Appian Ventures Takes Break from New Deals

Add Appian Ventures to the (growing) list of venture capital firms that do not expect to add new portfolio companies in 2009.

Chris Onan, a partner with Denver-based Appian, says that the firm simply needs to reserve remaining dry powder to support its 18 existing portfolio companies. At the same time, Appian doesn’t want to begin raising a new fund without a few more exits under its belt.

“We had some conversations in Q4 about doing a couple of new deals, but ultimately figured it would be best to hold onto the cash for the companies we already have,” Onan explains. “It’s not like managing 18 portfolio companies isn’t enough to keep us busy.”

Onan adds that the firm has no plans to replace Philip Dignan, an Appian co-founder who has quietly left the firm to run VCM Technologies, a Houston-based energy technology company. Instead, it will stick with its remaining three partners, one operating partner and an advisory network of elevent “connectivity partners” (including Dignan).

Appian was formed in 2002, and focuses on early-stage IT companies in the Rocky Mountain region. It closed its $80 million debut fund in 2003.