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Why NEA picked now to raise a giant new VC fund

Venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates surprised a lot of people earlier this week when it disclosed in an SEC filing that it is raising $3 billion for a new mega-fund. Not because $3 billion is a huge amount of money for venture capital (NEA has always been an outlier in that regard), but because the firm's current fund was raised less than two years ago.

So why come back so big so soon?

Two reasons, per a source close to the situation:

  1. NEA recognizes that 2017 is going to be a pretty soft year for big venture fundraises due to the incredible number of large firms that were in market last year. In other words, it's taking advantage of the cycle.
  2. Despite current conditions, the firm has concerns about the economic uncertainty that accompanies Donald Trump into the White House, and would prefer its cupboard to be fully stocked in case of a hurricane.

NEA declined comment, citing regulatory restrictions.

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