Blueprint Ventures, Eyes Set on Fund II –

SAN FRANCISCO – Blueprint Ventures has its eyes set on a second fund and expects to hold a close sometime during the first quarter 2001, said Bart Schachter, a founder and general partner at the firm.

The firm’s second vehicle is expected to be larger than its predecessor, the $150 million Emerging Communications Fund, which closed in May, Schachter said. The firm is not specifying the exact target amount of the second fund, he said.

Blueprint targets early-stage communications and Internet infrastructure companies. At press time, the firm had invested about $50 million of the first fund, with about 80% of the total capital committed, Schachter said. Fund I will back another three companies before its capital is completely exhausted, he added.

Founded in late-1999, Blueprint focuses heavily on growing what it calls its “ecosystem” or network, of limited partners, portfolio companies, investment team and strategic investors, among others, Schachter said.

Blueprint reserved a maximum of 10% of its first fund for a strategic investor side fund, a structure it plans to recreate the next time around, Schachter said. Side fund members – telecommunications executives, analysts and investment bankers – are an integral part of the ecosystem, he said.

Blueprint was founded by Schachter and General Partner Thomas Unterberg, chairman of technology banking firm C.E. Unterberg Towbin. General Partner Christopher Kersey, who focuses on datacom, joined the team in the spring after leaving Menlo Ventures, where he was an associate. Blueprint plans to add another general partner in time to invest the next vehicle, Schachter said.

The firm most recently invested $3 million in Atreus Systems Corp., an Ottawa-based broadband provider for multiple tenant areas, such as office buildings and hotels. Blueprint led the $4 million round, he said.

The firm will keep its communications focus when investing its next vehicle. “We think communications in the foreseeable future – three to five years – is the hottest area in the tech world and will continue to be,” Schachter said.