Venture Capitalism

FirstMark Capital Quietly Announces $225 M. Oversubscribed Early Stage Fund

screen shot 2011 12 16 at 11 14 02 am FirstMark Capital Quietly Announces $225 M. Oversubscribed Early Stage Fund

Managing Director Lawrence Lenihan (via firstmarkcap.com)

Guess nobody polled FirstMark Capital for that recent survey about pessimism around the venture capital market for 2012. While their peers report dwindling faith in their ability to raise funds to invest, FirstMark reported yesterday that it had closed an oversubscribed $225 million early-stage fund.

Perhaps that’s why the New York-based venture capital firm opted for a subtle announcement: a blog post that, by the looks of it, has only been picked up by the New York Post and the Dow Jones Wire.

The new fund, called FirstMark V, is larger than the firm’s previous $200 million fund, which boasted a big exit with Riot Games, sold to the Chinese firm Tencent this year for $400 million. Judging by some of the other promising companies in the fund like SecondMarket and Knewton, there’s likely to be more good news of the way for FirstMark.

Pinterest, for example, which is hot on Tumblr’s heels and already cozy with brands like Nordstrom and the Travel Channel, recently closed a $25 million round from Andreessen Horowitz at a $200 million valuation. ($200 million valuations for early stage companies seem to be something of an Andreessen Horowitz specialty.)

According to DowJones:

“The new fund will operate under the same investment thesis–it will be the first money into companies working on the application layer of the Internet, and usually companies with a New York connection. The fund will be managed by the same team, which consists of four managing directors and five venture partners.”

FirstMark V has already made five investments: Greenphire (e-payments), LollyWollyDoodle (personalized kids clothing), NewsCred (a premium newswire), Dashlane (an app that improves speed and security online) and Meteor.

In the fund announcement, FirstMark waived its Silicon Alley flag high:

“We will also continue our tireless support of the NYC ecosystem. We think it’s one of the best places in the world to build a company and getting stronger each day due to the efforts of many of you. This year, we co-chaired the Ingenuity conference to showcase the best companies in NYC, successfully helped launch the NYC Turing Fellows to bring more engineers to the City, taught and encouraged NYU undergrads to become entrepreneurs and join startups, invested in and mentored at TechStars, spoke and spent time at General Assembly, sponsored numerous conferences and events, and tried to make a real impact in building a vibrant local community. We will continue the mission!”

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