Felicis Ventures Raises $70 Million to Find and Fund Next ‘Angry Birds’

Photograph by Romeo Gacad/AFP/Getty Images

Indonesian staff wear 'Angry Birds' masks to promote the Angry Birds official Facebook launch at a mall in Jakarta in February.

Felicis Ventures, the “super angel” fund founded by early-Google employee Aydin Senkut, has closed a $70 million round of funding that will be used to invest in technology startups including those in the mobile, health and education industries.

In the same week that prominent investor Paul Graham warned startups with little or no sales that it may be more difficult to raise money following Facebook’s IPO, Senkut said he plans to use the funding to back companies with meaningful sources of revenue and the potential for large initial public offerings or acquisitions.

“You are going to see investors looking for more substance,” Senkut said in an interview. He said that of the top quarter of Felicis’s portfolio, annualized revenues are more than $800 million combined.

The Palo Alto, California-based firm has already scored wins with Mint, a personal finance site acquired by Intuit for $170 million in 2009, and mobile gifting app Karma, which was purchased by Facebook for more than $80 million last month. The firm’s biggest payday could be around the corner: Rovio, the maker of Angry Birds, may be eyeing an IPO in 2013.  Felicis invested in the company last year.

Senkut, who held various roles at Google from 1999 to 2005, has become synonymous with a class of venture investors known as “super angels,” who put more money than the average “angel” into early stage startups. He now wants to shed that title and graduate to what he calls a “boutique fund” — one that offers more hands-on expertise to its portfolio companies, he said.

Felicis helped Rovio set up an e-commerce store for plush Angry Birds dolls in late 2010, Senkut said, and plans to help more startups with strategic needs like this.

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