Battery Hires Abate, Seeks More Staff –

WELLESLEY, Mass./SAN MATEO, Calif. – Having recently wrapped a $400 million fund, Battery Ventures is boosting the staff in its East and West Coast offices.

Tony Abate joined Battery in early April as a principal from J.H. Whitney & Co., where he spent three years as a vice president spearheading deals in telecommunications services and electronic commerce. Prior to that, he spent four years at McKinsey & Co., where he was an engagement manager in the consulting firm’s telecommunications and multimedia practices.

Mr. Abate, who will be based in the Wellesley office, will play a similar role to his post at J.H. Whitney, although he expects to concentrate more heavily on telecommunications, as well as on data communications and some e-commerce.

Battery Ventures V closed this spring, and the fund will continue the firm’s strategy of backing early- to late-stage software and communications companies. The vehicle is twice the size of its predecessor, the $200 million Fund IV, raised in 1997.

The venture group is continuing its search for two principals, one associate and three analysts, said General Partner Rick Frisbie. Both principals will be stationed in San Mateo, one focusing on telecommunications equipment and services and the other concentrating on software and the Internet.

Mr. Abate, who was introduced to Battery through a headhunter, was familiar with Battery’s reputation but had never worked with the venture firm through his previous jobs. Mr. Abate will assume many of the day-to-day deal management responsibilities that Mr. Frisbie oversaw, while Mr. Frisbie will take on additional administrative tasks at Battery. Mr. Abate was quick to note that Mr. Frisbie is not abandoning deal making or working with portfolio companies and will continue his involvement in Battery investments.