Chicago-based private equity firm Valor Equity Partners said Tuesday it has closed its third fund led by Kirkland & Ellis LLP, exceeding the initial target and raising $490 million for new investments in growing companies.
Valor Equity originally targeted just $350 million for its Fund III, then met an increased hard cap on the funding round. The firm said all of the institutional pension and large family office clients that invested in its previous fund have also committed to Fund III.
“We are very grateful for the confidence and support that we continue to receive from our existing and new limited partners as we invest our third Valor fund,” Valor Equity’s founder Antonio Gracias said in a statement.
Valor Equity has made 66 investments in 34 companies since its founding 20 years ago, according to the firm. It has shown a penchant for backing growing technology companies, including past investments in Tesla Motors Inc., SolarCity Corp. and PayPal Inc.
The firm currently manages about $1 billion in capital. It said 32 percent of Fund III has already been invested in Addepar Inc., Fooda Inc., Porch.com Inc., Renovate America Inc. and Space Exploration Technologies Corp., or SpaceX.
Valor Equity’s investment in SpaceX predates the $1 billion funding round the California-based space exploration company completed in January, which saw Google Inc. and Fidelity Investments snatch up about 10 percent of the company.
SpaceX has been making big strides in recent months, getting tapped by NASA for an $87 million contract in December to launch the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite mission, which the agency hopes can discover habitable planets orbiting nearby bright stars.
The U.S. Air Force also announced in January that it intends to certify SpaceX no later than midyear to compete with the likes of contracting giants The Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp. in its satellite launch program.
Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal adviser to Valor in the formation of Fund III, with a team led by Chris Kallos and including Daniel McQuade, Jonathan McPike, Donald Rocap, Daniel Meehan, Joel Peters-Fransen, Scott Moehrke, Corey Zarse, Lisa Cawley and Laura Bader.
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