Venture Capital Giant NEA Exploring Minority Stake Sale

New Enterprise Associates Inc., one of the world’s largest venture capital firms, is in talks to sell a minority stake in itself, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The Silicon Valley firm has held discussions with several potential investors, said the people, who requested anonymity because the talks are private. No deal has been reached, and it’s possible one won’t materialize. Representatives for NEA didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

NEA has raised almost $24 billion to invest since its founding in 1977 by Dick Kramlich, Chuck Newhall and Frank Bonsal. The Menlo Park, California-based firm has made an eclectic mix of investments over the years, which include BuzzFeed Inc., Robinhood Markets Inc., Workday Inc. and Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop Inc. Some 230 of NEA’s more than 500 portfolio companies have pursued initial public offerings, according to the firm’s website.

Venture capital firms -- like private equity firms -- are typically held as investment partnerships, and they raise pools of capital to invest from so-called limited partners such as pension funds, family offices and sovereign wealth funds. But as more buyout shops sell minority stakes to firms including Blackstone Group Inc., Neuberger Berman’s Dyal Capital Partners and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s Petershill, it’s possible that venture capital firms may follow. Already, VC firm General Catalyst sold a minority stake in itself to Petershill in 2018.

NEA is led by Scott Sandell, the managing general partner who joined in 1996. In March, the firm said it raised $3.6 billion for its largest fund yet.

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