BlueRun Ventures closes on $130M, ups Cheryl Cheng to GP

Silicon Valley venture capital firm BlueRun Ventures has lassoed $130 million in capital commitments for its sixth fund. The firm invests in early-stage mobile software and financial services companies, including online lending platform Kabbage and navigation tool Waze.

BlueRun has also announced the promotion of Cheryl Cheng to general partner. Cheng joined the outfit in 2008; she’s focused on mobile and data opportunities within the enterprise and consumer markets. The firm also counts founder John Malloy and Jonathan Ebinger as GPs.

In a conversation with TechCrunch, Ebinger outlined the firm’s growing interest in the Mexican startup ecosystem, as well as startups focused on data sharing.

“There’s been such a backlash against data privacy — the pendulum has swung too far to one side — but I think there are learnings to be had around the benefits of data sharing in healthcare and in financial services,” Ebinger told TechCrunch.

BlueRun deploys $3 million to $5 million at a time and up to $15 million in a company’s lifespan. In addition to leading Kabbage’s Series A financing in 2010 — a company that is poised to go public in the near future — BlueRun was also the first institutional investor in PayPal and was a Series A investor in Coupa, a cloud-based software developer that completed a NASDAQ initial public offering in 2016. The firm invests in global companies building businesses focused on the U.S. market.

Contrary to VCs’ latest trend of raising larger and larger pools of capital, BlueRun’s latest effort is the firm’s smallest flagship fund to date. Previously, BlueRun closed on $150 million for its fifth fund in 2014 and its second vehicle, raised in 2000, garnered $460 million. BlueRun also operates funds in Korea and China.

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