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NEA closes in on $2.5 billion venture fund

May 9, 2012: 4:50 PM ET

The biggest venture capital firm gets bigger.

FORTUNE -- New Enterprise Associates, the original investor in Groupon (GRPN), is closing in on one of the largest venture capital fund ever raised, Fortune has learned.

The firm today revealed in an SEC filing that it already has secured more than $2 billion for NEA 14, which began being marketed earlier this year with a $2.5 billion cap. A source familiar with the situation says that plans are to hold a second close within the next two months and then a final close in early July on the $2.5 billion figure. NEA is holding its annual limited partner meeting this week, and expects that the fund will end up being oversubscribed.

NEA previously raised $2.5 billion for its twelfth fund in 2006, before scaling back to $2.25 billion for NEA 13 in 2009. Each was just a shade small than the $2.56 billion raised in 2006 by Oak Investment Partners, which is believed to be the industry's largest-ever investment fund (albeit one it has not been able to replicate).

In a magazine story I wrote about NEA last fall, we reported that six of NEA's past eight funds were considered top quartile -- excluding the 2009 vehicle, which was considered too new to judge.

The firm declined to comment, citing regulatory restrictions.

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Dan Primack
Dan Primack
Senior Editor, Fortune

Dan Primack joined Fortune.com in September 2010 to cover deals and dealmakers, from Wall Street to Sand Hill Road. Previously, Dan was an editor-at-large with Thomson Reuters, where he launched both peHUB.com and the peHUB Wire email service. In a past journalistic life, Dan ran a community paper in Roxbury, Massachusetts. He currently lives just outside of Boston.

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