(UPDATE: Just heard back from Josh Kopelman, who says, “Unfortunately we’re not commenting on the new fund.” That probably means the firm hasn’t held a final close. We’ll keep you posted.)
First Round Capital, which has already recorded more than six a dozen exits from its 2-year-old debut fund, has raised a sophomore fund totaling $126.4 million, according to an SEC filing first discovered by FormsD.com.
The new fund is just $1.4 million larger than the first institutional fund raised by the early stage firm, which is based in West Conshohocken, Pa.
First Round was started five six years ago by Josh Kopelman, who previously enjoyed a highly successful career as an entrepreneur. Given the late hour that peHUB learned about the new fund, Kopelman was unavailable for comment.
First Round is one of the most active investors in Internet startups. In 2008, it was the second most active Internet investor, according to data from Thomson Reuters (publisher of peHUB). And despite the recession, First Round backed 41 startups last year, ranking fourth among firms that made the most venture investments across any sector.
The numbers were particularly notable, given that the firm has just seven partners, and that its initial investments are typically around $400,000 and reach to upwards of $2 million to $3 million per company.
That First Round continued to actively back young companies despite the recession is also notable — and a consistent string of exits has helped toward that end.
For example, First Round helped fund Powerset. The natural language processing startup raised $22.5 million over two years, then sold to Microsoft in 2008 for a reported $100 million.
The firm also participated in the $1.5 million funding round for StumbleUpon before the company was acquired by eBay in 2007 for $75 million. (First Round also joined the syndicate that bought it back from eBay last year.)
Another exit: Web security appliance company Mi5 Networks, which was acquired by Symantec last year in an all-cash transaction whose terms weren’t disclosed. First Round, Band of Angels and Labrador Ventures invested an undisclosed amount in Mi5.
More recently, First Round has seen exits via portfolio companies CoTweet, Hot Potato and Like.com. San Francisco-based Cotweet, which manages companies’ marketing and customer service activites over Twitter, raised just $1.1 million from Baseline Ventures, Freestyle Capital and others before selling for an undisclosed amount to the marketing giant ExactTarget last March. The company was little more than a year old.
First Round also participated in the $1.42 million seed funding of the Brooklyn-based social networking startup Hot Potato last November. The company, founded in January of 2009, sold in August to Facebook for $10 million in cash.
And First Round was one of the first investors of Like.com, a San Mateo, Calif.-based visual search startup bought by Google in August in a deal that TechCrunch reported to be upwards of $100 million. The 6-year-old company had previously raised $47.3 million in venture funding from First Roundd, Leapfrog Ventures, Bay Partners and Menlo Ventures.
First Round was started in 2005 by Kopelman, who had previously co-founded three companies: Infonautics Corp., which went public in 1996; Half.com, bought by eBay for $312 million in stock in 2000; and TurnTide, which sold for $28 million to Symantec six months after its founding.
Kopelman talked extensively with peHUB last year, in which he discussed how the firm operates.
To make as many investments as it does each year — First Round has now backed roughly 85 about 100 startups — its partners routinely give up their board seats 18 months after the firm has made its initial investment, helping the startup as needed.
Among FirstRound’s newest investments is Belmont, Mass.-based SaveWave, which manages retail offer programs and raised a $2.3 million Series A round this summer, including from Flybridge Capital Partners and Founder Collective.