ATV closes in on smaller fund

Advanced Technology Ventures has put fund-raising into full throttle for its eighth fund, raising $272 million in less than four months, according to a recent regulatory filing.

The bi-coastal firm firm, which invests in life sciences and information technology, expects to raise a smaller fund than its $720 million 2001 vintage fund, General Partner Steve Baloff told VCJ in April. No target had been announced on the latest fund-raising push, but Advanced Technology Ventures VIII could soon hold a final close between $300 million and $360 million.

The firm has already signed a $40 million commitment from the Delaware Public Employees’ Retirement System, according to a regulatory funding. It also attracted an investment from Pantheon Ventures and Abu Dhabi-based Procific.

The smaller fund size is in line with industry trends, Baloff had previously said. The firm also wanted to have a shorter fund cycle to help ensure that new partners could come on board or move up internally. “It’s tough to wait six to seven years to get into the carry,” Baloff said.

ATV had a recent exit with Xtent (Nasdaq: XTNT), which launched a $75 million IPO in February. At the time of the IPO, the firm held 2.99 million shares, or 13.2%, of Xtent. Those shares were worth more than $30 million on July 26, based on a $10.03 price per share.

In addition, ATV portfolio company Trans1 is in registration for an IPO. ATV owns 19.5% of the company, which makes a medical device to treat lower back pain. Trans1 had raised about $40 million in funding from ATV, Delphi Ventures and others and filed to raise more than $80 million in its offering.

ATV has sold one company from its portfolio so far this year. Central nervous system drug maker Hypnion, which had raised $88 million from ATV, Flagship Ventures, Forward Ventures, MPM Capital and other VCs, sold for $315 million in April.

Last year, ATV portfolio company Acme Packet (Nasdaq: APKT) launched a $110 million IPO and Omneon Video Networks went into registration for its public offering. The firm also sold MicroVention, e-Security and Applications Networks during 2006.

ATV made six investments during the second quarter. It backed medical device company NeuroVista in a $33.8 million Series B, health care services company Aperio in a $10.6 million Series C, stealth wireless company Nextivity in a $16 million Series A, telecommunications company Visage Mobile in a $10 million Series E, drug maker Portola Pharmaceuticals in a $70 million Series C and services company ChannelAdvisor in a $30 million Series C. —Alexander Haislip