Kevin Dowd November 15, 2016
KKR has raised about $688 million for its first Next Generation Technology Growth Fund, including parallel vehicles and contributions from the firm’s affiliates, according to an SEC filing. Outside investors committed just over $449 million to the primary fund. That breakdown jibes with an earlier Fortune report on the vehicle, which indicated KKR would chip in upward of $200 million of its own cash.
The fund is the latest step in the buyout behemoth’s gradual entry into the tech startup sphere. While the firm has long conducted tech buyouts via its Accel-KKR partnership, an interest in earlier-stage deals is more recent. Within the past year alone, KKR has participated in a $100 million round for cybersecurity startup Cylance, led a $65 million round for another cybersecurity business, Darktrace, and participated in smaller venture rounds for companies like Spirox and Jitterbit.
The firm’s new growth fund will be led by KKR’s technology, media and telecommunications team, will participate in both majority and minority deals, and will seek to make investments of between $25 million and $80 million, according to the Financial News.
With the vehicle, KKR joins a growing trend of buyout shops raising large pools of capital dedicated to tech-focused growth investments. In May, EQT Partners raised €566 million to invest in tech companies with its first EQT Ventures Fund. And in February, CVC Capital Partners closed its maiden growth fund on €1 billion.
As those last two names indicate, this sort of investment flexibility—a buyout firm that also invests in companies at earlier stages—is perhaps more common in Europe than the US. One longtime practitioner of the strategy is Ardian, the Paris-based firm that closed its fourth Expansion Fund in June on an even €1 billion, a pool of capital that will fund taking both minority and majority stakes of less than €100 million.