Norwest announces a $3 billion fund, about a quarter of the total money the company has ever raised

Norwest Venture Partners, a 60-year-old venture and growth equity firm financed entirely by Wells Fargo, announced the launch of its sixteenth fund, its largest to date at $3 billion.

It’s easy to dismiss the development, but this new pool raises Norwest’s total assets to $12.5 billion over the years. To put it another way, even though massive fund announcements have become commonplace, this one is a significant event and yet another sign that the market is very different now than it was even five years ago.

Norwest’s team may brag about a lot of hits as well. Almost 30 of Norwest’s earlier bets have “expired” in some way over the last couple of years while it was busy deploying its previous fund, a $2 billion pool that it closed in 2019 and used to support about 60 enterprises.

According to Crunchbase records, Shape Security’s security firm sold to the application delivery business F5 for $1 billion in late 2019 after raising $183 million in funding. As per Crunchbase, Aporeto, a machine identity-based micro-segmentation firm, sold to Palo Alto Networks in 2019 for $150 million in cash after earning roughly $35 million from investors. In the meantime, a third portfolio business, Galvanize, a Canadian risk and compliance software developer, was sold to corporate governance software maker Diligent for a reported $1 billion. Norwest sponsored a $50 million round of fundraising for Galvanize.

“Wells gives us a competitive advantage, but our relationship with Wells is really an arm’s length relationship. We have complete investment authority and autonomy over our investment processes,”

Lisa Wu, a longtime partner
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