Twitter-backer Benchmark Capital raises new venture fund


By Sarah McBride

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Benchmark Capital, thefirm behind companies ranging from eBay to Twitter, israising a new venture fund, according to a person familiar withthe situation.

The fund will be about the same size as Benchmark's previousfund, a $425 million vehicle that closed in January 2011, theperson said.

"Benchmark is committed to maintaining a laser focus onearly-stage investing," said general partner Bill Gurley in anemailed statement to Reuters. "We maintain a consistent andintentionally limited fund size, which is best managed throughlong-term relationships with a limited number of limitedpartners. Given this structure, the actual beginning and end ofa specific fund is not a noteworthy event."

Investors consider Benchmark one of the top-performingventure firms, on par with bigger players such as GreylockPartners and Sequoia Capital, which have each raised more than$1 billion this year. Venture firms generally do not disclosetheir performance to the public.

Benchmark was a relatively early investor in Twitter,backing the nascent message service in 2009. It holds 6.6percent of the company, which is expected to hold its initialpublic offering next week. The IPO is expected to value Twitterat up to $11 billion.

Benchmark's other investments include transportation serviceUber, review service Yelp, and real-estate serviceZillow.

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