Venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson is denying a report by Fortune Magazine that co-founders Tim Draper and John Fisher are on their way out.

What's clear, though, is that the Menlo Park firm is undergoing changes.

Citing unnamed people who attended DFJ's investor meeting Tuesday, the magazine's website reported that Draper and Fisher are "leaving" the firm, which over the past three decades has backed such startups as Hotmail, Skype and Tesla Motors (TSLA).

Fortune said Steve Jurvetson, the third member of the founding troika, will raise a new fund early next year in concert with younger partners such as Josh Stein and Bubba Murarka, a former Facebook executive who joined DFJ in the spring.

Draper and Jurvetson could not be reached for comment Tuesday, and Stein said via email that the investor meeting was still underway. But in a statement, the firm said the co-founders and several others reported to be transitioning out remain managing directors there "and will continue to manage existing portfolio responsibilities."


Advertisement

DFJ did confirm that Tim Draper will not help oversee the firm's next fund, though he will personally invest in it. The three "name" partners, along with Stein, also will remain on the management committee that oversees the firm's governance and direction.

The statement confirmed that Draper, 55, will spend an increasing amount of time on Draper University of Heroes, the San Mateo school for entrepreneurs that he founded earlier this year.

Draper is one of Silicon Valley's more high-profile investors, thanks both to a flair for zany stunts and to his family's roots in the venture industry. His grandfather helped set up one of the first venture capital offices on the West Coast, and dad Bill Draper has financed hundreds of tech companies. Tim Draper's adult children also are active in the valley tech scene.

DFJ in recent years has expanded worldwide via affiliate firms and partnerships. One of those, DFJ Growth, invests in more mature companies, and Fortune reported that Fisher will focus his energies there.

The story also claimed that DFJ is shuttering its offices in China and India, although a spokeswoman denied that via email -- to a point. "We are consolidating efforts in China and India, and will continue to manage our existing investments in those geographies," she wrote.

Larry Augustin, chief executive of a DFJ portfolio company called SugarCRM, said generational shifts are par for the course in the venture industry.

Agreed another DFJ-backed entrepreneur, Box CEO Aaron Levie: "There's a changing dynamic in the kinds of companies and markets to invest in. We've had great experiences with DFJ, and they've always helped us to think as big as possible."

Contact Peter Delevett at 408-271-3638. Follow him at Twitter.com/mercwiretap.