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Institutional investors driving return of billion-dollar funds
October 21, 2005
By Mark Calvey

The billion-dollar venture fund is making a comeback.

"I know of at least five firms planning to raise billion-dollar funds next year," said Vincent Occhipinti, co-founder and managing director of the Woodside Fund in Redwood Shores.

The return to the big funds is driven by institutional investors eager to boost their exposure to venture capital, the increasing number of investment opportunities and, of course, the higher compensation that comes with managing larger pools of money.

But before you leap to the conclusion that Tech Boom Part Two is unfolding, Occhipinti said he believes some hard lessons were learned in the dot-com bust. So he doesn't expect VCs to begin throwing money at startups like it was 1999.

Indeed, don't look for Woodside Fund, an early-stage venture firm founded in 1983, to be among those shooting for the billion-dollar mark. The firm is more comfortable putting its latest fund of $150 million to work.

But Woodside, like many of its venture counterparts, could easily have raised more money in its last fund-raising given the renewed enthusiasm for venture capital among big investors.

"It's such a great asset class," Occhipinti said.




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