The venture capital firm Greylock Partners announced today that they've just raised a new $575 pool of capital, one of the biggest of 2009, and that they've added LinkedIn's founder as a new west coast partner. Greylock has invested in LinkedIn, Facebook, Red Hat, Digg, and Zipcar.
And Bill Helman, one of Greylock's partners, called me this afternoon to add a little tidbit to the news: while Greylock made waves earlier this year when the firm relocated its headquarters from Waltham to Silicon Valley, Helman said that Greylock's local outpost will move from Waltham to Cambridge as of January 1st.
"We spend a lot of time at Harvard and MIT, and this will give us a chance to be that much closer to those sources of unique geographic advantage," Helman said. "This is more of an offensive move than a defensive move."
Greylock wasn't approaching the end of its lease in Waltham, but it got an unsolicited offer for that space. Why move to Cambridge? "It's a lot of the stuff you've been writing about," Helman said. "The vibrancy, the opportunity set, and the fact that entrepreneurs wanted to be around there."
Greylock was in Boston before it moved to Waltham a decade ago. "It was never to be close to country clubs, as some have portrayed it," Helman said. "The major entrepreneurial activity of that period of time was enterprise technology and communications systems, and those companies are located out here [on Routes 128 and 495.] Give VCs some credit: they were moving west to be closer to their customers."
But now, Helman continued, "you have biotech and cleantech playing a more important role, and maybe consumer Internet and digital media will be more important in the future, and they're not out here [in Waltham.]"
So starting in January, you'll more often see the Greylock guys having breakfast at Henrietta's Table -- angling with General Catalyst for the prime real estate there.
About Scott Kirsner
Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.
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December 9: Web Innovators Group
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Entrepreneurs and investors sit down for lunch, advice, and feedback. Entrepreneurs must apply to participate.