Prominent billionaire investor Peter Thiel has opened a new venture capital firm--this time focusing on small technology start-ups transitioning into larger businesses.

The San Francisco firm, dubbed Mithril Capital management--an apparent reference to the armor material used in The Lord of the Rings--is launching with a $402 million fund.

The firm will be looking to invest in companies that have already secured some venture capital and are looking to grow, says longtime Thiel colleague Ajay Royan, who will be the new firm's co-founder and managing general partner. 

“We are looking for inflection points where companies have gotten off the ground but are also at the pivotal point when a motivated, influential partner can be an important key to their success,” says Royan.

Royan says Mithril investments could be anywhere from $20 million to as much as $100 million, and could come as one large investment or as several, spaced out over time. Funding details will depend on the specific needs of each company.

“It's really about having a great deal of passion for technology and patience,” says Royan. “Each company has specific needs and thus needs a specific plan, so patience will be key for us as investors and for those companies we will be investing in.”

Thiel, known in part for his role as co-founder at PayPal and for his early investment in Facebook, is Mithril’s primary investor and will serve as chairman of the firm's investment committee. The firm has also raised funds from institutional investors.