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D.E. Shaw Seeks $500 Million for First Private Equity Fund

  • The Voltaic Fund already has about $200 million in commitments
  • Firm seeking to tap into pre-initial public offering market
David Shaw in 2006. 

David Shaw in 2006. 

Photographer: Kimberly White/Bloomberg

Quant pioneer D.E. Shaw & Co. is launching its first-ever private equity fund, the latest in a stream of hedge funds pushing into the lucrative pre-IPO space.

The D.E. Shaw Voltaic Fund is seeking to raise $500 million to invest in private companies, according to people familiar with the matter. It has already gathered almost $200 million in commitments, a chunk of which is the firm’s money, one the people said. It will focus on growth equity companies and have a five-year time horizon.