Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Better Times for VCs? Redpoint Raises $400 Million Fund Focused on Social, Mobile, Cloud and Clean.

Redpoint Ventures announced that it had closed a new $400 million fund to invest in early-stage start-ups in the “social and mobile Internet, cloud computing and clean technology spaces.”

The last fund that the Menlo Park, Calif.-based venture firm raised was $250 million in March 2007. It was called Redpoint Omega and aimed at later-stage start-ups.

The last early-stage fund, Redpoint III, was in February 2007, and was also $400 million.

While Redpoint’s new fund size did not increase, as they often do, is today’s closing a sign that things are looking up for the venture business–especially in Silicon Valley after one of the toughest years in a dozen, with the amount VCs made in 2009 dropping 37 percent, according to a recent report?

Who knows–but here’s the skinny on the Redpoint IV fund:

Redpoint Ventures Forms $400 Million Fund for Social and Mobile Internet, Cloud Computing and Clean Technology

Redpoint Portfolio Exits Total Nearly $2B in Aggregate Market Value in Past Six Months

Menlo Park, CA, February 9, 2010–Redpoint Ventures today announced that it has closed Redpoint IV, a $400 million early stage, venture capital fund. Redpoint IV will be used to back entrepreneurs and companies that will accelerate innovation in the social and mobile Internet, cloud computing and clean technology spaces. In the past six months, Redpoint entrepreneurs have realized significant liquidity, totaling nearly $2B in aggregate market value including: the IPO of Fortinet, and the acquisitions of LifeSize, WiChorus, Networks in Motion, and Kazeon. Additionally, portfolio companies Calix and Solyndra have filed for their IPO.

“This latest Redpoint fund will help entrepreneurs fulfill their dreams in a world of promising opportunity, and signals an exciting period for early stage investing over the next five years,” said Geoff Yang, founding partner of Redpoint Ventures. “We continue to find entrepreneurs who have brilliant ideas and an increasingly strong desire to change the world. We are committed to invest in those entrepreneurs, to stand behind their ideas and to help them achieve their goals.”

Redpoint’s mission from the start has been to stand behind entrepreneurs to build businesses that shape the future. Redpoint’s collective strength and experience as a team has produced strong results investing in companies such as Danger, Fortinet, HomeAway, MySpace, LifeSize, RightMedia, and Zimbra. Redpoint has also invested in emerging leaders including: 2tor, Answers, BlueKai, Clearwell, Envia, Gaia Online, Heroku, Jumptap, and Scribd.

“As the worldwide leader of online vacation rental listing, our goal is to become a well-known alternative to hotels for vacation travelers. HomeAway represents nearly 430,000 vacation rental home listings across more than 120 countries,” said Brian Sharples, CEO of HomeAway.com. “Redpoint, as our earliest investor, has helped support and guide the company since the beginning.”

“We had a vision of democratizing publishing and changing the way people express themselves through the written word, and we sought out investors who are passionate about what we want to achieve,” said Trip Adler, CEO of Scribd, the largest social publishing company in the world. “The Redpoint team stands behind what we are trying to accomplish and has been an invaluable source of advice about how best to navigate the evolution of our business and our industry.” Scribd currently hosts more than 10 million documents read by tens of millions of readers each month.

“We are highly selective about how we invest in this current economic climate and only choose partners that are in a position to help accelerate game-changing companies,” said Fred Giuffrida, Managing Director of Horsley Bridge Partners. “Redpoint has a proven history of identifying and enabling disruptive technologies that have a lasting impact on the world.”

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There’s a lot of attention and PR around Marissa, but their product lineup just kind of blows.

— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google