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General Catalyst corrals $845m for fund

For Cambridge firm, eighth venture effort will be its largest

The courtyard of the Charles Hotel, home of General Catalyst's local headquarters.Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff/Globe Staff

General Catalyst Partners, a venture capital firm with offices in Cambridge, said Thursday it has raised $845 million for its eighth venture fund.

That’s a notable jump in fund size: General Catalyst’s previous fund, which closed in late 2013, was valued at about $675 million. The one before that, closed in late 2011, was worth about $500 million.

General Catalyst, which was founded in 2000, has sought to expand beyond its Boston-area roots in recent years by opening offices in the San Francisco Bay area and New York. When it announced its seventh fund in December 2013, General Catalyst said it would place an “emphasis on growing its Silicon Valley presence.”

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The firm’s investments have included large private companies like social-video app Snapchat, home and baby goods supplier The Honest Co., and home-rental agency Airbnb. In the Boston area, General Catalyst has backed drone-maker CyPhy Works, marketing software company HubSpot, and travel software developer Kayak.

Governor Charlie Baker held an investment job at General Catalyst between his gubernatorial runs. That job was a source of controversy for Baker, who made personal political donations to the New Jersey Republican Party shortly before New Jersey’s state pension fund invested in General Catalyst.

A report by the New Jersey treasurer  cleared Baker of any wrongdoing.

The money for General Catalyst’s eighth fund will be spread between a main investment vehicle targeting new investments and a fund for writing additional checks to existing portfolio companies, Bloomberg noted.