$125M Prism II Passes Halfway Mark –

WESTWOOD, Mass. – Prism Venture Partners II, an early-stage health care and information technology investor, in late December completed a $66 million first close, moving closer to a targeted $125 million final wrap in the first quarter.

The initial close, the bulk of which was rounded up by the end of October, included new limited partners such as Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation and BancBoston via its fund-of-funds, as well as returning investors such as University of Texas Management Co. and University of Richmond.

Limited partners reached by press time declined comment.

The vehicle, which has a $135 million cap, might hold another close in late January to accommodate its L.P.s, said Robert Fleming, a general partner of the firm. “We had a number of investors that wanted to close and put it on their ’99 allocation,” he said.

Prism II will invest about half of its capital in early-stage telecommunications and IT. The other half will be devoted to health care, including medical devices, health-care services and health-care IT, but not biotechnology. The fund will invest in approximately 25 companies, averaging about $5 million for each transaction.

Following the initial stage of the fund’s first close in November, the vehicle committed $3 million to American WholeHealth Inc. and expected to sign a $10 million term sheet with an unnamed wireless component company in January, Mr. Fleming said. As much as 10% of the fund will make international investments, he added.

The firm’s first vehicle, an $84 million effort launched in February 1997, is fully invested with 19 portfolio companies.

The fund is managed by four founding general partners, Mr. Fleming, Laurie Thomsen, Duane Mason and John Brooks, and recently added a fifth partner, Bill Seifert, the founder of Wellfleet Communications, the predecessor to Bay Networks.