Upfront Ventures Secures $177 Million for New Continuation Fund

Upfront Ventures Secures $177 Million for New Continuation Fund

Santa Monica-based venture capital firm Upfront Ventures has raised $176.5 million for a new fund, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

According to the filing, at least a portion of the capital raised for the new fund—called Upfront Continuation Fund I—came from a limited liability company registered by Upfront managing partner Mark Suster and incorporated in early December, per public records.

When venture capital firms raise money from limited partners, those LPs are often looking for a return on their investment within a decade. Continuation funds can enable VCs to hang onto investments for longer periods, while still giving LPs the opportunity to cash out. VCs might do so because they see an opportunity for bigger returns down the road.

In the past decade, many fast-growing companies have opted to stay private for longer periods, to the extent that it’s become a common refrain in Silicon Valley.

Reached via email, Upfront declined to comment on the fund. Founded in 1996, the firm describes itself as “the largest and longest-serving venture capital fund in Los Angeles,” with more than $1 billion invested to date and roughly 50% of its capital poured into Southern California-based tech companies. (Disclosure: Upfront Ventures is an investor in dot.LA.)

Earlier this week, Upfront postponed its annual tech conference from late January to early March, citing the rapid spread of the omicron coronavirus variant. The highly infectious strain is now responsible for more than 95% of new COVID-19 cases in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Ben Bergman

Ben Bergman is the newsroom's senior finance reporter. Previously he was a senior business reporter and host at KPCC, a senior producer at Gimlet Media, a producer at NPR's Morning Edition, and produced two investigative documentaries for KCET. He has been a frequent on-air contributor to business coverage on NPR and Marketplace and has written for The New York Times and Columbia Journalism Review. Ben was a 2017-2018 Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economic and Business Journalism at Columbia Business School. In his free time, he enjoys skiing, playing poker, and cheering on The Seattle Seahawks.

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