Silicon Valley venture capital Norwest launches $3 bln fund

Dec 14 (Reuters) - Norwest Venture Partners, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm, on Tuesday said it was launching its 16th and biggest fund with $3 billion under management.

"Valuations have gone up. Check sizes have gone up. I think it gives us the flexibility to participate in any stage and to support our portfolio companies throughout their entire lifecycle," said Norwest partner Parker Barrile about the latest fund that brings the firm's total assets under management to $12.5 billion.

Norwest's multi-billion dollar fund comes in a record year for venture capital investments, with many big private equity funds like Tiger Global Management and Coatue Management becoming active investors in the startup space.

In the first 11 months of this year, U.S. venture capital investments hit a record of about $305 billion, well ahead of the previous record of nearly $167 billion for all of 2020, according to data firm PitchBook.

Globally, the biggest fund launched this year was by Tiger Global at $6.65 billion, according to PitchBook. Counting Norwest's fund, there were five funds of $3 billion or larger launched this year, including one from SoftBank Group Corp (9984.T).

"I think they're very complementary to our model," said Barrile about Tiger and Coatue when asked about competition from the bigger funds.

"We are very hands-on in helping founders ... Tiger coming in with a big slug of capital, that's actually a great recipe to build a big company."

Norwest invests in a broad range of technology startups and has offices in Palo Alto and San Francisco, with subsidiaries in India and Israel.

Reporting By Jane Lanhee Lee; editing by Richard Pullin

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