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Sapphire Ventures Joins the $1 Billion Club

Set of blue sapphiresSet of blue sapphires

Silicon Valley-based Sapphire Ventures, which invests in both startups and other venture capital funds, on Wednesday announced that it has raised $1 billion for its latest fund.

All of the money comes from German software company SAP AG (SAP), from which Sapphire spun out as an independent entity back in 2011.

A bit over half of the capital will be used for direct investments, with Sapphire focusing on Series B through pre-IPO rounds in technology startups. The remainder will be used to invest in other VC funds—via a separate, more “evergreen” structure—with a particular focus on early-stage and geographically-focused platforms.

“Our investment strategy is to focus on expansion and later-stage companies, but we wanted more exposure to venture across all stages and a broader footprint without opening offices all over the world,” says Nino Marakovic, CEO and managing director of Sapphire Ventures. “So that’s why we effectively outsource that to best-of-breed early-stage partners who might have specific geographic or domain expertise.”

Marakovic adds that Sapphire had originally intended to bring in non-SAP investors since the original spin-out, but the software giant “is always good for the whole thing.”

Past portfolio companies have included Apigee (just acquired by Google), Box (BOX), Fitbit (FIT), and Square (SQ). Its prior fund came in at just over $900 million ($651 million of which was for direct investments).