When Greylock raised $1 billion for its 14th fund in 2014, the company said it was going to focus on two areas: enterprise cloud and mobile.
Two years later, the tech landscape has changed, and the legendary Silicon Valley venture-capital firm has raised another $1 billion for its 15th fund to invest in the new future of emerging technologies.
“Some of these spaces are more mature now,” Greylock partner James Slavet told Business Insider. “The $100 billion question is where are we going to find the next really really big companies. Are they going to look different in terms of the spaces we’re in historically?”
Greylock has already had massive successes in its two core areas, consumer and enterprise. It has already invested in four public companies with market caps above $10 billion: Facebook, LinkedIn, Palo Alto Networks, and Workday. It has investments in more than 80 other companies as varied as the social network Nextdoor and enterprise startups like Cloudera and Docker.
“Certainly a big part of what we’re going to do is going to be consumer network businesses, which can be either marketplaces or social platform kinds of businesses,” Slavet said. “On the enterprise side, we continue to do a lot of investments in security, cloud infrastructure, and SAAS over the last couple of funds.”
But the firm also intends to look at emerging technologies like virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, because that’s where a new wave of billion-dollar businesses might be born, Slavet acknowledges.
“A lot of entrepreneurs are looking at what are the windows are opening up now, and it’s very different than 15 years ago where you could get customers through Google Search or a couple years ago where you could get customers through the App Store,” Slavet said. “What’s the new distribution?”
While Greylock may be exploring new subject areas for the firm, it will remain rooted in the US, even as some rival firms, like Sequoia, are continuing to invest in international.
“It’s hard to be successful investing in a country if you’re not in the country,” Slavet said. “We think it’s hard to fly in and fly out and to be successful investing internationally. Our focus in the US and consumer enterprise tech and helping those companies scale. Focusing on that is the best way we can be successful in terms of driving returns.”