US-based 500 Startups closes largest fund to date
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US-based 500 Startups closes largest fund to date

US-based 500 Startups closes largest fund to date

Firm expands strategy beyond accelerator and seed investments, doubles down on global thesis

Divsha Bhat

500 Startups has announced the closure of a $140m global fund, the firm’s largest to date, bringing total assets under management to $1.8bn. The business, now renamed as 500 Global, has expanded its investing approach beyond the accelerator and seed stage.

500 Global’s first global fund is a top decile performance with a net TVPI of 11x. Overall, the firm’s portfolio has yielded 33 businesses valued at more than $1bn and more than 120 companies valued at more than $100m, including Talkdesk, Canva, Bukalapak, Grab, Shippo, and others. 500 Global has invested in over 6,000 entrepreneurs in 77 countries.

“From the very beginning, our mission and investment thesis were anchored in the conviction that exceptional founders exist in all corners of the world. That led us to start investing in companies not just in Silicon Valley, but also in Latin America and East Asia in 2011, the Middle East in 2012, Africa in 2013, and Southeast Asia in 2014. That early conviction has resulted in an expansive, diversified global portfolio across many countries, sectors, and stages, with 46 per cent of the companies based outside of the U.S.,” says Christine Tsai, CEO and founding partner of 500 Global.

In expanding its investment strategy, 500 Global will continue to invest at the accelerator and seed stage as well as the later stages of a company’s growth. The firm has already begun to write larger investments into companies, leading or co-leading fundraising rounds, as well as offering later stage co-investment opportunities to limited partners.

“Today, global startup ecosystems are developing at a pace that has never been seen before. As venture capital continues to globalise and the percentage of unicorns from outside the U.S. increases further, 500 Global is uniquely positioned with deep expertise and a strong track record of investing in markets around the world. We’re excited to expand our scope to back even more founders globally, from first check to last. Our new brand reflects this vision,” adds Tsai.

Earlier this year, the Middle East’s largest online eyewear retailer, eyewa, raised $21m as part of its Series B funding round. The round, which was co-led by Kingsway and Nuwa Capital, saw participation from French Partners, Endeavor Catalyst, Derayah, Palm Drive, and Hardy Capital too.

Read: UAE startup eyewa raises $21m in Series B funding round

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