GGV raises a record $2.5 billion across its newest funds
The mega fundraising continues in venture capital.
On Thursday, venture investor GGV Capital announced that it had raised $2.5 billion across four funds—the largest raise in its 20-year history.
The news comes after a blockbuster year for the industry as a whole. While many worried whether the risky asset class would suffer under the pandemic, the coronavirus only served to boost investors’ interest in tech and pushed fundraising for venture capital firms to a record $73.6 billion in 2020, according to PitchBook. And in a boon to funds like that of GGV, investors piled mostly into established managers rather than new and emerging managers, as in-person meetings were scuttled in droves.
With the new funds in play, GGV, which invests predominantly in China and the U.S., says it plans to invest in sectors including consumer and e-commerce, enterprise, mobility, robotics, and education technology. And as companies stay private longer and other megafunds battle for deals, GGV’s investors say they also expect their firm’s larger fundraise to translate into bigger dollars per company.
“You’re seeing a widening of that coverage, going earlier but also more growth,” says Jixun Foo, a managing partner of GGV who counts Grab among his investments. “We will be able to identify the entrepreneur even earlier in the process, and we will also be able to support them longer in their growth trajectory.”
GGV raised about $1.5 billion for its eighth flagship fund focused on growth-stage investments; some $336 million for a fund to top up on those investments; $610 million for early stage investments; and $80 million to invest on behalf of GGV-backed founders.
More recently, GGV has reaped the rewards of a torrid IPO market. Some 11 of its portfolio companies have gone public via either a traditional IPO or a merger with a blank-check company in the past 15 months, including buy-now-pay-later startup Affirm and home-selling company Opendoor. Other investments have included Airbnb, Agora, and Kingsoft.
Having also invested in the $42 billion stationary bike juggernaut, Peloton, GGV managing partner Hans Tung says the firm is also actively looking for the next big consumer brand to emerge out of the new generation of social media apps such as short-form video app, TikTok. GGV isn’t alone in its thesis that livestreaming could be the new way to sell to consumers: Benchmark reportedly won a deal to invest in live-shopping app Popshop last year, valuing the young company at $100 million.
The phrase “the coronavirus has accelerated existing trends” has been beaten to death at this point. So it was hard not to ask, What sector does GGV believe has grown a little too frothy at this point? While GGV does hold a position in cryptocurrency trading platform Coinbase, Tung says he’s grown skeptical of the larger crypto and blockchain ecosystem, at least for now.
“It’s a volatile market,” he says. “We know there will be interesting companies that will get built. We’re just waiting for real world applications to emerge, and we need them to solve real problems.”
More must-read finance coverage from Fortune:
- BlackRock’s Larry Fink to CEOs: Get serious on net-zero targets, or else
- Elon Musk says he “kinda” loves Etsy. Should you buy the stock?
- When will Biden’s $1,400 stimulus check pass? Here’s everything to know
- China’s society is going cashless. Now its central bank is pushing back
- Revolut disrupted banking in Europe—can it do the same in the U.S.?
- Why Mark Zuckerberg’s venture firm just invested millions in a Finnish food delivery startup