| SAN FRANCISCO, June 4
SAN FRANCISCO, June 4 True Ventures said it
raised $290 million for its fourth venture fund amid a climate
of greater optimism for venture capital, which is digging itself
out of an era of low returns and investor discontent.
True specializes in early-stage startups, investing in
companies ranging from Automattic, which is behind online
publisher WordPress, to book-oriented social network Goodreads,
acquired last year by Amazon.Com Inc.
Returns for venture capital are steadily improving, helping
to bolster the sector. Over the 10 years to Dec. 31, venture
capital has returned 9.7 percent annually, compared with 7.4
percent for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, according to a
report from consultancy Cambridge Associates.
Until last year, 10-year venture returns had lagged the
stock market, reports from Cambridge Associates show.
While big venture firms that backed blockbuster companies
such as Facebook Inc did not suffer when raising cash,
smaller firms have had a tougher time in recent years.
A currently hot market for initial public offerings and
acquisitions is now helping. Companies backed with venture cash
held 36 initial public offerings in the first quarter, more than
any quarter in at least five years, the National Venture Capital
Association said in April.
Some 58 venture funds were raised during the first quarter,
10 more than a year earlier, the NVCA said.
True raised a $226 million fund in 2012 and a $213 million
fund in 2008. The firm was founded in 2005 and has about 125
companies in its portfolio, including activity tracker Fitbit
and drone maker 3D Robotics.
(Reporting by Sarah McBride. Editing by Andre Grenon)