Icon Ventures raises its biggest fund ever, though just by a smidgen

Connie Loizos
Funds have been ballooning in size as more money continues to flood into Silicon Valley, looking for higher returns than be found elsewhere.

Funds have been ballooning in size as more money continues to flood into Silicon Valley, looking for higher returns than be found elsewhere. VCs also like raising progressively bigger funds because doing so gives them bragging rights. In fact, over the last 24 months, the narrative has been much the same. So-and-so team has raised more money than ever before.

Some of these so-and-sos have included Accel Partners, which raised a record $2 billion last year; Canaan Partners, which raised a record $800 million in July; and Institutional Venture Partners, which closed its biggest fund yet last month with $1.5 billion.

Now Icon Ventures, a 14-year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based venture capital firm, has closed its sixth fund with $265 million in commitments — its largest fund to date, if just by a smidgen, having closed it last fund with $260 million in 2014.

Some profitable bets surely helped. Icon began helping to fund the cybersecurity company FIreEye at its Series B round; the company went on to raise three more rounds of funding before going public in 2013. It has performed solidly, if not spectacularly, since. Its shares debuted at $36 apiece; they currently trade at $17 per share, giving the company a market cap of roughly $3.2 billion.

Icon also invested in the network security firm Palo Alto Networks, which has soared as a publicly traded company. When it IPO'd in 2012, its shares debuted at $42 apiece. Today, its shares trade at $147 dollars, and the company is valued at $13.7 billion

As part of its new fund, the firm -- which prefers to lead funding rounds of as much as $30 million -- is also opening up an office in San Francisco's South Park, where a growing number of venture firms have also set up shop.

Among the many others now located around or within spitting distance of the the tree-lined, oval park, are True Ventures, Accel Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Norwest Venture Partners, and General Catalyst Partners.