Artis Ventures seeks a $200 mln third fund

Artis Ventures, a San Francisco-based firm known for several high-profile investments, is raising $200 million towards fund III, its largest fund to date, according to a filing with the SEC. First sale was not reported.

New York City-based MCP Securities, Indianapolis, Indiana-based Finex Capital and Dubai-based Oryx Ventures are listed as Artis’ placement agents.

Since its founding in 2002 by Partner Stuart Peterson, the firm has raised a total of $205 million across three funds, including its latest $60 million second fund in November 2014. Stuart Peterson and COO Robert Reimer are listed on the current filing.

Artis Ventures is known for being an early investor in YouTube, which was bought by Google in 2006 for $1.65 billion, and a cancer drug maker Stemcentrx, which was sold to AbbVie for $10.2 million in 2016.

The firm’s current portfolio includes Quid, which provides software for analyzing text-based data, and Cohesity, a data storage company.

Artis previously ran an affiliate hedge fund called Artis Capital Management but wounded down its operations after an insider trading lawsuit.

As a part of the 2016 settlement with the SEC, Partner Mike Harden agreed to a one-year ban from the firm in connection with insider trading from one of Harden’s direct reports in the Artis hedge fund. The SEC found that Harden failed to supervise his employee in a manner that would have helped prevent illegal action.

Besides Harden and Peterson, the other Artis partners include Vasudev Bailey and Austin Walne.