Alta Locks Up $477M –

Alta Communications held a $477 million second close on its fourth venture capital fund in September. The Boston-based firm launched the investment vehicle earlier this year with a $500 million hard cap, and it expects to hold a final close in October.

The offering, named the Alta Communications IX LP, is actually the fourth fund-raising effort since Alta spun out of Burr, Egan, Deleage & Co. in 1996. The firm’s last fund-raising effort was in 2000, when it secured $486.3 million. Among the exits for that fund are Telenisus Corp., a security company, and New Times, an alternative newsweekly.

As with its predecessor, Fund IX will mostly invest in communications services companies, although it will also dabble in software, hardware and asset plays. It will also maintain its bi-coastal focus, even though last August Alta moved its staff back to Boston following the semi-retirement of firm co-founder Bob Benbow, who lives in San Francisco.

Perhaps the only shift in its fund-raising tradition this time around is that Alta Communications has hired Boston-based Monument Group to act as a placement agent. It didn’t use a placement agent for its previous offerings.