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Greylock Partners Raises $1 Billion for Venture Capital Fund

Katie Roof

(Bloomberg) -- Greylock Partners, an early investor in Facebook Inc. and LinkedIn Corp., has raised $1 billion for its its sixteenth fund.

The veteran venture firm last raised a fund of the same size in 2016. Greylock expects to generate new returns from initial public offerings of some of its portfolio companies like home-rental giant Airbnb Inc. and enterprise software company Sumo Logic Inc. Greylock helped form Sumo Logic, which goes public later this week.

Greylock plans to remain focused on seed and Series A investments, but will also be making growth-stage investments with the new fund, its partners said in an interview.

The firm will continue to invest in both enterprise-focused and consumer-facing businesses.

Airbnb is gearing up to IPO this year despite a challenging year for the travel industry. Reid Hoffman, a partner at Greylock and co-founder at LinkedIn, said in an interview that Airbnb could go public at any time if investors take a long-term view because he expects it to be transforming the lodging industry for decades.

Greylock is also a shareholder in TikTok Inc.-owner Bytedance Inc. through its investment in Musical.ly, which was sold to the Chinese technology company.

In a separate interview with Bloomberg TV Tuesday, Hoffman, who also sits on the board of Microsoft Corp., said that Bytedance’s recent saga with the Trump administration was a sign that Chinese technology companies are more competitive than ever. However, he disagreed with the current U.S. approach, saying that “building bridges versus walls” would be better for business.

Unicorns

Despite the shift to work from home, the firm is making new investments at a rapid clip, said Asheem Chandna, a Greylock partner. “Financings are in full swing,” he said. “In many cases, we’re making investments with people where we’ve never met them in person.”

He also sees no end in sight to the growing sea of unicorns. “Valuations are as strong as they’ve ever been. Some of this is clearly driven by the public markets,” Chandna said.

Greylock is also an investor in chat tool Discord Inc. and social media business Nextdoor.com Inc., which are both valued at more than $1 billion.

Greylock’s limited partners include diversity focused organizations like Management Leadership for Tomorrow, as well as institutions like Princeton University.

Andy Golden, who manages Princeton University’s endowment, said that he remains bullish about Greylock and the broader investor industry. Despite the high valuations, today’s products and startup teams are much better than in the dot-com bubble, he said. “This does not feel anything remotely like 1999,” Golden said.

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