Institutional Venture Partners, which announced the close of its 15th fund at $1.4 billion, said it plans to maintain its investment pace of 12 to 15 new deals a year despite record-high valuations of venture-backed companies, Russ Garland reports for Dow Jones VentureWire. IVP says it plans to invest a little bit early in companies. To do so, it is working closely with a select group of early-stage firms, and IVP will provide the firms’ portfolio companies with growth capital. “We’re trying to build companies before they turn into unicorns,” General Partner Todd Chaffee said. The fund is the largest that the firm has raised. Its prior fund, which it closed in 2012, was $1 billion.
ALSO IN TODAY’S VENTUREWIRE (subscription required):
Rock Health, formerly an accelerator program and now a prolific seed investor in digital-health startups, is formally announcing its New York presence three new investments in East Coast companies: 1DocWay, Arsenal Health and Caeden.
SimplyInsured, a Y Combinator graduate that matches small businesses with health insurance plans via an online platform, has raised $1.75 million in seed funding. The funding was provided by Altair.vc, Starling Capital and Y Combinator.
CompareAsiaGroup, a provider of financial-comparison websites, has raised $40 million from a group of investors led by Goldman Sachs Investment Partners.
Photobucket, a photo site, made an all-stock purchase of social video platform Milyoni. The deal comes just a month after photobucket’s cash purchase of mobile photo chat site Lasso Media.
(VentureWire is a daily newsletter with comprehensive analysis of all the investments, deals and personnel moves involving startups and their venture backers. For a two-week trial, visit http://on.wsj.com/DJPEVCNews, scroll to the bottom and click “try for free.”)
ELSEWHERE AROUND THE WEB:
Kleiner Perkins is Seeking Nearly $1 Million in Legal Fees from Ellen Pao. The venture firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is seeking $972,814 in legal costs from Ellen Pao, the former partner who recently lost a high-profile sex-discrimination case against the firm, The Wall Street Journal’s Deborah Gage and Jeff Elder report. The filing also revealed that Kleiner Perkins had offered to settle the case before it went to trial, offering Ms. Pao almost $1 million. Kleiner Perkins said it would waive its attempt to recover the legal costs if Ms. Pao agrees not to pursue an appeal in her case. A spokeswoman for Ms. Pao said she is “considering the proposal.”
Funding Circle Valued at More Than $1 Billion in New Funding Round. The online lender Funding Circle was valued at more than $1 billion in a funding round, the WSJ’s Lora Kolodny and Anna Irrera report. The London-based company, which has a significant presence in the U.S., raised $150 million in a round that include DST Global; Baillie Gifford, a fund managed by BlackRock; Sands Capital Ventures; and Temasek Holdings.
StubHub Marketing Chief Departs for Food-Commerce Startup NatureBox. Subscription food-commerce startup NatureBox has hired Ray Elias as its new chief marketing officer, the WSJ’s Lora Kolodny reports. The startup hired Mr. Elias away from StubHub, the online ticket reseller owned by eBay.
China’s Xiaomi Unveils Mi 4i Smartphone in India. The smartphone maker Xiaomi is launching its first phone in India, seeking to replicate the success it has had in China, the WSJ’s Eva Dou and Sean McLain report. The company, already one of the most valuable privately held companies in the world, said it has high hopes for India since the country has vats numbers of price-conscious smartphone shoppers.