The Download: New Enterprise Associates closes $2.6B fund

Investment firm New Enterprise Associates closed on one of its largest rounds in history last week, filling its coffers with $2.6 billion that will be invested over time in information technology, energy and health care firms.

Partner Tom Grossi said the fund doesn’t carry restrictions in terms of how much money can be poured into any one company or sector, an investment strategy that mirrors other funds NEA has raised in recent years.

“We have the flexibility to respond to the market,” Grossi said. “So if a company is fortunate enough to be accelerating more rapidly than we expected, we don’t want to be bumping up against artificial limits in terms of how much capital we can provide to them.”

So what are the hot investment opportunities? Grossi said investors’ fixation on mobile technology and cloud computing will hold strong as those trends continue to grow and impact a range of sectors from retail to banking to communication.

And those deals may not be concentrated in Silicon Valley or New York. Though Washington was once viewed solely as a hub of security and software firms, Grossi said the region has become “a microcosm of the rest of the country.”

Indeed, the Chevy Chase-based firm has a tendency to invest in its own backyard. It counts event management software firm Cvent, social media tracker NewBrandAnalytics and open-source software provider Sonatype among its portfolio companies.

“To an extent I think we’re starting to see that the geographic barriers are breaking down and you can start a company pretty much anywhere,” Grossi said. “That’s a great thing for this area because we do have a highly educated workforce and technical talent.

“I think we’re in a very good position to be an engine of the technology industry going forward.”

Sound the alarm

Vienna-based Alarm.com landed $136 million in venture capital from Technology Crossover Ventures, the firm announced last week, though executives are staying mum about how they plan to use the capital.

Alarm.com provides home and business security systems that can be accessed remotely from computers and mobile phones. TCV General Partner Tim McAdam will join the firm’s board.

overlys@washpost.com

Steven Overly covers the business of technology, biotechnology and venture capital in the Washington region for The Washington Post and its weekly Capital Business publication. In that capacity, he has written about start-up struggles, investment trends and major drug discoveries.
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