Valar Ventures, Founded by Peter Thiel, Raises $300 Million Fund, Half the Size of Its Last One

Silicon Valley investors aspire to work with Peter Thiel, but even Valar Ventures, a VC firm he co-founded, faced challenges in fundraising this year. Established in 2010 by Thiel, Valar is now run by Andrew McCormack and James Fitzgerald. Thiel's current involvement in Valar is unclear, as his name has not been listed as a partner on the firm's website for many years.

The New York-based Valar Fund IX has raised $300 million, as reported in a May 17 SEC filing. This is significantly less than its predecessor, which closed at $665 million in July 2022. Other notable VC firms, such as Tiger Global and Insight Partners, have also faced difficulties in raising funds in the current market conditions.

Despite the challenges, some funds with prominent names attached have succeeded in their fundraising efforts. ICONIQ Growth and Norwest Venture Partners are examples of firms that have met or exceeded their fundraising targets. However, LPs may not be as enthusiastic about Valar's latest fund due to the firm's previous returns.

Valar has made some investment missteps, such as with BlockFi and Breather, but also has successful investments like Wise and Stash. The firm's performance across its various funds is not publicly disclosed, but early indications suggest a mixed track record.

Named after deities in J.R.R. Tolkien's 'The Lord of the Rings,' Valar Ventures initially focused on New Zealand startups but has since expanded its reach to Europe, the U.K., and the SF Bay Area, with a current specialization in fintech startups globally.

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