Wall Street — Ravikant still couldn’t tap the deepest purses.

Until now. AngelList this morning announced that Chinese private equity firm CSC Group has committed $400 million to a new $450 million fund that will both back existing syndicates and help activate new ones. The fund, called Upshot, is believed to be the largest-ever investment vehicle dedicated to seed-stage investing.

“Yes, it’s large but this is something we expect will last for four years,” Ravikant explains. “And what it really does is allow us to participate in follow-on rounds for these companies, which is something the syndicates usually can’t do because they’re too small.”

Upshot will be based in the Bay Area, and led by: Veronica Wu, former head of Tesla Motors (TSLA) in China and Apple’s (AAPL) former managing director of education and enterprise in Greater China; and Huoy-Ming Yeh, a former managing director with Silicon Valley Bank and co-founder of PacRim Venture Partners.

Also involved will be CSC’s Tom Cole, a former general partner with Trinity Ventures.

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