One of the largest venture capital players in the world, New Enterprise Associates (NEA), has raised $3.51 billion for two new “opportunities” funds, with as much as $900 million possibly becoming invested in the biotech sector, BioScience.com notes.
The two new NEA vehicles surpass the industry standard setting $3 billion fund that Technology Crossover Ventures created in 2007, which had been the largest ever created, according to industry tracker Dow Jones VentureSource. NEA is based in VC-rich Menlo Park, Calif., and Washington, D.C., with other offices in Boston, New York, India and China.
As for its possible bets on life sciences, the company has made its commitment to healthcare clear. The former head of MedImmune (AZN), David Mott, is very involved at NEA, and has told the media in the past that NEA generally invests about 30 to 40 percent of every new fund in healthcare—more specifically biopharma, which gets approximately 75 percent of those investments.
With the NASDAQ Biotech Index up 66 percent year-over-year, investors have been eager to get in at the ground floor, and NEA’s new fund could be perfect for that. Certainly its other biotech heavy-hitters, well-known investor Carol Gallagher, and former research head for Bristol-Myers Squibb Elliott Sigal, will think so.
This is the first time the NEA also has raised a co-investment fund of $350 million that will function as an auxiliary to existing funds.
Peter Barris, NEA’s managing general partner, said NEA will continue its existing strategy of investing at every stage in the life cycle of start-ups, from the very first seed rounds to even exit or IPO strategies.