Bond, the growth-stage firm that spun out of the Kleiner Perkins Digital Growth Fund in late 2018, is closing a second fund with $2 billion, suggests a new SEC filing that says the amount has not yet been raised, though investment firms sometimes file their paperwork at the final stages of their fundraising and even long afterward.
Earlier today, we reached out to the firm — which closed its debut fund with $1.25 billion in 2019 — and are awaiting more information. But that Bond would be raising almost twice as much capital for its second vehicle is unsurprising for numerous reasons. For one, thing, the outfit, spearheaded by famed former investment banker Mary Meeker — who left Kleiner with other alums of the firm including Mood Rowghani, Noah Knauf, Juliet de Baubigny, Daegwon Chae, and Paul Vronksky — has been adding to its investing roster.
Most notably, late last year the firm brought aboard as a general partner Jay Simons to lead its global enterprise practice. Simons knows a thing or two about scaling a business as the former president of Atlassian, the maker of business development and collaboration software that went public in 2015 at a $4.3 billion valuation and now boasts a market cap of nearly $57 billion. (Simons joined the outfit in 2008 as its VP of sales and was promoted to president three years later, spending the next nine years in that role before leaving last summer.)
According to LinkedIn, the firm also recently hired a more junior investor, Alex Knight, a Yale graduate and former Stanford business school student who is based in New York.
Bond’s team also has the kind of track record that institutional investors like to see, with growth stage bets while at Kleiner that include Slack, Uber, Snap and Waze, and current stakes through Bond in some other big and growing businesses around the world.
Among these is Byju’s of India, which is among the world’s largest ed tech companies and whose founder wants to take the company public in the next year or two; the London-based online bank Revolut, which was valued at $5.5 billion by private investors as of a year ago and said last month it eventually aims to go public via a traditional U.S. IPO; and Canva, the Australia-based design platform for non-designers that was valued at $6 billion during its last funding round in June of last year.
Of course, a third reason that Bond is raising so much capital ties to the large amount of money still sloshing around in the market and which seems more eager than ever to find its way into late-stage deals, particularly as more companies are being brought into the public market at jaw-dropping valuations.
One of Bond’s portfolio companies, for example, Nextdoor, was last valued by private investors at $2.2 billion back in 2019. According to Bloomberg, the company, which has raised $470 million altogether, began considering options to go public several months ago at a valuation in the range of $4 billion to $5 billion.
Altogether, Bond appears to have used its first fund to invest in roughly 20 companies. Among its newest bets is Locus Robotics, a nearly seven-year-old, Wilmington, Ma.-based company that makes autonomous mobile robots for warehouses and that announced $150 million in Series E funding at a post-money valuation of $1 billion last month co-led by Tiger Global Management and Bond.
According to a December report in The Information, Bond also led the newest round for its portfolio company Ironclad, which develops software that helps companies such as Dropbox and MasterCard create and manage business contracts. According to The Information, Bond led a Series D round of at least $100 million for the company at a post-investment valuation of more than $950 million, more than double its valuation from late 2019.