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DFJ Growth, an early investor in Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA) and business-software maker Yammer Inc., is seeking to raise as much as $450 million for its second technology fund, said two people with knowledge of the plan.
The firm, based in Menlo Park, California, is soliciting capital starting this month and plans to raise at least $350 million, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. The previous fund gathered $290 million in 2007.
DFJ Growth has invested in companies including Tesla, which sold shares to the public in 2010, and AdMob Inc., which was bought by Google Inc. the previous year. The firm, which is also a backer of BrightSource Energy Inc. and Silver Spring Networks Inc., expects to exit two to four additional investments over the next 18 months, it said in an e-mail to investors, a copy of which was obtained by Bloomberg News.
DFJ Growth is among a number of venture firms planning to raise money following the biggest year for Internet initial public offerings in more than a decade. Institutional Venture Partners is seeking as much as $1 billion for its next fund and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (ZZISK) will start fundraising in April for an early-stage fund that will take stakes in technology companies, among others. Both firms are based in Menlo Park.
Jessica De Cossio, a spokeswoman for DFJ Growth, said in an e-mailed statement that the firm doesn’t discuss fundraising.
The fund has four managing directors, including former AOL Chief Executive Officer Barry Schuler, and two other investment professionals. It was founded in 2006, and is part of the Draper Fisher Jurvetson family of funds. The parent firm has been investing in technology startups for more than 25 years.
DFJ Growth’s 2007 fund has produced a gross internal rate of return of 25 percent, said one of the people familiar with the firm. More than 20 percent of capital has been returned to investors, according to the e-mail. Other investments include solar panel installer SolarCity Corp., business-software provider Box and blogging service Tumblr Inc.
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