Trinity Ventures, a 26-year-old venture capital firm that backed coffee retailer Starbucks Corp. (SBUX) and restaurant chain PF Chang’s China Bistro Inc., is seeking $300 million to invest in early-stage technology companies, according two people with knowledge of its plans.
The fund, the firm’s 11th, is scheduled to close in October, said the people, who asked not to be named because the information is private. Trinity’s previous fund gathered about $300 million in 2009.
The firm, in addition to its early bets on food-service companies, also invested in technology companies Novell Inc. and Aruba Networks Inc. (ARUN) More recently, it has focused on digital media startups and companies building Web-based software for businesses. In May, Trinity invested $7 million in DotLoop Co., a maker of software for the real estate industry.
Fred Wang, a general partner at Menlo Park, California- based Trinity, declined to comment on the fundraising.
Venture firms are raising capital even as the troubled Facebook Inc. initial public offering and European debt crisis put an end to the best stretch of Internet IPOs in more than a decade. Madrona Venture Group announced a $300 million fund last week, while Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and New Enterprise Associates have raised bigger sums.
Institutional Venture Partners, DFJ Growth and Mayfield Fund are also starting new funds, people familiar with the matter have told Bloomberg.
While Trinity wasn’t invested in any of the U.S. consumer Web companies to go public in the past year, the firm did back 21Vianet Group Inc. (VNET), a Chinese Internet data-center service provider that first sold shares in April 2011. It also backed Infoblox Inc. (BLOX), a Santa Clara, California-based network and data- services provider that went public two months ago.
Trinity was co-founded in 1986 by Noel Fenton, who remains one of the firm’s seven investment partners. Last year, Trinity opened an office in San Francisco’s Mission district called Dolores Labs, which it uses as a co-working space for young portfolio companies.
For its 10th fund raised in 2009, Trinity said that it would invest between $2 million and $20 million in about 30 companies. The firm has more than $1 billion under management.
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