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NEA closes on more than USD3.1bn In committed capital

Global venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates has closed its fifteenth fund with USD2.8 billion in committed capital to its core fund, as well as an additional USD350 million for its NEA 15 Opportunity Fund. 

With commitments totalling more than USD3.1 billion, this fundraising brings the firm's cumulative committed capital since inception to nearly USD17 billion.

"Like our industry, much has changed since NEA's founding nearly 40 years ago," says Peter Barris, Managing General Partner. "We have grown from a trio of founders with a USD16 million fund to more than two dozen partners deploying multi-billion-dollar funds across five continents. Yet some things are constant – like the steady march of innovation, the indomitable spirit of entrepreneurs, and the unwavering support of our limited partners.

"I'm profoundly grateful for our limited partners' commitment to our asset class and confidence in NEA's diversified, global model. Without them, we couldn't get up and do the jobs we love every day."

Barris joined the firm in 1992 and has served as NEA's Managing General Partner over the last seven funds. He has personally led investments in over two dozen technology companies that have successfully completed public offerings or mergers. Under his leadership, the firm pioneered venture capital "at scale" with its large diversified funds, dynamically allocated fund structure, and global expansion.

In conjunction with these new funds, Scott Sandell has been appointed Managing General Partner alongside Barris. Since joining NEA in 1996, Sandell has led investments in industry-transforming companies, serving on the boards of Bloom Energy, Data Domain, Fusion-io, Spreadtrum Communications, Tableau Software, WebEx, and Workday among others. He is head of the firm's technology practice and leads NEA's investing activities in China.

"Venture capital plays an intrinsic and increasingly critical role in the innovation ecosystem," says Sandell. "It's true that it's never been cheaper to start a business—but it's also never been more important to scale quickly. To do this, companies need capital and they need partners who can meaningfully help them. As we begin to deploy capital from this new fund, we're tremendously excited to help fuel the growth of new market leaders during what we believe is a time of unprecedented innovation and opportunity."

The new core fund marks NEA's fourth consecutive USD2.5-billion-plus venture fund, a reflection of the firm's scale and increasingly global focus. The Opportunity Fund is a new co-investment venture vehicle created to enhance the firm's core fund strategy. Investments will be made alongside new or follow-on venture growth equity deals, where the anticipated total check size exceeds the typical amount invested by the core investment fund.

"As a growing number of companies are scaling faster but staying private longer, large venture growth rounds are increasingly prevalent," says Sandell. "Occasionally we would like to put more dollars to work in these later-stage financings while maintaining diversification within our core fund. The Opportunity Fund also affords the limited partners of the Opportunity Fund increased access to select later-stage rounds."

NEA will continue to execute on a diversified venture strategy across the technology and healthcare sectors, investing in companies at all stages of growth. Within the information technology sector, areas of particular interest include software and services, enterprise systems and consumer technology. The firm's healthcare investing strategy continues to focus on opportunities in the biopharma, healthcare services and medical device sectors.

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