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  • Writer's pictureSarah Dixon

Mayfield’s Navin Chaddha Raised Just Under $1 Billion to Avoid Unicorn Status

Serial entrepreneur turned venture capitalist Navin Chaddha’s Silicon Valley-based venture capital (VC) firm Mayfield just launched another two funds, raising just under $1 billion in capital that Mayfield plans to funnel into early-stage investments.

Mayfield famously invested in successful start-ups like Lyft, Marketo and Poshmark and the two latest funds, the $580 million Mayfield XVII and the $375 million Mayfield Select III mark the first funds launched by the firm since March 2020.

The former will invest in seed and series A rounds, while the later will focus on follow-on fund-raising rounds and companies at the Series B stage.

In a statement, Chaddha said that Mayfield’s investment process will remain the same – the VC firm plans to back around 30 start-ups per fund.

Despite the difficult economic backdrop marred by a sharp pullback in valuations from 2021’s highs amid a spike in inflation and an aggressive interest rate tightening cycle from the US Federal Reserve, the pair of funds still closed in less than a month.

Mayfield Avoids Unicorn VC Status

“We could have raised $2 billion, but what will we do if we don’t believe in it — you just need a billion to be called a unicorn VC fund? There’s no such need,” Chaddha told tech news outlet Techcrunch in an interview.

“Everyone wants to be Sequoia or a16z… We want to be who we are: just copying somebody else is strategy for disaster, strategy for failure,” he added.

Still, with now over $3 billion in total assets under management across its portfolio of investment funds, Mayfield arguably already is a Unicorn VC firm.

After completing 26 financing deals in 2021 and a further 23 in 2022, Mayfield plans to continue with a deliberate in 2023.

So far this year, the VC firm has been involved in six deals.

And the firms focus seems to have shifted towards artificial intelligence (AI), with four of its six major investments this year in AI companies.

Indeed, themes Mayfield has explicitly expressed interest in investing in include human-centered AI, semiconductors and cybersecurity.

Now is the Time to Invest, Chaddha Thinks

“History has shown that when public markets are at their peak, venture funds are the worst performing,” Chaddha told Techcrunch.

“When public markets come low, and when you invest over those years — the period we’re in right now — those are the golden years… It’s time to lean forward.”

“We believe that the current economic uncertainty presents an opportunity for the bold and a time to lean forward into the next era of innovation,” Chaddha remarked in a separate statement.

“We are excited about partnering with inception and early-stage founders looking for a people-first investor to build a bright future together”.

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.


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