Exclusive: DST plans to raise giant venture capital fundDecember 7, 2010: 10:37 AM ET
There is no bigger name in venture capital right now than Digital Sky Technologies, the Russian Internet conglomerate run by Yuri Milner. It is one of the largest outside shareholders in Facebook, and also holds big pieces of companies like Zynga (both of which it bought at massive, late-stage valuations).
There also are reports that it just lost out on a big new round for Twitter.
The group so far has been bankrolled by a few global investors – including Goldman Sachs and Tiger Global Management – plus a Russian oligarch. Now I'm told that DST is looking to broaden its capital base, with plans to raise approximately $1 billion for a new fund from "traditional" limited partners like pension funds and endowments.
No books are out yet, but multiple sources tell me that a road show is expected to begin within weeks. It's being managed by a guy named Andy Brown out of Goldman Sachs' San Francisco office. The investment strategy apparently is to continue buying up shares in relatively-mature Internet startups, but ones with slightly lesser public profiles (the "next layer," as one prospective investor put it).
Attempts to reach Milner and Brown were unsuccessful.
[UPDATE: The original version of this post called DST the largest outside investor in Facebook. That was incorrect. Accel Partners retains that distinction.]